Death in Benghazi, Part II: Will the House Select Committee Find the Truth?

New English Review, by Jerry Gordon and Mike Bates (July 2014)

Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi National Press Club, Washington, DC, April 22, 2014

Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi
National Press Club, Washington, DC, April 22, 2014

Death in Benghazi, Part I: The Attack featured an interview with Kenneth R. Timmerman, author of Dark Forces: The Truth About Happened in Benghazi which presented a thesis that the attack on 9/11/2012 at the Benghazi diplomatic compound that killed four Americans; Ambassador Chris Stevens, communications aide Sean Smith, ex-Navy Seals CIA-contractors, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty on 9/11/2012 was a state sponsored act of terrorism by Iran’s al Quds Force with the paid assistance of Al Qaeda militia, Ansar al-Sharia. Timmerman argues based on his investigations that the attack in Benghazi were preventable. He believes that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton bears responsibility for ignoring those warnings, and preventing a military response. Ambassador Stevens and his security team had repeatedly warned Clinton of the precarious security situation in Tripoli and Benghazi and had requested additional resources. Clinton, for reasons of her own, opposed any military response to the attacks. U.S. Special Forces operators on the ground 9/11/2012 could have saved the Americans who perished. 

Death in Benghazi, Part II: Will the House Select Committee Find the Truth? presents the views of  Roger Aronoff, Chairmen of Accuracy in Media’s Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi reflected in its April 22, 2014 interim report. The report supports Timmerman’s central arguments. Larry Ward of Special Operations Speaks discusses his organization’s campaign to have a House Select Committee on Benghazi created with Rep. Trey Gowdy as chair. He assesses the prospects for truth to emerge from the Committee’s investigations and hearings that might occur following the 2014 mid-term elections in November 2014.

Mike Bates:  Good afternoon. Welcome back to Your Turn. The first half hour we spoke with Kenneth Timmerman, author of the book, Dark Forces: The Truth About What Happened in Benghazi. We want to continue talking about Benghazi because it is such an important issue so we have joining us for this half hour, Jerry Gordon in the studio with us here in Pensacola and we have joining us by telephone Roger Aronoff who is the Chairman of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi. Welcome Roger.

Roger Aronoff:  Thank you Mike. Great to be with you today. 

 

Bates:  What can you tell us about the Citizens Commission on Benghazi? What is it?

Aronoff:  Accuracy In Media about a year ago decided that we were no longer going to just sit by while Congress held these series of hearings and the media was continuing to treat this as if it was a phony scandal. Just as the Obama Administration called it. So we decided to see if we could put together a group of former top military and intelligence officials to conduct our own investigation whether Congress continued or not. We were going to try to hold peoples’ feet to the fire to push this thing. We reached out originally to a few people. Retired Admiral James Lyons, Retired General Tom McInerny, Retired General Paul Vallely and a number of other people joined us, including Former Representative Allen West and Pete Hoekstra, Former Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

Bates:  We also have joining us on the telephone Larry Ward who is with Special Operations Speaks (SOS). Larry, welcome to Your Turn.

Larry Ward:  Hi, thank you for having me.

 

Bates:  What can you tell us about SOS?

 

Ward:  Many of our SOS members are part of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi and so we really appreciate everything that Roger and his group have done to put that together. SOS is an organization primarily of veterans that have served in the Special Operations. Whether it is Special Forces or Navy Seals or Commandos. They are high ranking officials who as veterans have a history of not only serving the country but being bonafide heroes. This group of veterans got together in mid 2012 after the Bin Laden raid; following the Obama Administration leak of secrets about Navy Seals and their role in that raid. SOS stood up and said enough is enough. This community is relatively quiet politically. It took a lot for them to come together. However, once they did they have become a force. The organization has lit the fire. Kept the fire roaring even after Obama won reelection. Every pundit, every reporter, every member on the Hill kept telling us Benghazi is dead. We said no, we are going to go and demand a special prosecutor or select committee. We kept pushing it until we made strong headway in April when the oversight hearings occurred. Then the funniest thing happened. Lois Lerner told on herself as we were getting close to Benghazi. That took Benghazi off the front pages for awhile. However, we fought and brought it back. We held a press conference on Capitol Hill and got a thousand Special Operations Veterans to sign a petition to demand a select committee. We unrolled a sixty foot by four foot scroll on the Capitol lawn, the longest petition ever delivered to the Congress with a thousand signatures with name and rank on it. We also delivered close to a million citizens’ petitions to Members of Congress demanding a select committee. We didn’t stop there. When the government closed down with the Sequester, they put barricades in front of the war memorials. We were the organization that held the Million Veteran March at the World War II Memorial and returned those barricades to the Presidential residence at the White House.

Gordon:  Larry, the SOS was cited in Ken’s’ book Dark Forces as providing some valued assistance. I wonder if you could tell us about that.

 

Ward:  It was Colonel Dick Brauer who is one of the founders of SOS and he was cited as was Captain Larry Bailey and Ken Benway.

Gordon:  Roger, the Citizens’ Commission put out an interim report in April, is that correct?

Aronoff:  Yes, that’s correct.

Gordon:  What were the conclusions of the interim report?

Aronoff:  Let me just mention that the three members of SOS that Larry just spoke of are all part of the Citizens Commission. Another person, Admiral Chuck Kubic, contacted us after we held our original conference last September and he came to us with the story on the Libyan civil war. When we held the April 22nd press conference he said that the whole war in Libya could have been averted. By way of background he was an Admiral during the Iraq and the Afghanistan wars and he stayed over in North Africa. He was working in Libya doing engineering projects. Qaddafi‘s government approached Kubic who then went over to AFRICOM just in the days when NATO was about to start its bombing campaign. The reports were that a humanitarian crisis was about to happen because Qaddafi was poised to invade Benghazi and Misrata. Kubic came to them and said Qaddafi was prepared under certain circumstances to abdicate under a white flag of truce. Kubic went to AFRICOM, and they went to Washington with this request; let’s negotiate. Give peace a chance. The Nobel Peace Prize winning President said no and the bombing continued. Thousands of people died as a result what happened. Qaddafi knew that we knowingly facilitated the delivery of arms to Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda related groups in Libya and this became the title of our interim report: “How America switched sides on the war on terror.” The arms went generally from East Europe into Qatar, financed by the UAE and shipped into Libya. This was at a time when NATO controlled the airspace, the ports and the entries into Libya. Chris Stevens, the Ambassador, was even there at the docks as these arms came in and the groups were not even attempting to hide it. They were under the black flags of Al Qaeda, Ansar al-Sharia and the weapons went to them. This led to the overthrow of Qadaffi and eventually the same people were involved in the attack on the Special Mission Compound in Benghazi.

Bates:  You just said something which, if I understood you correctly, is shocking. Did you in fact say the United States has switched sides in the war on terror?

Aronoff:  That’ is what I said. One of the people in our commission is Clare Lopez of the Center for Security Policy. We have several retired CIA officers and she is one of them. Lopez is very knowledgeable on the history of the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda and Hezbollah. With her assistance we have documented this. We have a confidential informant who came to us and provided much evidence that we have in emails and other records to show how these arms flowed and the exact route through Qatar back into Libya. It is equivalent to the situation we are faced with today in Iraq. Are we actually going to go in when we know the Quds Forces are already in Iraq trying to prop up the Maliki government and start bombing on their behalf when they are aligned with the Iranians? We saw this happening from the very beginning of the Administration when Obama went to Cairo, made his speech and invited the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood to come and attend there while not allowing Mubarak to come. I agree it is a shocking charge. However, we lay it out and defend it. I encourage people to go to aim.org/benghazi and you can see the entire report and the documentation. You can watch our conferences and see Clare Lopez, Admiral Lyons and Admiral Kubic tell their stories. All of this is there on the record and available on-line. Another one of our key findings that aroused  these retired military people to get involved, that Ken Timmerman referred to in Dark Forces, was we did not use our military assets to attempt to rescue these people. As Admiral Lyons has pointed out we had a hundred thirty man Marine forces at Signorelli on Sicily an hour and a half to two hours away at the most. Obama claimed that we did everything we could to rescue those people, however his orders were either ignored or he never gave them.

Bates:  I side with the, he never gave them part. I concur that the United States under Barack Obama has switched sides on the war of terror. I was just shocked to hear other people say it because most people won’t. Larry Ward, I’ve got a question for you representing SOS. Barack Obama asked permission to go into Libya from the Arab League, the United Nations and NATO. He never asked Congress. Do you have a problem with that?

Ward:  Well of course! There is something called the Constitution which the President believes is just an obstacle for him to either ignore or shred on a daily basis. Quite frankly his foreign policy has been haphazard at best. 

