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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Wolf Issues Report Following Trip To Middle East

images (29)WOLF ISSUES REPORT FOLLOWING VISIT TO MIDDLE EAST DURING TUMULTUOUS TIME OF CHANGE IN THE REGION
Renews Call for Special Envoy to Advocate for Beleaguered Minority Faith Communities, Which are Increasingly Under Assault

 

Washington, D.C. (March 7, 2013) – Rep. Frank Wolf today made a series of policy recommendations – including his continued push for the creation of a Special Envoy for Religious Minorities in the Middle East and South Central Asia – following a recent trip to Lebanon and Egypt, where he met with high-ranking government officials, religious leaders, humanitarian aid organizations and refugees who have fled Syria.

The recommendations are included in a 14-page report detailing the trip. Titled “First the Saturday People, Then the Sunday People: The Exodus of Jews and Christians from the Middle East,” the report is set against the backdrop of historic and tumultuous change in the broader Middle East.  The primary focus of Wolf’s trip was to talk to the Syrian Christian community as well as other religious minorities in the region.  He wanted to hear firsthand about their concerns and what the future might hold.  He also wanted to put this issue in the larger context of an imperiled Christian community in the broader Middle East, specifically in Egypt and Iraq. Wolf came away deeply troubled by what he heard and alarmed at what amounted to the changing face of the Middle East.

The report details the virtual elimination of once vibrant Jewish communities in countries like Egypt and Iraq, and cautions that a similar fate may await the Christian communities in these same lands.  The report’s title reflects this sobering reality.

While in Lebanon, Wolf met with both Christian and Muslim families who had crossed the border from Syria.  He also toured the offices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which is leading the humanitarian response in Lebanon, and visited two locations where refugees are now living.

Wolf said there is no easy solution to the tragedy that is unfolding in Syria, especially after hearing from many of the people he talked to that dynamics changed with the arrival of foreign fighters.  Wolf was told men from Libya, Afghanistan, Yemen and Egypt are now fighting in Syria.  There have been press reports that jihadists from Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Iraq are also in Syria.

Wolf said the Syrian Christians he met with all encouraged the church in the West to speak out on their behalf.

In Egypt, Wolf met with one of the last remaining Jews in the country, leaders in the Coptic Christian community, civil society activists and Egyptian government officials, including the prime minister.

Except for his meetings with Egyptian officials, no one painted a rosy picture for the future of Egypt, and many were critical of the United States’ perceived support for the Muslim Brotherhood.  He was told the United States was losing credibility and appeared to have double standards when it came to freedoms in America versus freedoms in other countries.

Wolf reported that the perception among opposition leaders and the minority community was that as long as the Muslim Brotherhood looked out for U.S. interests in the region it could act with impunity within its own borders.  He was told “the United States is helping create a state of terrorism that will be exported to Europe.  The dogma of religion affecting human rights and women’s rights will be worse than the Wahhabi sect in Saudi Arabia.”

Wolf cautioned that if the Middle East is effectively emptied of the Christian faith it will have grave geopolitical implications.  He urged policymakers not to underestimate the impact of this demographic shift on the prospects for pluralism and democracy in the Middle East.  He also stressed that these ancient faith com¬munities “have inhabited these lands for centuries, and are a vital part of the fabric of global Christendom.”  He urged church leaders in the West to speak out about what is happening not only in Syria, but in the Middle East as a whole, and recommended that Christian leaders from the Middle East be brought to the United States to make the case for greater engagement from the American faith community.  In January, Wolf wrote to more than 300 Protestant and Catholic leaders in the U.S. urging them to use their influence to speak out on behalf of the persecuted church around the globe, specifically in the Middle East.

Wolf has been pushing since January 2011 to establish a high-level Special Envoy at the State Department with the dedicated mission of protecting and preserving religious minority communities in the Middle East and South Central Asia.  The House by a vote of 402-20 in July 2011 approved creating the position, but the effort stalled in the Senate. Wolf has reintroduced this bipartisan legislation in the 113th Congress.

Regarding Egypt, Wolf said the United States should seriously consider conditioning its foreign assistance, specifically military assistance.

“Since the Camp David Peace Accords, Egypt has received over $60 billion in U.S. foreign assistance, the second-largest overall recipient of such funding,” Wolf said. “Given the Mubarak regime’s human rights and religious freedom abuses, I have long-believed this assistance should be conditioned on improvements in these areas.  Now with the Muslim Brotherhood at the helm, and the transition to a mature democracy with all that entails far from certain, I am more convinced than ever that aid to Egypt must be conditioned upon the government respecting and upholding universally recognized human rights norms.”

Wolf said the United States must press President Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood more broadly to respect and uphold religious freedom, freedom of speech and the press, freedom of assembly and other basic rights. Police reform, too, must be a priority, he said.

“Rather than ramming through the constitution, the Muslim Brotherhood must be urged to embrace an inclusive process that takes into account the concerns of the opposition and various minority groups,” Wolf said.  “Clear benchmarks must be set – and ?an agreed upon framework established – ?that allows policymakers in the U.S. to determine if Egypt is truly on a path to reform.”

Wolf also recommended that Congress consider removing altogether the State Department waiver authority as it relates to aid to Egypt, since the State Department, without fail and irrespective of changes on the ground, uses the waiver.

