Archive for United States Department of State

Is it Time for a House Select Committee on Benghazi

Posted in Benghazi with tags , , , , , , on May 10, 2013 by indeepschmidt

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History has made great record of the Watergate hearings that were televised nationally 40 years ago this month. Many left leaning critics of the Republican’s pursuit of the truth in regards to the events in Benghazi affair have used the term “Benghazigate” in  apparent  efforts to make light of that pursuit. Benghazi and Watergate differ in many areas but manly because as of this date, no one has claimed  publicly  any illegal activity of anyone in the White House or State Department. It is not a “witch hunt” or a concocted event by the Republicans. No Republicans ran the streets of Libya in September of 2012 mounting an attack on the US  Embassy annex and the CIA station. It was not the Republican leadership that handled the decisions, or lack thereof, as to how the situation played out that night or over the next many months after the event.

There are three major points of interest that the Republican “witch doctors” seem to be trying to get to the center of. The first is why was the stand down order issued the night of the attacks and who issued it? Second, why did Ambassador Rice make the Sunday morning news circuit round  referring  the attacks as protests that got out of hand spurred on by an anti Muslim video. Lastly, was there an attempt to down play these events in the weeks after to benefit the election hopes of the President. A good case can be made for each and we’ll examine each carefully as well as the next step.

In a statement made to Breitbart News General William G. ‘Jerry’ Boykin wrote “The men and women who I served with lived by an ethos that pledged to never leave a fallen comrade and to make every effort to respond when a fellow American was threatened. I have seen men take great risks to save a fellow warrior. I have even seen men die trying to do so.” To date there is not a clear and concise answer to who gave the order that night to not send aid to Benghazi so lets talk about what we do know. We know that Lt. Col. Gibson had Special Forces troops on a  Libyan  C-110 that night ready to go to provide combat support to any survivors or bring back the bodies of the fallen. He then at some point  received  an order to stand down and the plane was forced to take off without them. This fact came to light under  Congressional   testimony  March 8th by the House Government Oversight Committee by Gregory Hicks. Hicks was the Deputy  Chief  of Mission in Libya and to date is the only person with first hand knowledge of the events that night to offer testimony. The Obama Administration and State Department as recently as May 7th are on record as stating that there was not enough time for troops to be deployed to Benghazi that would of made any difference. I realize hindsight is 20/20 however on the night in question there was no way of knowing when the attacks would end. Or was there? The White House by their own statement had a  surveillance  drone overhead at the scene. Could this be the reason that the stand down order was  given? Because the powers that be in the Administration were watching and knew that the situation had  disintegrated  to the point that there was no changing the outcome of the events? Who made that decision and was that person watching?

On Sunday September 16th Ambassador Susan Rice went on 5 talk shows and reported that the events in Benghazi were the result of a protest over an anti Muslim youtube video. Under direct questioning from Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) Gregory Hicks testified that he asked Assistant Secretary Beth Jones why Rice made the statements that she did on the 9/16/13 Sunday talk shows. “Her reaction was ‘I don’t know,’ and it was very clear from the tone that I should not proceed with any further [questions],” he told lawmakers. In  response  Rep. Gowdy read aloud from an email Jones had sent to Hicks and other State Department officials saying “I spoke to the Libyan ambassador and emphasized the importance of Libyan leaders continuing to make strong statements,” Jones wrote in the email “I told him that the group that conducted the attacks, Ansar al Sharia, is affiliated with Islamic terrorists.” So if the State Department had this information on the 12th, why did Ambassador Rice make the statements she did on the 15th. Since challenging the statements made public about the cause of the attacks Hicks has since been demoted. Hicks told the committee, “I’ve effectively been demoted from deputy chief of mission to desk officer.” Hicks said Jones eventually “delivered a blistering critique of my management style, [and] even exclaimed “I don’t know why Larry Pope [the top U.S. diplomat in Libya] would want you to come back.” All of this begs to question, did Rice make the statements she did because she was told to or because she is  incompetent. Regardless of that answer the President himself continued to repeat that statement up to and after the election in November. Did he do this because if he had told the truth that  terrorists  had attacked the US Embassy and killed 4 Americans would he still be able to campaign with the statement that Al Qaeda was destroyed and Osama Bin Laden was dead. Instead he told the American public that those that did this would be found and face the full weight of justice. 9 months later, no one had been brought to justice or even detained for questioning by the US.

The answer to all of these developments is simple to me. Speaker John Boehner needs to order a House Select Committee on Benghazi to investigate. That committee would have more powers to  subpoena  witnesses and documents both in the White House and State Department. Americans and the   family members of the murdered individuals deserve answers to all of these questions. It would appear to me that Democrats would be more willing to seek the truth if for no other reason than to clear the names of President Obama and former Secretary Clinton. John Locke wrote “One unerring mark of the love of truth is not entertaining any proposition with greater assurance than the proofs it is built upon will warrant.”