Bates:  Jerry, It is my understanding that MANPADS man portable air defense systems is what the acronym stands are basically shoulder fired anti-aircraft missiles. My understanding is that a significant number of them went missing from Libya. What do we know about that?

Gordon:  You heard Roger and Ken refer to Qatar. During the rebellion Qatar flew in a number of weapons of that type to locations outside of Libya, either Chad or in Niger and they were filtered into Libya. You also had MANPADS in Qadaffi’s arsenal, a combination of Russian and others. They were filtered out of Libya into Niger by the former head of the Libyan military command, Abdulhakim Belhadj who is basically Al Qaeda. In Niger they were fitted with CIA–improved battery packs and according to Ken’s discussion these weapons traveled across the desert in something he called the “ant trade.” Some of them were intercepted at the Egyptian border. However, a number of them also found their way into the Sinai where the Salafist and Al Qaeda affiliated terrorists are using them. 

Bates:  Is there any reason to believe that they are going to end up on U.S. soil?

Gordon:  Not that we know of. According to Ken’s account, some of the MANPADS found their way to the Taliban in Afghanistan courtesy of the Qataris in 2012 when a U.S. Army CH47 helicopter was apparently hit. They found forensic evidence that some of this material was related to the MANPADS with the CIA battery packs. Some former CIA officers who knew about this were alarmed. One of them that Ken cites in his book is John Maguire. He was former Deputy Chief of Station in Baghdad. He had been involved with monitoring Al Quds activities in Iraq, especially the deadly IED campaign. He went to then CIA Director, General Petreaus, and told him, there are MANPADS going into places we don’t particularly like. Can I come and sit down with you and talk about this? Before Maguire could even do that John Brennan, who was White House counterterrorism czar called Petreaus and said you will not discuss this, period. The discussion between former CIA officer Maguire who discovered this MANPAD trade and Petreaus never occurred. The question arises what was going on inside the White House?

Bates:  This is why it is so critical that the House of Representatives hold hearings which they are doing.  Larry Ward of SOS where do you see these Congressional hearings going and do you really expect them to uncover the truth?

Ward:  If you have seen the news recently they are not planning on convening the Benghazi Select Committee until the fall. When I last checked no definitive date has been fixed in October or November.  Most likely it would occur after the mid-term elections. I do trust Rep. Trey Gowdy to prosecute very competently and successfully. However, Trey Gowdy will only be allowed to prosecute to the fullest extent any witness that John Boehner allows to testify.

Bates:  Oh gee, that instills a lot of confidence in me that we are actually going to get to the truth.

Ward:  I think we are going to get to the truth of things that don’t circle back to John Boehner and/or Mike Rogers. That is my personal opinion. I think both of those Members of Congress are part of the Super 8, the folks in Congress that have the highest level of clearance and are briefed at the highest level in the House. They likely knew or at the least had a heads up or maybe even gave the thumbs up to whatever covert Black Ops mission was going on in Libya. We suspect that they are going to do whatever they can to conceal that.

Gordon:  Roger, doesn’t this have a ring of familiarity with the secret war that the CIA, the Saudis and the Pakistani ISI were running during the 1980′s in Afghanistan?

Aronoff:  Yes, that’s right. The situation we find ourselves in is there are strict laws against doing anything to arm any Al Qaeda groups and Ansar al-Sharia certainly was one. Yet it happened under a presidential directive signed back in March of 2011 just as we were about to go to war in Libya. Moreover, there was another finding signed in September 2013 by President Obama that allowed arms to be shipped to the so-called moderate rebels in Syria.

Bates:  Robert Aronoff and Larry Ward thank you for giving us an insight into what the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi and Special Operations Speaks is doing to support the House Select Committee on Benghazi.

Watch the April 22, 2014 Accuracy in Media Citizens’ Commission National Press Club Briefing on the Interim Report:

Watch the April 22, 2014 Accuracy in Media Citizens’ Commission National Press Club Briefing on the Interim Report, Press Roundtable, Question & Answer:

 

See also:

UPDATE: Listen to 1330amWEBY Middle East Roundtable Discussion on Dark Forces Behind Benghazi

 

LATEST BENGHAZI FOIA LAWSUIT MAY REVEAL WHAT CONGRESS KNEW BEFORE ATTACK

imagescaoeryuz (1)by KERRY PICKET:

Judicial Watch, a Washington D.C based watchdog organization, announced last week, that it filed on May 15, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Departments of Defense and State to get records relating to briefings that any members of Congress’ “Super 8” may have received about “the activities of any agency or department of the U.S. government at the Special Mission Compound and/or classified annex in Benghazi, Libya.”

Breitbart News previously reported how the Benghazi issue is interwoven with U.S. law regarding White House briefings on covert CIA actions the executive branch wishes to authorize.

This general protocol to notify Congress of such covert actions has been the law since the passage of the 1947 National Security Act.  By 1980, legislation was passed and signed into law to give the president the authority to limit prior notification of extremely sensitive covert actions to eight members of Congress.

From their FOIA, Judicial Watch has requested:

a) Any and all records detailing the dates on which any official of the [Departments of Defense and State] briefed any of the following members of Congress on matters related to the activities of any agency or department of the U.S. government at the Special Mission Compound and/or classified annex in Benghazi, Libya.

    • Rep. John Boehner [Speaker of the House]
    • Rep. Mike Rogers [Chairman, House Select Permanent Committee on Intelligence]
    • Rep. Charles “Dutch” Ruppersberger [Ranking Member, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence]
    • Rep. Nancy Pelosi [Minority Leader of the House]
    • Sen. Dianne Feinstein [Chairman, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence]
    • Sen. Saxby Chambliss [Vice Chairman, Senate Select Committee in Intelligence]
    • Sen. Harry Reid [Senate Majority Leader]
    • Sen. Mitch McConnell [Senate Minority Leader]

b) Any and all records produced by any official of the[ Departments of Defense and State] in preparation for, use during, and/or pursuant to any of the aforementioned briefings (including, but is not limited to, any and all reports, analyses, presentation slides, and/or notes).

c) Any and all records of communication between any official of the [Departments of Defense and State] and any of the aforementioned members of Congress and/or any of their respective staff members regarding, concerning, or related to activities or operations of any agency of the U.S. government at the Special Mission Compound and/or the classified annex in Benghazi, Libya.

CNN and the UK Telegraph both reported in August of 2013 that a complex arms operation was happening in Benghazi prior to and during the attack and the White House and the State Department have never confirmed why the CIA annex was in Benghazi to begin with.

Since 2013, Breitbart News has spoken to different members of the Super 8 and each have denied knowing anything about an arms running operation in Libya, but while only one has confirmed that he was aware of the existence of the CIA annex in Benghazi, others were either unaware of the CIA facility or were not willing to say either way.

Some members may try to publicly deny the classified information they are briefed about. Pelosi, a Super 8 member, was snagged in 2009, when it came to light  she was briefed in 2003 by the Bush White House about the administration’s tactic to water-board terrorism suspects during interrogations. Pelosi previously denied she was aware of this fact and attacked the Bush administration for it.

Radio host Laura Ingraham asked Speaker John Boehner on January 24, 2013 about Senator Rand Paul’s gun running in Libya questioning to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Paul asked if the secretary was aware of U.S. involvement in the procuring of weapons that were transferred, bought or sold to Turkey out of Libya. Clinton, seemingly confused, told Paul “nobody [had] ever raised” the issue with her before.

Boehner replied to Ingraham, “I’m somewhat familiar with the chatter about this and the fact that these arms were moving towards Turkey, but most of what I know about this came from a classified source and I really can’t elaborate on it.”

Congressman Rogers (R-MI), though, told Breitbart News in June of 2013, “I get to see all of that stuff. I have seen nothing that would allow me to conclude that the U.S. government was in any way shape or form involved in gun running in Libya. I looked at it all.”

Senator Chambliss (R-GA), when asked in February of 2013 if he knew anything about the gun running issue Senator Rand Paul asked Clinton about a month earlier replied , “I’m not familiar with that.”

Senator Feinstein (D-CA) told Breitbart News in March of 2013 she “didn’t know what” Senator Paul was talking about in regards to his questioning of Clinton and the Secretary’s knowledge about the gunrunning issue in Benghazi.

