It has been nearly eight months since America’s Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other brave Americans were murdered during a terrorist attack in Benghazi. Thus far, the investigation into the attack that occurred on September 11, 2012 has been incomplete and there are more questions today than there are answers.
This week will be pivotal for the Benghazi investigation. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will receive testimony from two State Department whistle-blowers and a third State Department employee about the events surrounding the attack and the Obama Administration’s response in the hours, days, and weeks that followed.
I applaud the work of Chairman Darrell Issa and the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Back in the 1990s, I was the Chief Investigator of that same committee and know what a challenge it is to conduct thorough and effective investigations. However, it has been three months since any Congressional committee has conducted an extensive hearing into the attack, and seven months since Chairman Issa’s committee held one. With the revelations coming out over the last week regarding Benghazi, my resolve has only grown stronger about the need for a Select Committee to get to the bottom of what happened nearly eight months ago.
Just over the weekend, FOX News broke a story that the State Department’s current counter terrorism deputy coordinator for operations – Mark Thompson – will testify as a whistleblower. FOX reported Mr. Thompson will tell the committee that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tried to cut the counterterrorism bureau “out of the loop” while the Benghazi attack was unfolding. Why? It is believed Mr. Thompson will say to the committee that Secretary Clinton as well as others in the Obama Administration were trying to figure out how to “respond” and how to “characterize” the attack that took the lives of four Americans.
In addition to what FOX News reported over the weekend, Stephen Hayes at The Weekly Standard reported on how the Obama Administration’s own talking points were scrubbed of the truth. The final talking points were watered down so much that they did not give at all a clear picture as to what happened. One of the original talking points scrubbed at the behest of the State Department was, “we do know that Islamic extremists with ties to al Qa’ida participated in the attack.” Did this talking point draw the ire of the State Department because it ran in the face of the narrative they were pushing?
Two weeks ago Speaker of The House John Boehner said, “The reason I haven’t called for a select committee yet is that I don’t think it’s risen to that level.” As we have seen over the last week it is clear that the State Department and the Obama Administration as a whole have been holding back on Benghazi. Mr. Speaker, with all due respect it has risen to that level and a Select Committee must be convened at the earliest possible date.
Citizens United has been leading the charge for a Select Committee to investigate the Benghazi terrorist attack. Sponsored by Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf, House Resolution 36 has the broad support of 138 and growing fellow House Members. Although the mainstream media would like to say a Select Committee is politically motivated, reality is the committee has been long overdue, and would give the investigation the stature and attention it deserves.
Clearly the Obama Administration wants to move past Benghazi and now we are beginning to learn why. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney just said last week Benghazi happened “a long time ago.” This is code for friends in the press to please move on there is nothing to see here. The families of the victims and those who were injured want answers now and they have waited long enough. The Select Committee has been endorsed by the mother of Sean Smith and the father of Ty Woods both of whom were murdered in Benghazi.
I believe we only have scratched the surface into the events surrounding Benghazi. It is time to get answers for once and for all.