Wolf said The U.S. embassy should actively seek to cultivate relationships with the liberal, democratic Egyptian opposition groups and individuals, human rights groups, Coptic Christians and other key civil society actors.

“By most accounts, U.S. policy has not evolved to meet the new realities in Egypt,” Wolf said. “We have embraced the Morsi government the same way we embraced the Mubarak government to the detriment of other elements of Egyptian civil society – elements with which we have a natural affinity. While such groups may not take the reins of leadership in the near future, they are central to the Egyptian democratic experiment, and we can bolster their standing and effectiveness if we take the long-term view. In this same vein, aid to Egypt should once again benefit Egyptian civil society, not simply the military and economy.”

Wolf said congressional delegations traveling to Egypt should meet with activists, NGOs and Christian leaders to better understand what is happening on the ground and to hear firsthand the perception of the United States’ support for the Muslim Brotherhood.

The full report can be found here.

Select Committee Needed to Probe Benghazi Attacks

hillary_hand_up_APby David Bossie

Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA) is absolutely right and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s calculating congressional testimony this week confirms it: Congress must appoint a select committee to investigate the terrorist attack in Benghazi on September 11, 2012.

Why did the Obama Administration wait 134 days to send their supposed point-person Hillary Clinton to testify on Capitol Hill about what happened in Libya when four American heroes lost their lives in a battle against Islamic terrorists?  Are the White House and State Department so incompetent that it takes more than four months to get their stories straight?  It’s an outrage.

The mainstream media should be ashamed for not demanding immediate answers. They were more enthralled with getting to the bottom of Beyoncé’s National Anthem sideshow this week. Our Democratic process suffers greatly when the media in this country ceases being skeptical toward our elected officials at the highest levels of government. With regard to Benghazi, President Obama and Secretary Clinton have taken full advantage of the correspondents and news anchors in their pockets.

The Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives is the only public watchdog left in America at the moment, and Congressman Wolf should be commended for believing that the Benghazi attack and botched response from the Obama Administration rises to the level of deserving a select committee.  If the U.S. House doesn’t demand answers, who will? The Harry Reid-controlled U.S. Senate? The Obama Administration itself? The mainstream media?

Read more at Breitbart

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WOLF TAKES TO HOUSE FLOOR TO CALL FOR HOUSE SELECT COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE TERRORIST ATTACK IN BENGHAZI

ACTION ALERT: Support Benghazi Committee

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*** LEGISLATIVE ACTION ALERT!!! ***
SUPPORT SPECIAL CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE BENGHAZI ATTACK!
http://www.capwiz.com/actforamerica/dbq/officials/

Recently, Representative Frank Wolf (VA) introduced H. Res. 824, legislation that creates a special Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives to conduct a thorough investigation into the terrorist attack in Benghazi. As you will recall, this heinous act against our nation resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.

Wolf Calls For Establishment Of Select Committee To Investigate Benghazi Attack

 

Representative Wolf believes—and we wholeheartedly agree—that the families of the victims, as well as the American people, deserve to know what transpired last September 11th in Libya. It has been over 80 days since the attack and the American people still have not been provided answers to serious questions. This is unacceptable.
It is critical that this special Committee be convened when the 113th Congress commences in January and that will only happen if the American people register their support NOW.
The more cosponsors Representative Wolf’s legislation receives, the more it will be clear to the members of the House of Representatives—and in particular the leadership there—that the American people are demanding answers regarding the Benghazi attack.
Will you devote just a minute of your time today to ask your U.S. Representative to cosponsor Rep. Wolf’s bill? It only takes a moment, but when joined with thousands of others, it makes quite a roar—and it gets results.
ACT! for America’s grassroots are getting a solid reputation on Capitol Hill for being folks who “get the job done.” As but one example, recently we asked our members to call their legislators and ask that they sign an important letter that was being circulated on the Hill. Within 48 hours of our calls, the number of legislators who signed the letter went from 25 to 97. A Hill staffer even contacted Lisa Piraneo, our Director of Government Relations, to let us know that the phones were ringing off the hook. Your actions are WORKING.
If you’d like to lend your voice to today’s important cause, please follow these easy steps:

** IMPORTANT ACTION ITEM **

Today, please call YOUR member of the U.S. House of Representatives and ask him/her to sign on to H. Res. 824, Representative Frank Wolf’s legislation creating a special Committee to investigate the Benghazi attack. Further, please circulate this Action Alert to everyone you know and post it on your social media sites!

NOTE: If you need help locating your elected official, visit our Contact Congress page by clicking HERE. Type in your zip code where indicated to locate your U.S. legislators. Click on your Representative and you can then see his/her contact information, including the phone number of the Washington, DC office.
If you know the name of your U.S. Representative, you also can call the Congressional Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to be put through to that particular office.
Please make your call NOW! Politely let your Representative know about H. Res. 824, Rep. Wolf’s bill, and ask that he/she sign on as a cosponsor. (Be clear that you are a constituent!)
Thank you for all that you do. Together, we are making a difference.

REMEMBER, YOUR VOICE COUNTS! IF EACH OF US DOES JUST A LITTLE, TOGETHER WE CAN ACCOMPLISH A LOT!