Congressman Ruppersberger (D-MD) also did not appear to know anything about a gunrunning operation in Libya either, telling Breitbart News in May of 2013, “I don’t know anything about that. The only thing I know is that even before he was ambassador, he knew very much about Libya and he had a lot of good relationships and contacts, trying to resolve issues, but I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

The existence of the CIA annex in Benghazi prior the attack also seemed to not be on some of the Super 8’s radar. In fact, according to the Senate’s Intelligence Committee report (p.27-28) on Benghazi, General Carter Ham– the second Commander, U.S. Africa Command, was not aware of the annex either before the attack happened.

Read more at Breitbart

Also see:

Boehner reported to OK House Select Committee on Benghazi with Trey Gowdy as chair

boehner_eyebrow_apAmerican Thinker, by Thomas Lifson:

At last, we have a chance of getting to the bottom of who created the lie that Benghazi was a spontaneous demonstration motivated by a YouTube video almost nobody saw, who authorized the series of lies from Susan Rice, Jay Carney, and pothers, and what President Obama and then-Secretary of State were doing the night of September 11, 2012 as Amb. Stevens was being tortured and killed. Benghazigate truly has entered a new phase.

Multiple sources, including the Weekly Standard and the UK Daily Mail are reporting that Speaker Boehner is going forward with a vote to establish a House Select Committee headed by Rep. Trey Gowdy to investigate Benghazi.

Update. Here is Boehner’s statement:

Americans learned this week that the Obama Administration is so intent on obstructing the truth about Benghazi that it is even willing to defy subpoenas issued by the standing committees of the People’s House. These revelations compel the House to take every possible action to ensure the American people have the truth about the terrorist attack on our consulate that killed four of our countrymen. In light of these new developments, the House will vote to establish a new select committee to investigate the attack, provide the necessary accountability, and ensure justice is finally served.

The administration’s withholding of documents – emails showing greater White House involvement in misleading the American people – is a flagrant violation of trust and undermines the basic principles of oversight upon which our system of government is built. And it forces us to ask the question, what else about Benghazi is the Obama administration still hiding from the American people?

The House committees that have been investigating this attack have done extraordinary work, using their subpoena power, holding dozens of hearings, and conducting hundreds of interviews. Without this work we would not know much that we do today. But it’s clear that questions remain, and the administration still does not respect the authority of Congress to provide proper oversight. This dismissiveness and evasion requires us to elevate the investigation to a new level. I intend for this select committee to have robust authority, and I will expect it to work quickly to get answers for the American people and the families of the victims.

Four Americans died at the hands of terrorists nearly 20 months ago, and we are still missing answers, accountability, and justice. It’s time that change.

David Martosko of the Daily Mail writes:

[Angry Republicans are] launching a new investigative committee to dig further into the scandal, which erupted just weeks before President Obama’s re-election. He insisted at the time that al-Qaeda was ‘on the run,’ but documents now confirm that the State Department knew immediately that it was a terror attack carried out by an al-Qaeda-affiliated group.

Two emails have emerged in the past 24 hours that suggest Obama administration officials knew immediately that the group, Ansar al-Shariah, laid waste to U.S. diplomatic facilities in the Eastern Libyan city. 

But the president, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, then-UN Ambassador Susan Rice and other officials told the public that the deadly attack was the result of a spontaneous anti-America protest sparked by an anti-Islam video.

The State Department has concealed both documents from the public.

One showed Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes setting up a conference call to coach Rice on emphasizing the video during TV interviews. That email was only made public on Wednesday because of a lawsuit from the center-right group Judicial Watch.

Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz released the other email Thursday night. Former CBS investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson first reported that it showed Assistant Secretary of State Beth Jones writing to senior officials within hours of the Benghazi attack to explain that she had told Libya’s U.S. ambassador ‘the group that conducted the attacks – Ansar Al Sharia – is affiliated with Islamic extremists.’  (snip)

California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, wrote to Kerry on Friday to demand his testimony, saying that the State Department has ‘shown a disturbing disregard’ for its ‘legal obligations’ to comply with congressional demands.

‘Compliance with a subpoena for documents is not a game,’ Issa wrote.

‘The fact that these documents were withheld from Congress for more than 19 months is alarming. The Department is not entitled to delay responsive materials because it is embarrassing or implicates the roles and actions of senior officials.’

South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy will reportedly chair the special ‘select’ committee, a bipartisan panel that will have broad subpoena power and the ability to interrogate witnesses at length. 

Ordinary congressional committees typically allow members five minutes each for questions, a short enough time for witnesses to stall for time.

House Speaker John Boehner said Friday that the House will vote to establish the committee, a formality since his Republican conference is the controlling majority. 

‘Americans learned this week that the Obama Administration is so intent on obstructing the truth about Benghazi that it is even willing to defy subpoenas issued by the standing committees of the People’s House,’ Boehner said in a statement.

We already have outright lies and concealment of evidence, itself a major scandal and indicators of something worse being covered up. Trey Gowdy is a razor-sharp former prosecutor whose Southern accent can be disarming to smarmy types who assume anyone from the South is slow-witted. Let’s hope this bigotry afflicts many of the witnesses who will face Chairman Gowdy. They will live to regret it.

The faint odor of Watergate is getting stronger. Mainstream media, whose dominant instinct is to protect Obama, now face an uncomfortable choice: continue to sneer as evidence accumulates, or join Fox News (and now several others) in reporting the gory details.

obama-benghazi

Benghazi Panel to Boehner: Time for a Bipartisan Commission

jw010814a (1)Breitbart, by :

The National Security Action Conference hosted by Breitbart News across the street from CPAC featured a panel on the Benghazi scandal Thursday. There was a consistent message at the panel: We haven’t heard the complete truth about what happened in Benghazi and it’s time for Speaker Boehner to authorize a bipartisan commission to investigate.

Featured speakers at the pane included Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William G. “Jerry” Boykin (now Executive Vice President at the Family Research Council), Chris Farrell of Judicial Watch and Charles Woods, father Tyrone Woods. Lt. The event was hosted by Frank Gaffney.

Gen. Boykin opened the panel by recalling his own service. “I was the commander of Delta Force,” he said, “when we fought the battle called Black Hawk down.” He pointed out that he focus of that fight was an attempt to recover two fallen soldiers whose bodies could not be left behind even if that meant taking additional casualties. “A basic ethos of America has been violated” in Benghazi Boykin said, adding “You don’t leave Americans behind.”

Because he believes the decisions made after the attack began are fundamentally in conflict with this “basic ethos,” Boykin promised he would continue to press the issue. He believes the next step is for Speaker Boehner to “call together a bipartisan commission that will get to the truth.”

Chris Farrell of Judicial Watch followed Gen. Boykin at the podium. He highlighted his organization’s role in releasing documents including the first photos of the scene of the attack. He went on to criticize former CIA acting Director Michael Morrell saying there was evidence Morrell “deliberately” made “misleading statements” to Congress.

Farrell believes there is a specific reason Speaker Boehner has so far refused to appoint a bipartisan commission to investigate the attack. He suggested Boehner had knowledge of weapons transfers out of Libya which he does not want revealed. Like Lt. Gen Boykin, Farrell promised his organization was “going to pursue this until we finally get answers.”

Last to the podium was Charles Woods father of Tyrone Woods, the Navy Seal who was working with the CIA in Benghazi. “There were four American heroes killed in Benghazi” Woods said before pausing, clearly overcome by a wave of emotion, “One of those heroes was my son.” Woods also directed his comments toward Speaker Boehner who he said “is the only person that is standing in the way of that select committee being formed.” Woods then made the appeal personal saying “As a family member, I would strongly encourage Speaker Boehner” to call for the committee.

Woods was also critical of General Carter Ham, recounting how Gen. Ham’s story seemed to change between the time he spoke to Rep. Chaffetz in Libya and more recently when he testified behind closed doors to members of Congress. Woods closed the story by saying “I believe it was Mark Twain who said ‘If you’re going to be a good liar you have to have a good memory.’”

There was a brief Q&A during which Gen. Boykin stated that the people who he believes attacked our compound in Benghazi are “the people we gave weapons to when we went to war” in Libya. Chris Farrell followed up by saying he believes the CIA was not only gathering up dangerous surface-to-air missiles but also sending them to rebels in Syria. Some of the Syrian rebels have been classified as extremists. One town in northern Syria was recently taken over by a group who instituted a “dhimmi” tax on Christians. (For more background on the shipment of arms into and out of Libya see this previous piece.) Farrell believes the administration’s behavior after the attack make sense if one considers the headline which could be written based on our actual mission in Benghazi, “Obama Administration Arms Al Qaeda.”

House Foreign Affairs Benghazi Report Short On New Information

benghazi_cloud_white_house_10-28-12-2Breitbart, by KERRY PICKET:

GOP members on the House Foreign Affairs Committee released on Friday a report showing the State Department’s lack of accountability following the deadly terrorist attacks at the compound and the CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012.

