“Benghazi,” the media opined is the new Republican strategy because now that Obamacare has 8 million plus enrollees they can’t campaign on the President healthcare plan anymore.
Putting aside Obamacare and the number of signups for a different post, it is clear that the select committee is neither a political witch hunt or a new GOP strategy, indeed it is simply a search for the truth and while the committee was formed by Speaker Boehner and the House Republicans, they were led there by the Obama administration.
For eighteen months John Boehner said he wasn’t going to form a select committee. That changed when a federal court ordered the Administration to turn over a memo by deputy national security adviser for strategic communication, Ben Rhodes to an organization called Judicial Watch. The email was sent the Friday before then UN Ambassador Susan Rice appeared on five different Sunday news shows and blamed the 9/11/12 Benghazi terrorist attack on an Anti-Muslim You Tube video.
That one email was the straw that broke the camels back.
The email’s subject was “RE: PREP CALL with Susan, Saturday at 4:00 pm ET." indicating that Rhodes was dictating the political line that was used for the Ambassador Rice appearance. In the goals section of the email, Rhodes gave directed that the purpose of Rice's appearance was "To underscore that these protests are rooted in and Internet video, and not a broader failure or policy.” Which went against previous claims that the White House did not interfere with what Rice would say.
There is an even bigger issue. Whether you believe the email was “a smoking gun” or totally benign it doesn’t matter. The House Committees requested the Rhodes and other correspondence, but were stonewalled by the by the Administration. After eighteen months of Administration stonewalling, and evidence that the White House has been withholding some facts, Speaker Boehner had no choice than to form a select committee.
When there are seven different committees investigating an issue as congress was doing with Benghazi, each committee has its own turf, now with everything under one roof all the information can be shared by one committee and make a judgment on the totality of the evidence.
What kind of questions will they answer? Committee Chair Trey Gowdy hasn’t been over my house for Shabbos Dinner recently so I will have to speculate.
For example every CIA report, every military report, two State Department emails from Beth Jones and a phone call from Deputy Chief of Mission Greg Hicks, second in command of our Libyan operations to the late Ambassador Stevens, all blamed the attack on terrorism before the attack was over. So by the end of the day on 9/11/12 everybody knew it was an act of terrorism perpetuated by al Qaeda affiliate Ansar Al Sharia.
So the question is how did the cockamamie story about a You Tube video get into the mix? Who put it there? Did it have an iota of truth? Remember the President was still blaming the video for the attack when he spoke to the UN three weeks after the attack. Was someone lying to the President?
When faced with that question while testifying Hillary Clinton refused to answer asking, “What difference does it now make? The difference is the families of the victims do deserve the truth, and even more so the American people deserve to know if their leaders lied to them. Outing it is the only way to keep the next leader on the straight and narrow.
Here’s another question. Why didn’t the Benghazi get the protection it begged for? The Democrats blame the fact that the State Department’s budget was cut. But Charlene Lamb who was the person in the State Department charged with getting help for our Mission in Benghazi testified back in October 2012, her decisions about security had nothing to do with budget. So which story is the truth?
Why were our people still in Benghazi on 9/11/12? The British had already bugged out and left the city because it was too dangerous, in April 2012, two former security guards for the consulate threw a homemade "fish bomb" IED over the fence of the mission, a terrorist group called the Imprisoned Omar Abdul RahmanBrigades released a video of what it said was the detonation of an explosive device outside the gates of the U.S. mission on June 5, which caused no casualties but damaged the consulate's perimeter wall. So a question that needs to be asked is, if we weren't going to provide the mission with more protection why the heck were we still there? There were certainly enough "hints" from the unfriendly neighborhood terrorists.
When Hillary found out the mission was under attack, I would like to know what the State Department did to get them help? Did she request help from the military? If the US didn't have any assets close enough to protect our people, which allies who had assets closer to Libya did we call any of our allies and ask for help? Remember the attack didn't end until about 7 hours after it began?
How was it handled in the State Department and the White House? Former Obama aide Tommy Vietor said the President wasn’t in the situation room that night, and we have no idea where the Secretary of State was after she got off the phone with Gregory Hicks. In other words, who was running the show?
Since the individual terrorists have been identified, why haven’t been they been arrested? As of today the only two people who have been punished for Benghazi are the nut that created the Anti-Muslim video (he had his probation revoked because of the video and is back in jail) and Gregory Hicks. After Ambassador Rice gave the bull story about the video on national TV five times, Hicks called the State Department to inquire why Rice was giving that account. A career public servant Hicks was reamed out, demoted and now exists in career purgatory.
The Democrats are right; this investigation should have been over a long time ago. But the only reason it’s not over is the administration put up roadblocks in front of the truth.
With the release of the Ben Rhodes email we now know for sure that the administration has not been transparent with the American people or the seven the congressional committees investigating the tragedy.
That lack of transparency turned Benghazi from a quick "what did we do wrong and how do we fix it" into an ongoing, "who came up with the lie and why."