At First Benghazi Hearing, Lawmakers Set Partisan Politics Aside

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The first hearing of the House Select Committee on Benghazi convened this morning with a surprising lack of the partisan bickering that has marked previous congressional investigations of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in eastern Libya.

The select committee, chaired by Rep Trey Gowdy, a Tea Party Republican from South Carolina, opened with bipartisan agreement that the need to gather the facts of the attack deserves an investigative process worthy of respect.

Gowdy said, "I remain hopeful there are still things left in our country that can transcend politics."

Ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings (D-MD) said that it would be a disservice to be lured by partisan politics, saying, "Too often over the past two years, the congressional investigation into what happened in Benghazi has devolved into unseemly partisanship."

The subject of today's hearing: the recommendations of a review panel on enhancing diplomatic security of US facilities overseas.

The committee heard the testimony of Greg Starr, the assistant secretary for diplomatic security; Mark J. Sullivan, the former director of the Secret Service; and Todd Keil, the former assistant secretary for infrastructure protection at the Department of Homeland Security.