The report itself did not present anything new other than elements of the most recently released Senate Select Intelligence Committee report related to the Benghazi investigation, which did present new information. Additionally, the House Foreign Affairs report makes repeated references to an Accountability Reform bill, authored by Chairman Ed Royce (R – CA), that is not related to theBenghazi investigation. However, Royce’s own bill has not moved beyond his own committee for nearly a year.

Among other points, the report admonishes then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as well as present Secretary of State John Kerry for not holding accountable any State Department personnel  “for the flawed decisions about security in Benghazi.” The committee also goes after the those who put together the ARB report for not interviewing top State Department officials during their investigation.

Although, the committee makes a reference to the Senate Select Intelligence Committee Benghazi report regarding the lack of accountability State Department official Patrick F. Kennedy has received since the attack, the House Foreign Affairs Committee does not appear to make an effort to hold Kennedy accountable or announce that they’re hauling him back up to reconcile his conflicting testimony.

Royce’s press Committee office would not respond as to why the latest report appeared to only be rehashing established issues regarding the attack in Benghazi and if he believed it was time to investigate the matters through a House Select Committee. A number of members on Royce’s committee are supporters of Rep. Frank Wolf’s effort to form a select committee to look into the the terrorist attack and the investigation after the attack. However, Royce has not signed on as a co-sponsor and House Speaker John Boehner (R – OH) refuses to appoint a committee. The resolution currently has 182 co-sponsors.

In a statement to Breitbart News, Rep. Ros-Lehtinen (R – FL) said:

“Many Congressional reports have been useful in helping to collect information about the truth behind the Benghazi terrorist attacks which resulted in the deaths of Ambassador Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods. However, I have cosponsored legislation to establish a select committee whose sole purpose is to investigate what happened before, during, and after the attack at Benghazi in order to prevent a similar attack in the future at our diplomatic posts. We must continue to ask the Obama administration officials more questions about what they knew and when did they know in order to get to the bottom of this because the American people deserve answers regarding this horrific terrorist attack.”

Rep. Matt Salmon (R – AZ) , who chairs the subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere,  is also a co-sponsor of legislation (H.Res.36) to create a select committee to investigate the attack in Benghazi. “I continue to believe the most appropriate and thorough way to investigate the Benghazi tragedy is to establish an investigative select committee that will cut across jurisdictional barriers and provide a comprehensive picture of what went wrong and ensure it does not happen again,” Salmon said in a statement to Breitbart News.

Rep. Wolf has long said that a select committee would give subpoena power to members to compel witnesses to testify under oath, while streamlining the investigative process of all the committees. Although, the House Oversight Committee can issue subpoenas, such a move would happen very rarely.

“The two subpoenas issued by the Oversight and Government Reform Committee today for two of the State Department survivors from the Benghazi attacks to testify before Congress is a welcome and, frankly, long overdue step – but it’s not nearly enough,” Wolf asked in a statement in September of 2013,  “Why has it taken more than a year for these first subpoenas to be issued?  “Will another year go by before the next subpoenas are issued?

A spokesman of Rep. Jeff Duncan (R – SC) told Breitbart News that “Congressman Duncan has been saying from the very beginning that he only believes the select committee process is able to effective in uncovering the truth.”

Rep. Tom Marino (R – PA) told Breitbart News, “Absolutely.  And that’s why I support Congressman Wolf’s legislation.  Our consulate was attacked, our ambassador was murdered and no one at State has been held accountable.  If the Administration isn’t willing to take action, Congress should.”

Other House Foreign Affair Committee members who are co-sponsors for a select committee are: Rep. Mo Brooks (R – AL), Rep. Tom Cotton (R – AR), Rep. Chris Smith (R -NJ), Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Rep. Steve Chabot (R – OH), Rep. Joe Wilson (R – SC), Rep. Mike McCaul (R – TX), Rep. Ted Poe (R – TX), Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R -IL), Rep. Paul Cook (R – CA), Rep. Randy Weber (R – TX), Rep. Scott Perry (R – PA), Rep. Steve Stockman (R – TX), Rep. Mark Meadows (R – NC), Rep. Ted Yoho (R – FL), Rep. Luke Messer (R – IN), Rep. Ron DeSantis (R – FL).

*************

CJR: The Benghazi cover up goes way beyond protecting Obama’s re-election bid from a mere failed foreign policy of underestimating al Qaeda. The shocking truth is that Obama has joined forces with al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood in order to overthrow governments in the Middle East and change the balance of power. Obama is negotiating with Iran, a US designated state sponsor of terror, and allowing them to become a nuclear power. The net result of Obama’s policies has been to weaken the US and its allies while empowering its enemies.

Obama’s actions amount to material support for terror. This is the cover up. This is why we need a select committee to expose the truth.

The following articles spell it out:

Speaker Boehner, find the courage to establish a Benghazi select committee

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By Allen West:

This morning I had a chance to visit with a former colleague, someone for whom I have the utmost respect, Virginia Representative Frank Wolf. Rep. Wolf is the author of House Resolution 36, which calls for a Benghazi select committee with subpoena powers to formally and singularly focus on the incidents surrounding the US Consulate attack in Benghazi Libya.

Rep. Wolf shared with me today that he now has 182 cosponsors, all from the House GOP. One has to ask if the Democrats are more aligned with their political party or truth? The 182 cosponsors represent approximately 80 percent of the House Republican conference, and according to former Speaker Dennis Hastert, meet the standard of the “Hastert Rule,” a majority of the majority. Yet this piece of legislation is blocked from being brought to the House floor for a vote.

Rep. Wolf and I mused — actually we both became infuriated — considering how in the State of New Jersey Democrats have established a select committee and are pursuing subpoenas against Governor Chris Christie over traffic lanes being closed. Is it possible that traffic lane closures are more important than the abandonment, murder, and lying that hangs like a dark cloud over the events of September 11, 2012? Have we become so degraded that we do not see the utterly despicable hypocrisy of the Democrats in New Jersey and the liberal progressive media?

Over the weekend, we witnessed the arrogant dismissal of President Obama, who has already referred to Benghazi as a “phony scandal,” as he chided Bill O’Reilly, stating that Benghazi, among other nefarious actions, are just talking points driven by Fox News. The belligerence of President Obama has been enabled by a House GOP leadership reluctant to stop the diluted process of five different committees who must ask for information by way of FOIA requests. Just yesterday before a House Intelligence Committee hearing, Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, and others were asked when will someone be held responsible for the incidents surrounding Benghazi? The question was met with nearly 10 seconds of silence.

Losing an American Ambassador is not the new normal. Abandoning brave Americans to die is not the new normal. Supplying arms to Islamic terrorist and jihadists and running a covert weapons program is treasonous and represents high crimes and misdemeanors.

Read more 

180 Congressman Want A New Approach to Benghazi

benghazi-gate2BY SECURE AMERICA NOW:

For many months, Secure America Now has advocated for a Select Committee to investigate Benghazi. To date, no one has been brought to justice, some witnesses have yet to testify, and most important, the American people have never been told the truth about the events that lead to the death of four American citizens serving our country abroad.

Congressman Wolf once again makes an extremely compelling case for why this committee needs to be created.

Please read this letter (see below or view PDF) and contact Speaker Boehner demanding that he side with the 180 members of the House or Representatives who are calling for this committee. The current process is not working. Contact Speaker Boehner today.

Here is the full text of the letter:

==================================

January 23, 2014

The Honorable John A. Boehner

Speaker of the House

U.S. House of Representatives

H-232 The Capitol

Dear Mr. Speaker:

You and I have had multiple conversations over the last year about the House’s approach to investigating Benghazi. While we have our differences on the House’s current approach, I think we can both agree that the current committee investigations, in both the House and the Senate, have not resulted in anyone being held accountable.

Over the last several months, my staff and I have had multiple private conversations with family members of the victims, including some who have never spoken out publicly before. The one thing they all have made clear is that they are very frustrated and disappointed that no one has been held accountable for what happened that night.

In recent days, there have been several pieces published that also point out this absence of accountability. Enclosed is an op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal this morning, written by Greg Hicks, the well-respected deputy chief of mission for Ambassador Stevens – and the last person to speak to him the night of September 11, 2012. Mr. Hicks details how the administration and even some in Congress have sought to blame the late ambassador for the security failures, when in fact the blame lies with senior administration officials.

Additionally, Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus has written about this issue. In a piece yesterday, Marcus wrote of Benghazi, “the attack was preventable, yet no one has been disciplined for failing to prevent it. [Sen.] Collins singled out Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy, who testified that the threat environment in Benghazi was ‘flashing red’ yet failed to ensure that a facility he approved there had adequate security. If the State Department were a corporation, heads would have rolled.”

