In the March issue of The American Spectator we published three articles essaying the three great scandals that we thought hovered over the Obama Administration: Obamacare, the IRS controversy, and the assault and cover-up of Benghazi. Jed Babbin and I took on the Benghazi essay. As we wrote, it involved negligence and indeed dereliction of duty by the government in Washington toward our countrymen on the ground in Benghazi. Then it involved an obvious cover up, with the State Department and the White House quite brazenly trying to hoodwink the American people. At the end of the essay we agreed with Congressman Frank Wolf that a Select Committee should be convened to get to the bottom of this extraordinary scandal. As we saw it, not only had personnel at State and the White House carried out devious schemes to cover for their superiors, but their superiors, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and President Barack Obama, had acted deviously and in fact lied to the American people and to the relatives of the murdered Americans.
Subsequently we wrote columns on Benghazi and further agitated for a House Select Committee to be called into being. Yesterday we sent the following letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner. Today he took action. A Select Committee will be convened under the very capable Congressman Trey Gowdy. We the signatories commend the Speaker.
May 1, 2014
Hon. John Boehner
House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Mr. Speaker:
Since the September 11, 2012 attacks on the US Mission and CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya, the House’s investigations into the Executive Branch’s conduct in the events leading up to the attacks, the night of the attacks themselves and the aftermath have not uncovered the answers to many of the most crucial questions.
Among those questions are:
- What did the president know, when did he know it, and what actions did he take on the night of the attacks?
- Why was the ambassador in Benghazi that night?
- What was the CIA’s mission in Benghazi? Sen. Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, has indicated that she had no knowledge of it. Was the CIA purchasing and gathering weapons including shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles? What became of those weapons? Were CIA personnel preventing or facilitating the shipment of those weapons to the Syrian rebels?
- What does the testimony of the survivors – including Diplomatic Security Service agent David Ubben, who is still recovering at the National Military Medical Center in Bethesda – inform us about these events?
- Why have several CIA personnel and, possibly, other federal employees been subjected to monthly polygraph examinations apparently intended to intimidate them from speaking to Congress and the press?
- Why was the State Department’s “Accountability Review Board,” as we understand from our sources, dismissive of information on the reduced security in Benghazi before the attacks?
These questions are only the beginning of a real inquiry. Yet, other than the Morrell hearing, it has been more than six months since the last House hearing on Benghazi. The newly-released emails, which show senior White House staff driving the narrative to falsely blame the attacks on reaction to an obscure video demonstrate there is a lot the White House still hasn’t disclosed. There has to be a better way to run an investigation than to split it among several committees each of which “stovepipes” the information it gathers.
The better way is, we believe, the creation of a House Select Committee to launch an intensive and continuing investigation into these and other questions until they are resolved. That conclusion compels us to ask you to remove any barriers to HR-36, Cong. Frank Wolf’s bill to create such a Select Committee and urge its passage as quickly as possible by the House.
We hope you will agree to meet with us, at your convenience, to discuss this urgent matter.
R. Emmett Tyrrell
Editor in Chief
The American Spectator
The American Spectator
Andrew C. McCarthy
Policy Fellow, National Review Institute
Contributing Editor, National Review
Former Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney, Southern District of New York
Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney, USAF, (Ret.)
Lt. Col. William Cowan, USMC (Ret.)
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.
President & CEO
Center for Security Policy