Will Congressional Committees Pull Together for One Benghazi Probe?
Resolution author Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) talks to PJM: "If we've had a Select Committee on the House Beauty Shop, we can certainly have one on Benghazi."
May 3, 2013 - 6:23 pm
The Virginia Republican is convinced that “if you bring the right people in, ask the right questions, you will get to the truth.”
“I think a committee will coalesce around the truth,” he said, adding “iron sharpens iron.”
Wolf said he’s reserving judgment on the administration’s culpability on Benghazi until it can be probed by a select committee, but finds plenty of fault with recent assertions such as Jay Carney’s dismissal of Benghazi as happening a long time ago — “I don’t think the families feel that way,” Wolf said — and President Obama’s continued insistence that al-Qaeda has been crushed.
“I don’t think anybody really believes it, that they got al-Qaeda,” he said. “It’s just mutated, it’s growing, it’s spreading — and while bin Laden is dead you can’t say al-Qaeda is dead, and I don’t think they really believe it.”
The congressman sees it as a fault that the White House is treating Benghazi “like a law enforcement issue” while it sent a drone after Anwar al-Awlaki.
“This puts the FBI in a difficult opposition — they’ve been a little frustrated, I think,” Wolf said, noting how they’ve been stymied trying to interview suspects in North Africa.
But this allowed the administration to put FBI officials at briefings who couldn’t answer the questions being posed by lawmakers, Wolf noted. “It was almost a way of avoiding the issues,” he said.
Benghazi outcry faded after the presidential election and Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa’s (R-Calif.) hearing will undoubtedly be packed with cameras to hear the State Department whistleblowers spill on the attack. “Ultimately, it’ll either go away and we’ll never find out or it’ll be a big story and public and the whole country will know,” Wolf said.
Today, after reports that al-Qaeda operatives from Yemen were sent to Benghazi to participate in the attack, the congressman said the news, which makes clear it was not a spontaneous attack, only solidifies the need for a select committee.
“The fact that this significant development is just now being reported – nearly 8 months after the attack – demonstrates the critical information still emerging about the attack, which took four lives and injured untold others,” Wolf said. “This is why a select committee is needed now more than ever to combine the five separate investigations into a single, comprehensive and exhaustive investigation.”
“If we’ve had a Select Committee on the House Beauty Shop, we can certainly have one on Benghazi,” Wolf told PJM.