Mr. Speaker, there has literally been zero accountability for what happened in Benghazi. No terrorist has been detained or killed. No administration official has been held responsible for the security failures and poor response that night. Don’t the families of those killed deserve accountability and justice?

What signal does this send to our men and women in uniform, or in the Foreign Service, or in the Intelligence Community? It’s hard not to conclude that there’s one set of rules for those who serve their country and another for those who run it. Perhaps the most telling part of the Senate report is in the ‘additional views’ section, which points out that “important questions remain unanswered as a direct result of the Obama Administration’s failure to provide the committee with access to necessary documents and witnesses.”

Look at the discrepancies between the House interim report last April and the Senate report released this month. The Senate report – released by Democrat Chairman Dianne Feinstein – raised key new issues and findings that the House committees have never shared before. Why? And speaking of the House’s nearly year-old “interim progress report,” when will the final report of the committees be published, if ever?

Amazingly, the Senate report raised the critical point that while some in the Department of Defense may have known of the CIA facility, neither AFRICOM nor its Commander “were aware of an annex in Benghazi, Libya.” And more importantly, just what was the CIA doing in Benghazi that was so secret that AFRICOM was not made aware of its existence?

You know me well enough to know that my persistence in pursuing answers isn’t about politics or a vendetta, it’s about the Legislative Branch conducting its most basic responsibility: strong oversight. To date, we can’t honestly say we’ve fulfilled this Constitutional responsibility with regard to Benghazi.

We are never going to get to the bottom of what happened that night until there is a bipartisan House Select Committee that can reach across jurisdictional boundaries, compel public testimony and documents that the administration continues to withhold from the Congress and protect those who may want to testify publicly about the events of that evening. I have always made the case that I believe “iron sharpens iron” and that we need the Members and investigators from each of the five committees working together and sharing all information to ensure a seamless review of all of the facts. Perhaps, if we had such a Select Committee, the recent Senate report would have better represented Mr. Hicks’ testimony about the administration’s failure to provide adequate security in Benghazi, rather than forcing him to pen an op-ed to correct the record.

That’s precisely why I and 180 of our colleagues continue to call for a bipartisan, independent Select Committee to ensure the full truth is learned and accountability is assigned. Aren’t these recent disclosures from the Senate Intelligence Committee report and Hicks’ op-ed today enough to demonstrate huge gaps in the current investigation and the need for clear accountability? What more will it take?

I couldn’t agree more with the final sentence of the ‘additional views’ section of the Senate report: “The families of those murdered in Benghazi deserve the truth, and all of our intelligence, military, and diplomatic professionals who serve overseas in dangerous places are entitled to have confidence that the errors of Benghazi will not be repeated.”

Mr. Speaker, it’s past time for a Select Committee. We really do owe it to the families and the American people.

Best wishes.

Sincerely,

Frank R. Wolf, Member of Congress

PS: The men and women who faithfully serve our nation – and the American people – deserve accountability and transparency.

******************

*** IMPORTANT LEGISLATIVE ACTION ALERT ***Your Phone Calls and E-mails are Producing Results!

Two More Co-sponsors Added to H.R.36,
Legislation Creating Benghazi Special Committee,
Thanks to You!!!

 

For more than a year, ACT! for America has joined a chorus of concerned Americans calling for a thorough investigation of the September 11th, 2012 Jihadist terrorist attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya.

For just as long the issue has been held up in political bickering and outright stonewalling by the Obama administration.

Now, however, we have finally seen a small breakthrough in the quest for the truth about the Benghazi attack.

The Senate Intelligence Committee, chaired by Senator Diane Feinstein of California, has released a new, bipartisan report on the attack that goes a long way toward dispelling some of the myths surrounding the attack and assigning accountability for what went wrong.

While this report is significant in that it is the first sign of a bipartisan willingness to truly investigate the Bengahzi attack, it is actually just the beginning. In fact the Senate report notes that “important questions remain unanswered as a direct result of the Obama Administration’s failure to provide the committee with access to necessary documents and witnesses.”

This is unacceptable to us and is why ACT! for America continues to support H. Res. 36, Rep. Frank Wolf’s legislation creating a special short-term congressional committee to investigate the Benghazi attack.

Our efforts are working and your federal legislators are listening to you. Just last week, two additional members of the House of Representatives, Rep. Vance McAllister (LA/5th) and Rep. Gary Miller (CA/31st) decided that Benghazi should be a top priority and signed on to Rep. Wolf’s legislation. You can be sure that this action was taken because they responded to the requests of their constituents. Thank you.

We need the push to continue, so that even more Members of Congress cosponsor H. Res. 36 and the special Benghazi committee becomes a reality. America deserves no less and the world is watching. Will you help by taking the quick and simple action steps noted below?

** Important Benghazi Action Item **

Please contact your legislator in the U.S. House of Representatives TODAY to express support for H. Res. 36, Rep. Frank Wolf’s legislation creating a special congressional committee to investigate the Benghazi attack. Further, please pass this request on to everyone you know.

Click HERE to obtain contact information for your House Representative.

Click HERE for a list of House Members, by state, who still have NOT cosponsored Rep. Wolf’s bill. Is your legislator on that list? If so, he or she needs to hear from you.

There is no excuse for a Member of Congress not to support a special Benghazi committee at this time. We’ve had months and months of hearings and political theatre on this issue and the important questions remain unanswered.

Please let your Representative know that this is a very important issue to you and that you are aconstituent and a voter. Let him/her know that you will be tracking how the U.S. Congress handles the Benghazi issue. As always, please be respectful at all times.

(NOTE: H. Res. 36, Rep. Wolf’s Benghazi bill, is NOT the same as H. R. 36. Please be sure to accurately identify the legislation we are supporting, to avoid confusion.)

 

Thank you for all that you do. Together we ARE making a difference.

 

Letter questions whether Boehner was briefed on Benghazi ops

20121111_benghazi_petraeus_obama_clinton_LARGE-600x320By Catherine Herridge:

A letter from three relatives of the Benghazi attack victims is renewing questions over whether House Speaker John Boehner was briefed on covert operations in Libya and whether a proposed “Select Committee” might reveal politically damaging details.

At the same time, new reports and documents, reviewed by Fox News, are providing a broader picture of complex weapons-collection efforts in Libya – months after concerns were first raised that the U.S. was facilitating the movement of weapons, from Libya via Turkey, to Syrian rebels.

“Some analysts believe your inaction and passivity towards getting to the truth concerning Benghazi is because you were briefed on the intelligence and special operations activities in Libya,” the letter to Boehner said. It was signed by the father of former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods, the mother and uncle of Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith, and 70 others including retired generals.

“You may possess ‘guilty knowledge,’” the letter alleges, before drawing a comparison to Nancy Pelosi’s conflict several years ago regarding the CIA’s interrogation program.

”We recall how then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi developed a form of ‘amnesia’ concerning a documented briefing she received on so-called ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ – later termed ‘torture’ for political purposes.  Are you in the same position as your predecessor? Are you dodging a legitimate, thorough, coordinated investigation of Benghazi because it will damage your political position as Speaker?”

The letter questions why Boehner is resisting calls for an independent investigative committee – similar to the type of panel that investigated Watergate — when nearly 80 percent of House Republicans support it. Boehner last year indicated he was privy to classified information about U.S. operations in Libya.

In an interview with radio host Laura Ingraham in January 2013, Boehner was asked about reported weapons transfers raised by Sen. Rand Paul during questioning of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Benghazi. The speaker responded: “I’m somewhat familiar with the chatter about this and the fact that these arms were moving towards Turkey, but most of what I know about this came from a classified source, and really can’t elaborate on it.”

Fox News asked the speaker’s office to clarify his comments to Ingraham, in light of the Benghazi relatives’ letter, specifically whether Boehner  was briefed on the covert operations in Libya, and if those briefings covered weapons transfers.

Boehner’s spokesman emphasized that no one has been more dedicated to laying out the facts about Benghazi, adding: “The Speaker does not ever discuss classified information in public. In this case, he simply said he was aware of the rumors that were circulating publicly.”

During her January testimony on Benghazi, Paul pressed Clinton on the weapons issue, referring to reports that weapons from Libya were moving to the Syrian opposition via Turkey. “Is the U. S. involved with any procuring of weapons, transfer of weapons, buying, selling, anyhow transferring weapons to Turkey out of Libya?”

“To Turkey?” Clinton asked. “I will have to take that question for the record. Nobody has ever raised that with me.”

