On September 11, 2012, after months of warnings and probing attacks, al Qaeda-linked terrorists struck the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya at approximately 9:40 p.m. local time. Dozens of heavily-armed terrorists stormed the gates of the compound where U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens is staying, setting fire to one building and trapping Ambassador Stevens and information officer Sean Smith inside. Both men are killed.
Outside, State Department security agents, outnumbered and out-gunned, do battle with the al Qaeda militants for over 90 minutes, taking machine-gun and RPG fire. Despite pleas for help, no relief comes. While officials in Washington and Tripoli dither, another attack takes place as terrorists conduct a sophisticated mortar attack, killing security agents Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty at approximately 5:15 a.m.
Normally, terrorist attacks last but a few minutes, not the five hours it took for al Qaeda militants to assault the compound in Benghazi. When the smoke cleared four Americans had been murdered: Ambassador Christopher Stevens, a life-long diplomat and civil servant who had volunteered to go to Libya and help secure a new peace; Sean Smith, an Air Force veteran and married father of two who died helping get Ambassador Stevens to safety; Glen Doherty, an ex-Navy SEAL and security contractor who had served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan; and Tyrone Woods, a father of three and 20-year Navy veteran and former SEAL who was awarded a Bronze Star for valor while serving in Iraq.
It’s been a year since this tragic attack. It’s been a year without accountability, a year without answers, a year without justice. President Obama promised justice. Hillary Clinton promised accountability. Congress promised answers. All of them failed miserably.
Mrs. Clinton issued a whitewashed report that largely faulted anonymous junior officials and recommended no real punitive action. President Obama has yet to find or apprehend any of the terrorists behind the attacks – despite the fact that CNN has interviewed some of them. Congress held several hearings, attracted great media attention, and then choked when it came time to force the administration to tell the truth.
Right now, a solution sits gathering dust. Representative Frank Wolf (R-Va.) and 171 other House Republicans have a bill that would establish a bipartisan Select Committee to investigate Benghazi. Armed with subpoena power, this committee is the only way to force the Obama Administration to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Armed with this power the administration could not continue its cover-up of what really happened in Benghazi and who decided not to send help.
If there is one thing the Republicans House majority exists to do it is hold the Obama Administration accountable. It is high time they did just that. A majority of this majority has spoken and they have said they want to hold Obama accountable. The House Republican leadership must be made to listen to its own members. Another year cannot be allowed to pass without answers, without accountability, and without justice.