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Everything you need to know about Benghazi

The Benghazi attack, and its long-running political fallout, explained.

The attack in the US diplomatic mission in Benghazi on September 11, 2012 was a national tragedy. Four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed by militants in an attack that arguably could have been prevented if the US government had taken more precautions.

But afterwards, the attack turned from a disaster into a political football. Republicans launched a series of investigations into the attack, seemingly with the aim of finding evidence that could be used to blame either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton (president and secretary of state at the time of the attack) for what happened.

No such evidence emerged, but many Republicans remained convinced that either Obama or Clinton are personally fault. Meanwhile, for Democrats, the controversy became a sign of how Republicans operate in bad faith — ginning up controversy, and duping their supporters, for political advantage.

Here’s a guide to all of this: both the attack on the mission itself and the coverup allegations, rumors, and massive political controversy that followed it.

Zack Beauchamp