“It’s been in news reports that ships have been leaving from Libya and that may have weapons,”  Paul continued.

“And what I’d like to know is the annex that was close by, were they involved with procuring, buying, selling, obtaining weapons, and were any of these weapons being transferred to other countries, any countries, Turkey included?”

Clinton replied: “Well, senator, you’ll have to direct that question to the agency [CIA] that ran the annex. I will see what information is available.”

“You’re saying you don’t know?” asked Paul.

“I do not know,” Clinton said. “I don’t have any information on that.”

After the hearing, the State Department’s Acting Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs, Thomas B. Gibbons, wrote to Paul on Feb. 11, 2013. The letter said: ”… you asked whether the United States is involved in the transfer of weapons out of Libya to Turkey. The United States is not involved with any transfer of weapons from Libya to Turkey.”

But one month later, in March, a New York Times report claimed that the CIA was aiding Turkey and Middle Eastern governments in procuring weapons for the Syrian rebels since early 2012, “expanding a secret airlift” for the anti-Assad uprising. The newspaper reported that “senior White House officials were regularly briefed on the shipments.” The Times also reported that then-CIA Director David Petraeus was “instrumental” in the project.

Read more at Fox News

Also see:

BREITBART EXCLUSIVE–ALLEN WEST QUESTIONS IF BOEHNER, CANTOR HELPING COVER UP BENGHAZI

boehner-cantor-profiles-reutersBreitbart, by Matthew Boyle:

Former Rep. Allen West (R-FL), a leader in the conservative movement and retired Lt. Colonel of the United States Army, told Breitbart News that he thinks House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) might be trying to help the Obama administration cover up the Benghazi scandal.

West is a signer of the letter from a coalition of conservative and military leaders, along with three family members of the victims in the Benghazi terrorist attack, that demanded Boehner create a select committee to investigate the Benghazi terrorist attack. Boehner has been blocking the House Resolution from Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) that would create such a committee, even though H. Res. 36 has 178 cosponsors in addition to Wolf.

“There is widespread support for a select committee to get to the bottom of disturbing questions surrounding the attack, as H.Res. 36 has 178 cosponsors,” West said in an email to Breitbart News. “Yet Speaker of the House John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor refuse to bring it to the House floor for a vote. You have to wonder, is there something they know that they prefer not come to light?”

The letter delivered to Boehner on Monday similarly questioned whether Boehner is helping President Barack Obama’s administration cover up the Benghazi scandal. Specifically, because Boehner is a member of the “Super 8”—congressional leaders who are briefed on national security matters—the coalition wondered if he knew something that a full investigation into Benghazi would reveal.

“Some analysts believe your inaction and passivity towards getting to the truth concerning Benghazi is because you were briefed on the intelligence and special operations activities in Libya as a member of the ‘Super 8,’” the group wrote. “You may possess ‘guilty knowledge.’ We recall how then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi developed a form of ‘amnesia’ concerning a documented briefing she received on so-called ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ – later termed ‘torture’ for political purposes.”

See also:

Pressure Builds on Boehner Over Benghazi

timthumb (3)By Cliff Kincaid:

Informed speculation mounted at Monday’s Accuracy in Media conference, which officially launched the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi, that House Speaker John Boehner’s opposition to a Watergate-style congressional committee to investigate Benghazi stems from his knowledge of arms shipments to al-Qaeda terrorists in Libya and Syria.

The al-Qaeda terrorist attack on the American diplomatic mission at Benghazi, in Libya, on September 11, 2012, resulted in the deaths of four Americans, who were left to die, rather than be rescued, and has been called by some the “Benghazi Betrayal.”

The dead were U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, American diplomat Sean Smith, and State Department security officers Glen Doherty and Tyrone S. Woods.

Coming just eight weeks before the 2012 presidential election, the Obama administration falsely blamed the attack on a spontaneous reaction to a video critical of Islam, rather than blaming it on al Qaeda.

Charles Woods spoke with emotion at the AIM conference about the loss of his son and asked for people not only to press for answers as to what really happened at Benghazi, but to pray for the country.

Christopher Farrell, Director of Investigations and Research for Judicial Watch, said at the conference that Obama’s lies and distortions about the attack are designed to obscure the central truth that the administration was arming al Qaeda.

“That’s what they don’t want broadcast or printed anywhere,” he said.

As incredible as it sounds, former CIA officer Clare Lopez said support for al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and other Islamists groups has become the official foreign policy of the United States under Obama. She said the policy has been on display in Libya, Egypt, Syria, and the United Nations, through the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) says about Benghazi: “For the past year, this administration has failed to provide sufficient answers, fully comply with subpoenas, and make available relevant individuals to provide testimony. In short, this administration hasn’t been upfront with the American people or this Congress. Republicans will not stop until we get to the truth. We will press forward with our investigation until we have answers, full accountability, and justice.”

However, he opposes the proposal (H.Res. 36) to create a bipartisan House Select Committee to fully investigate the attack and the cover-up. Introduced by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), the proposal has 175 co-sponsors.

Several speakers at the CCB conference agreed that being exposed as knowledgeable about the Obama administration’s secret operations in advance of the Benghazi disaster could be extremely embarrassing to House Speaker Boehner and may explain his opposition to Rep. Wolf’s legislative proposal.

Boehner is a member of the so-called “gang of eight” in Congress, members secretly briefed by the administration on top-secret intelligence operations.

Investigative journalist Kenneth Timmerman, who is writing a book on Benghazi, said, “Did they get briefed? Were they briefed on this arms trafficking operation out of Benghazi to the Syrian rebels or were they not briefed? And if they were briefed, is that perhaps a reason why they don’t want a special committee, because in fact they knew about this operation and did nothing to stop it?”

Read more at AIM

#BenghaziWatch National Security leaders urge Speaker Boehner to establish Select Committee on Benghazi

176822504Washington, D.C.: Today – on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the jihadist attacks on American facilities in Benghazi, Libya, that resulted in the deaths of four Americans and the wounding of many more – a group of distinguished national security leaders sent a letter to Speaker John Boehner, urging him to establish a select committee to fully investigate the events surrounding last year’s assault.

The letter, organized by the Center for Security Policy, points out that the American public is losing confidence in the institutions of government to respond appropriately to these attacks, and observes that although existing mechanisms in Congress have been afforded ample time to investigate the events of Benghazi, critical questions remain unanswered.  A select committee, the letter argues, would draw upon existing investigative resources and results to date in order to bring about a comprehensive inquiry, without imposing undue costs or further delay.
The signers of the letter include:
  • Hon. Michael B. Mukasey, former Attorney General of the United States
  • Admiral James “Ace” Lyons, US Navy (Ret.), former Commander-in-Chief, US Pacific Fleet
  • General Frederick J. Kroesen, US Army (Ret.), former Vice Chief of Staff, US Army
  • Lieutenant General William “Jerry” Boykin, US Army (Ret.), former Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Intelligence)
  • Lieutenant General Harry Edward Soyster, US Army (Ret.), former Director, Defense Intelligence Agency
  • Ambassador Henry Cooper, former Chief Negotiator, Defense and Space Talks, former Director, Strategic Defense Initiative
  • Major General Paul E. Vallely, US Army (Ret.), former Deputy Commander, US Army Forces Pacific
  • Hon. Tidal McCoy, former Secretary of the Air Force (Acting)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Allen West, US Army (Ret.), former Member of Congress
  • Hon. Joseph E. Schmitz, former Inspector General, Department of Defense
  • Hon. Michelle Van Cleave, former National Counterintelligence Executive
  • Vice Adm. Robert Monroe, US Navy (Ret.), former Director, Defense Nuclear Agency
  • Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy (Acting)
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., President and CEO of the Center for Security Policy, commented:
“Nearly a year after the attacks at Benghazi, the American people are still waiting for a full accounting of what transpired there.  We have a need to know:  What policies contributed to this debacle?  Who was responsible for the lack of response during the attacks that spanned seven-hours? And why has none of those who perpetrated these murderous acts of jihad and those who attempted to mislead us about them been held accountable.
“It is now clear that only a select committee is likely to provide complete, accurate and long-overdue answers to these fundamental questions.  The military, intelligence, and national security leaders who have signed this letter speak for millions of Americans who also seek such answers.  They deserve our gratitude for their leadership in insisting that such a mechanism is established.”
The full text of the letter can be found below.
10 September 2013

