Four former Republican congressmen — Jim Courter, Dick Schulze, Gary Lee, and John LeBoutillier — are calling on House Speaker John Boehner to impanel a special committee to investigate the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Just 14 months ago — on Sept. 11, 2012 — a heavily armed band of over 100 Libyan militiamen stormed the United States Consulate compound in Benghazi, Libya. That is what we know for certain. Unfortunately, that is all we know for certain.
Despite the investigative work of four standing House committees — Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, Judiciary, and Oversight — today more Americans — 62 percent, according to a recent poll — believe there is a cover-up than have believed it at any time in the year since the attacks occurred. Several weeks ago in a bombshell report, CNN uncovered information that these four House committees failed to unearth: The CIA had three dozen personnel on the ground at Benghazi that night; at least seven were seriously injured; CIA personnel were secretly evacuated in the dark of the night; and they have been kept hidden from congressional investigators since, through the unprecedented use of monthly polygraph examinations to ensure that they do not talk to House staff or members of the media. CNN described it “as pure intimidation, with the threat that any unauthorized CIA employee who leaks information could face the end of his or her career.”
One insider wrote to CNN, “You don’t jeopardize yourself, you jeopardize your family as well.” Another said, “You have no idea the amount of pressure being brought to bear on anyone with knowledge of this operation.”
Why has not one person who was in Benghazi the night of the attack been subpoenaed to testify publicly before Congress? How many Benghazi survivors — including federal employees, military personnel, or contractors — have been asked to sign additional non-disclosure agreements by the different agencies relating to what happened in Benghazi?
Some wonder if the Obama administration was using Benghazi as a hub to transfer weapons through Turkey to Syrian rebels; others suspect the CIA outpost in Benghazi was a rendition site where “enhanced interrogations” were taking place and these militants were storming the compound to free their comrades.
The only way to break this logjam and get to the bottom of this issue is for you to appoint a House Select Committee on Benghazi. In the face of an administration determined not to cooperate, it is now time to unite all the House committees and investigative staff into one bipartisan Select Committee with cross-jurisdictional subpoena authority.
You also have the support of more than half of the committees of jurisdiction already investigating Benghazi, including a majority of the Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, Judiciary, and Oversight. The families of the Benghazi victims also want a Select Committee. So does the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, which represents the Diplomatic Security agents on the ground in Benghazi, and the retired Special Operations community in a letter signed by hundreds of former Special Ops members.
According to a new McLaughlin-Caddell poll, two-thirds of Americans want a select committee. A Select Committee on Benghazi would build on the work done by standing committees by bringing together their documents and the best investigators from each for 90 days. This Select Committee would have full subpoena authority and ability to call any witness for hearing or deposition.
We do not urge the creation of this Select Committee for any partisan purpose. The historical role of the House of Representatives as a check and balance on the executive mandates that this investigation reach a conclusion about what went on during that horrible, dark night a year ago.