Hon. John Boehner
Speaker
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C.  20515
Dear Mr. Speaker:
As former military, intelligence and national security officials with extensive experience in security policy and practice, we are concerned about the American people’s apparently serious loss of confidence in the institutions of their government.  One factor contributing to this alienation has been the failure of those institutions to respond appropriately to the murderous jihadist attacks in Benghazi on September 11, 2012.  They rightly expect, at an absolute minimum, that Congress will ensure accountability for those responsible.
As you are well aware, our country is nearing the first anniversary of the assaults on the Special Mission Compound and CIA Annex in Benghazi.  To date, however, the five House committees that share jurisdiction have held only a small number of mostly less-than-illuminating hearings into the policies that led to, and the events that occurred during and after, the murder of four of our countrymen and the wounding of many more.
We appreciate that the chairmen of these committees produced four months ago a joint “interim report.”  Yet, its authors acknowledged that they did not have answers to many crucial national security questions.  Worse, as your colleague, Rep. Frank Wolf, has established in a succession of speeches delivered on the House floor in the interval, we are no closer today to knowing those answers. (Attached please find a list of the illustrative outstanding questions Congressman Wolf has highlighted.)
In addition, no timeframe has been publicly announced for going beyond the interim report or holding additional hearings toward that end. This is particularly troubling in light of press accounts that the survivors of the Benghazi attacks are being intimidated and risk job action should they come forward with their eye-witness accounts.  If Congress does not afford them an opportunity to do so without fear of retaliation by issuing subpoenas for their testimony, it will be complicit in precluding their help in seeing justice served – and in denying the American people the full accounting to which they are entitled.
We believe an ample chance has been afforded for the “regular order” to operate in investigating Benghazigate.  It has failed to do so.  Now is the time for a select committee to be established with a mandate to draw upon the five committee’s existing investigative resources and results to date and to complete – if possible by year’s end – the necessary, thorough and comprehensive inquiry.  This approach can alleviate concerns about undue costs and further delay in convening a select committee.
Mr. Speaker, the survivors want to tell their stories and correct the record.  Two different books based on their stories are reportedly in the works.  If the American people learn what happened from a published account rather than from those charged with congressional oversight, the perception of a cover-up – or at least a serious dereliction of duty – is inevitable.
Our republic is predicated on the trust of the governed in those they choose to represent them.  We must not allow the jihadists who have thus far paid no price for killing Ambassador Stevens, murdering three of his comrades and afflicting the lives of so many others to do violence as well to our people’s confidence in their constitutional form of government.
For all these reasons, we call upon you to establish without further delay a select committee to investigate the Benghazi attacks.
Sincerely,
Hon. Michael B. Mukasey, former Attorney General of the United States
Admiral James “Ace” Lyons, US Navy (Ret.), former Commander-in-Chief, US Pacific Fleet
General Frederick J. Kroesen, US Army (Ret.), former Vice Chief of Staff, US Army
Lieutenant General William “Jerry” Boykin, US Army (Ret.), former Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Intelligence)
Lieutenant General Harry Edward Soyster, US Army (Ret.), former Director, Defense Intelligence Agency
Ambassador Henry Cooper, former Chief Negotiator, Defense and Space Talks, former Director, Strategic Defense Initiative
Major General Paul E. Vallely, US Army (Ret.), former Deputy Commander, US Army Forces Pacific
Hon. Tidal McCoy, former Secretary of the Air Force (Acting)
Lieutenant Colonel Allen West, US Army (Ret.), former Member of Congress
Hon. Joseph E. Schmitz, former Inspector General, Department of Defense
Hon. Michelle Van Cleave, former National Counterintelligence Executive
Vice Adm. Robert Monroe, US Navy (Ret.), former Director, Defense Nuclear Agency
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy (Acting)
A Selection of Outstanding Questions Concerning the Attacks in Benghazi as Posed by
Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) on the Floor of the U.S. House of Representatives
Question of the Day #1
Where are the Benghazi survivors?
Question of the Day #2
Which agency was responsible for vetting the Libyan security guards at the U.S. consulate?
Question of the Day #3
How many Benghazi survivors were forced to sign Non-Disclosure agreements?
Question of the Day #4
Why haven’t we applied pressure to countries refusing to allow the FBI to access the terrorists responsible for the attack?
Question of the Day #5
Why was the CIA’s security team repeatedly ordered to “stand down” after the attack began?
Question of the Day #6
Why did Gen. [Carter] Ham speak publicly about the military’s response at a forum in Aspen, Colorado – where tickets start at $1,200 – yet his testimony before Congress was behind closed doors?
Question of the Day #7
Ambassador Stevens made several calls for help to nearby consulates. Which foreign consulates did he call? How did those consulates respond?
Question of the Day #8
What happened in Washington on the night of the attack and in the days to follow?
Question of the Day #9
Who are the anonymous senior administration officials who admitted “mistakes” in their handling of the attack to CBS News?
Question of the Day #10
Why was there a facility operated by the CIA in Benghazi?
Question of the Day #11
Who in the White House knew what was going on in the CIA annex in Benghazi?

Question of the Day #12
Why are these heroes being told not talk? What is the administration afraid of?
What is it protecting?

 

BENGHAZI: UNAUTHORIZED WEAPONS OPERATION OR CONGRESSIONAL COVER-UP?

Clinton-Petreausby KERRY PICKET:

Dozens of CIA operatives were involved in an arms smuggling operation on the ground in Benghazi, Libya during the deadly attack on the U.S. compound last September, reports CNN and the U.K. Telegraph. According to these outlets, the spy agency has gone out of its way to keep the information from the public through intimidation of CIA personnel.  

Four Americans were killed, including U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens that evening in Benghazi almost one year ago.

In light of this new information, either the Congress’ “Gang of Eight” knew about the operation and misled the public about what they knew, or the Obama administration may have been conducting an unauthorized gun-running operation. Fox News reported in October of 2012 about a Libyan ship, reportedly containing weapons for Syrian Rebels that may have been tied into the attack against the consulate and the CIA annex:

Through shipping records, Fox News has confirmed that the Libyan-flagged vessel Al Entisar, which means “The Victory,” was received in the Turkish port of Iskenderun — 35 miles from the Syrian border — on Sept. 6, just five days before Ambassador Chris Stevens, information management officer Sean Smith and former Navy Seals Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were killed during an extended assault by more than 100 Islamist militants.

On the night of Sept. 11, in what would become his last known public meeting, Stevens met with the Turkish Consul General Ali Sait Akin, and escorted him out of the consulate front gate one hour before the assault began at approximately 9:35 p.m. local time.

Although what was discussed at the meeting is not public, a source told Fox News that Stevens was in Benghazi to negotiate a weapons transfer, an effort to get SA-7 missiles out of the hands of Libya-based extremists. And although the negotiation said to have taken place may have had nothing to do with the attack on the consulate later that night or the Libyan mystery ship, it could explain why Stevens was travelling in such a volatile region on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

According to section 503’s Presidential Approval and Reporting of Covert Actions in the 1947 National Security Act, the President may not authorize covert CIA actions without informing the intelligence committees of Congress.

Legislation implemented in 1980 gave the president the authority to limit advance notification of especially sensitive covert actions to eight Members of Congress–the “Gang of Eight”: the chairmen and ranking minority Members of the two congressional intelligence committees, the Speaker and minority leader of the House, and Senate majority and minority leaders. These members are: House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA).

By law, such a covert weapons operation in Benghazi should have been known by all eight members. The disastrous results from the events of September 11, 2012 have not made it easy to get answers from these lawmakers regarding this point.

Many remember when Pelosi, a “Gang of Eight” member, found herself at odds with the Democratic base in 2009 and ridiculed by Republicans, when it was revealed she was actually briefed in 2002 by the Bush White House about the administration’s tactic to water-board terrorism suspects during interrogations. Pelosi denied this fact previously.

Radio host Laura Ingraham asked Boehner on January 24 about Senator Rand Paul’s questioning to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He asked if the secretary was aware of U.S. involvement in the procuring of weapons that were transferred, bought or sold to Turkey out of Libya. Clinton, seemingly confused, told Paul “nobody [had] ever raised” the issue with her before.

Boehner replied to Ingraham, “I’m somewhat familiar with the chatter about this and the fact that these arms were moving towards Turkey, but most of what I know about this came from a classified source and I really can’t elaborate on it.”

Boehner has refuses to appoint a House Select Committee to investigate the Benghazi attacks and previously refused to support a joint Select Committee to do the same late last year.

Four members of the “Gang of Eight” have told Breitbart News over the past six months they knew nothing about any CIA operation in Benghazi involving the smuggling of Libyan weapons into Turkey that may have been shipped to Syrian rebels, some of whom were affiliated to al-Qaeda groups.

Read more at Breitbart

 

SPECIAL FORCES VETERANS, MEMBERS OF CONGRESS DEMAND SPECIAL #BENGHAZI INVESTIGATION

benghazi_dead_afp (1)by MATTHEW BOYLE:

Several members of Congress joined representatives of the special forces military veterans and grassroots organizations on Tuesday to launch an effort to force the House to have a thorough, public investigation into the terrorist attack at Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012.

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) has introduced legislation to create a special select committee to investigate both the terrorist attack and subsequent actions by President Barack Obama’s administration and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s State Department. Wolf’s bill has 161 co-sponsors. House GOP Leadership has not scheduled a vote on the bill.

Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) plans to harness the support for Wolf’s bill into a “discharge petition” that would force a floor vote on the bill. The petition would need to be signed by 218 members of the House.

“I’m going to describe what a discharge petition is because a lot of people have asked me questions exactly what it is,” Stockman said at the Tuesday press conference outside the U.S. Capitol building. “It’s to ask our leadership or actually demand from our leadership that we have a vote on Frank Wolf’s bill. [Wolf is] a congressman from Virginia who has a long history of being here and is articulate in demanding that we have an independent investigation.”

Stockman added, while gesturing to blown up photographs behind him of the four Americans murdered in Benghazi, “if Congress is silenced,” then “the blood of these folks behind us is on our hands.”

“We can’t be silent any more,” he said. “It’s been a year going by that we haven’t had justice. These folks demand justice. They cry out for justice. Silence is not an option any more. We’re going to challenge them. We’re going to have a discharge petition. I encourage you to contact your congressman to sign the discharge petition.”

Stockman expects most or all of the 161 members on Wolf’s bill to support the discharge petition, and at the press conference specifically said House Homeland Security Committee chairman Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) is supportive of circumventing House Leadership via the discharge petition.

Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Dick Brauer, the founder of Special Operations Speaks, said the combination of Wolf’s bill and Stockman’s discharge petition “would be done to fully investigate, something that has not been done to date, the national tragedy in Benghazi, where we lost four great citizens in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012.”

“You will hear this from me and others today but we need your help and your friends’ help and everybody else’s to make this happen because it’s our one chance to do something before the anniversary of that tragedy which will occur about seven weeks from now,” Brauer said.

At the press conference, Brauer’s group unrolled an enormous scroll of a petition that includes the signatures of about a thousand special forces veterans joining the call for this investigation. “What you see on my left is a one of a kind. I don’t think it’s ever been done before: a four-foot-by-sixty-foot copy of the Special Operations Speaks petition that we sent to the House of Representatives on the Eighth of April asking for this select committee with subpoena power,” Brauer said. “The scroll is signed by nearly 1,000 special operations veterans, from the rank of Lieutenant General Three Stars down to every other rank you can imagine, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, all of them passionate about what we’re trying to do.”

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), a congressman who supports the discharge petition, said at the press conference that he was asked by a reporter recently about Benghazi: “Gee, that was so long ago. Do we really want to pursue this now?”

“I told the reporter that when I was a judge handling felony cases, I had defendants ask me that question – ‘that was so long ago, do we really need to get into all this now?’ I can tell you when the blood of American patriots cries out, when the blood of individuals who were sent there into harm’s way, knowing how dangerous it was in Benghazi, and especially two former SEALs who were even told to ‘Stand Down’ but they wouldn’t have it,” Gohmert said. “They went to save lives and that’s exactly what they did. They even recruited another State Department man, a former army ranger, to go up there on the rooftop with them. What they knew from the first moment mortars were fired was that this was an organized, well-prepared attack on our people. We need to get to the bottom of it. Their blood cries out for that.”

Former Florida Republican Rep. Allen West concurred with the others there, adding: “If it’s more important to some people in Washington, D.C., to protect President Obama and to protect former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, I say shame on you. Every single member of the United States House of Representatives should have their name on this discharge petition. If their name is not on that discharge petition, you are complicit in this cover-up of what happened.”

Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy said that if the truth is not uncovered in Benghazi, a terrorist attack like it is likely to happen again. “I believe that this is not likely to be an isolated incident,” Gaffney said at the press conference “If we don’t learn the lessons of what happened in Benghazi, how we got to there, what we did on the occasion and what has happened in the aftermath, you can be sure there will be other Americans who end with the same fate.”

Read more at Breitbart

 

 

Wolf To Boehner: Establish Select Committee On Benghazi Before One-Year Anniversary Of Attacks

Dereliction-of-Duty-FiveH. Res. 36 Has 158 Republican Cosponsors – The Majority of the Majority Party

Washington, D.C. (June 19, 2013) – Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) today continued to push for the establishment of a Select Committee to investigate the Benghazi attacks.

In a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, Wolf said that too much of the investigation on Benghazi was being done behind closed doors in classified briefings at a time when congressional approval is at an all-time low and Americans are disappointed with the lack of transparency in their government.

Wolf reiterated that a Select Committee, which currently has 158 Republican cosponsors – the majority of the majority in the House, is the only way to efficiently and openly investigate the attacks.

“Too much has been done in a piecemeal fashion, behind closed doors, thereby robbing the American people of clear answers to important questions surrounding the murder of a sitting U.S. ambassador and three civilian employees, and the grievous injury of untold others,” he wrote.

Wolf noted that even the upcoming hearing before the House Armed Services Committee next week in which Gen. Carter Ham is scheduled to testify will be closed to the public and the press.

“There is no reason Gen. Ham’s testimony shouldn’t be public,” Wolf said.

Wolf pointed out that a number of other scandals involving the Obama Administration will require aggressive oversight by Congress, specifically citing the difficulty in getting answers on the IRS scandal, which only deals with one agency.

“The Benghazi case cuts across multiple national security agencies and the White House involving sensitive information, thereby putting it in a league of its own among the various scandal investigations,” Wolf said.

“This is all the more reason to take the best of the best under a Select Committee to build, at no additional cost, on the work that has already been done through regular order,” he wrote.  “There would be no need to start over, as some have tried to say.  Nor would there be additional costs – the resolution specifically states that we should use existing resources.”

Wolf reminded Boehner that there are just five legislative weeks before the one-year anniversary of the attacks in September.

“We must not wait until the second year of this investigation to commit the focused resources of a Select Committee in pursuit of government accountability and, ultimately, truth,” he wrote.  “Sources are disappearing and leads are drying up.  The Select Committee legislation needs to be swiftly brought to the floor for a vote, so the House can hold public hearings over the summer … and attempt to provide a final public report by the first anniversary of this attack.”

Wolf concluded his letter by quoting from a recent Wall Street Journal editorial: “Let Benghazi’s chips fall.  The House should appoint a Select Committee.”

Wolf’s measure to create a Select Committee has been endorsed by the parents of some of the victims, more than 700 retired Special Operations officials, by the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Associations, which represents the State Department security officers who were on the ground in Benghazi, and by the Wall Street Journal, as well asother publications.  For a full list of endorsements, click here.

For more on Wolf’s work on Benghazi, click here.

The full text of the letter is here

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700 RETIRED MILITARY SPECIAL OPS TELL CONGRESS TO FORM SELECT COMMITTEE ON BENGHAZI

benghazi_dead_afpby KERRY PICKET:

Seven hundred retired Military Special Operations professionals from the organization “Special Operations Speaks” sent a letter to the House of Representatives urging members to support H.Res 36, which will create a House Select Committee to investigate last September’s deadly terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.

“It appears that many of the facts and details surrounding the terrorist attack which resulted in four American deaths and an undetermined number of American casualties have not yet been ascertained by previous hearings and inquiries,” the letter states. It continues further, “Additional information is now slowly surfacing in the media, which makes a comprehensive bipartisan inquiry an imperative. Many questions have not been answered thus far.” The letter puts forth over twenty unanswered questions the select committee should address.

Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA), a sub-committee chairman on the House Appropriations Committee, issued a resolution for a House Select Committee to investigate issues surrounding the Benghazi Attack last November in the 112th Congress. He re-issued his resolution for the select committee when the 113th Congress began. The resolution currently has over 60 co–sponsors.

Only Speaker John Boehner (R–OH) can appoint a Select Committee and Boehner appears to mainly rely on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence to investigate the Benghazi attack. However, any information that may be garnered from that committee will, as always, remain classified.

Read more at Breitbart

It is very important to get movement on this before the 2014 elections. The answers to remaining questions on what happened in Benghazi could potentially affect the balance of power in the House and maybe even the Senate. Please contact your representatives!

The Center For Security Policy has a convenient email form for you to use —-> End the Benghazigate Cover-up

CONTACT SPEAKER BOEHNER

SIGN THE SPECIAL OPERATIONS SPEAKS PETITION

 

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