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Pressure Grows for Benghazi Select Committee

November 20th, 2013 - 12:51 pm

Pressure is growing on House Speaker John Boehner to appoint a select committee on Benghazi.

So far, 178 Republican House members have called for a select committee with broad powers to investigate the killing of Americans in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. Three out of every four Republicans on the committees currently with jurisdiction, recognizing the failure of the current process to obtain answers, have asked for a select committee to be appointed by Speaker Boehner.

These numbers easily satisfy the “Hastert Rule,” as a super-majority of the GOP conference wants House leadership to chart a new, more aggressive course.

Currently, five committees “investigating” Benghazi are limited by each committee’s unique jurisdiction.  The Foreign Affairs Committee, for example, can’t talk to Department of Defense witnesses.  The Armed Services Committee can’t talk to State Department witnesses or review State Department documents.  And the Intelligence Committee won’t let anyone talk to CIA witnesses.

As Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) noted, “Americans from across the political spectrum recognize that not only are they not being told the truth [about Benghazi], but they feel Congress needs to change its approach to the investigation by creating a special committee.”

A select committee is part of regular House order, and would solve all the shortcomings of the status quo.

Benghazi has highlighted the shortcomings of the status quo, especially if House leadership takes a passive approach toward the Obama administration.  More on that later.

A select committee would bring together the five committees to provide cross jurisdictional subpoena and investigative authority to hold public hearings and issue a final report.

For now, the Obama administration is enjoying the internal strategic stalemate between rank-and-file House members and leadership.

As a result, Americans are kept far away from the truth of what really happened.

Exhibiting a growing frustration, Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA) has even challenged the frozen status quo.  Nunes is on the Intelligence Committee, one of the committees with a sliver of oversight into Benghazi.  Nunes, for now, is one of the few Republicans still not calling for a select committee.

Yet Nunes has made it plain in a letter to House Speaker Boehner that the status quo isn’t working.  As a member of the Intelligence Committee, Nunes is privy to classified information about Benghazi.  While his letter does not reveal classified information, it is nevertheless terribly revealing about the mess.  One inference is that the people who attacked and killed Americans had sophisticated training.

Another, more troubling, inference is that American firepower might have saved lives that night, if there had been the will to use it.

Leading national security experts also realize the status quo isn’t getting us answers.  Attorney General Michael Mukasey, Allen West, Gen. Jerry Boykin and even Senator John McCain have all called for a select committee on Benghazi. Perhaps most importantly, the families of the fallen in Benghazi have called for a select committee.  Yet GOP House leadership continues to resist.

Why?  Why wouldn’t House GOP leadership do whatever is necessary to expose the broken trust of the Obama administration?

There are some troubling possibilities.  For example, was House leadership briefed on the situation before it exploded on September 11, 2012?  Or, were the perpetrators of the Benghazi attack American “allies” in the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi?  Might the unwillingness to deploy American might to save lives that night expose a more dangerous aversion to the projection of power that would embolden our adversaries?

Or perhaps the unwillingness to appoint a select committee is simply another manifestation of a lack of will to use the Constitutional powers of the House to fully engage a reckless and radical Obama administration.

None of these explanations are comforting — especially to the families clamoring for answers.

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (17)
All Comments   (17)
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I love a good conspiracy controversy. Here's the problem, there's no really new information to be found about Benghazi. I can't come up with anything this select committee would find. Now if they want to pursue the idea that the Senior Military commanders issued orders to not help the embassy. It's going to get very dicey if they go there and start leaning on the military. The IRS dust-up is also dead news with Issa hoping to string it out for some more publicity. He won't be successful because every time he issues one of those partial stories that makes it sound like massive specific collusion against Republicans and the Tea Party, but it turns out is of no consequence when Cummings keeps releasing the whole report or document. Issa is both a waster and a waste. Everything Issa has touched is a failed investigation.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Forget Benghazi for a select committee, it's the outright partisan politicization of the IRS that needs to be busted wide open. To most Americans, Benghazi is something that happened in a third world toilet that doesn't really affect them, so they go back to their soaps.

But the IRS is the most powerful domestic agency in the country, affecting all of us, and even moreso in the news now because the enforcement of ObamaCare has been handed to them. Just attempting to get an enemies list audited by Nixon was one of the strongest charges against him, but it didn't happen back then because there were Republican appointees in charge of the IRS that had honor and integrity and refused.

Don't look for any such people in charge of the IRS now. Mention the words honor and integrity to any leftist/Democrat today and you'll just a blank stare, because they didn't have to learn a foreign language in high school.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I nominate Andrew McCarthy as Chief Counsel to the Select Committee.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This shows again how weak, dysfunctional, and cowardly Republican leadership is. I shows once again the futility of donating money and time to elect or reelect GOP candidates who conduct themselves as progressive enablers.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
We have learned we are going to learn about this. Seems reasonable at this point to say that Stevens was hardly a run of the mill ambassador. He was far from the embassy, in a nasty area, dealing with shady characters; practically sounds like a spy novel.

If he worked for a certain three-letter agency, neither side will want to do much public because of the exposure risk to other people and missions. Repubs will do their part in the DC ritual kabuki to appease their faithful but it won't go further. It's a shame Americans died but going into hostile places and doing who-knows-what is not 9 - 5 cubicle work.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
None of the reasons for this whitewash and cover up are good for America. We must press on to force these servants of the American people, despite whatever distorted images of their status or role they may hold, to stand and deliver a full accounting.

What little we actually know for sure of the still mostly subterranean facts lurking here point to a need for many long-overdue policy changes of a seismic nature that we’d best be about quickly, and not one of them has seen the light of day or been confronted honestly yet.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Old Yellowstain has run interference on this tragedy since day one....obviously the regime has something pretty damning on him. But, with 178 supporters of Rep. Wolfe's bill now lined up against Boehner, he will either have to allow the committee or face resignation; he most likely "trusted" the president's word, and like so many others, found Dear Leader's 'word' to be absolutely worthless. No wonder Israel has stated, "We need to find new allies." IF and when the truth is finally revealed, I doubt that any of us will find any pleasure in the outcome, but the recriminations will be swift and formidable. The paradigm has shifted and the American people are waking up and becoming engaged....this will spell the doom of many a congressional career - as it should.

Remember BENGHAZI!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I have another suggestion for discussion, Mr. Adams. Never mind a "select committee." Appoint a Special Prosecutor, instead, That will coordinate any and all subpoenas, discussion, cross talk, etc, which may be needed to get to the bottom of this. Nothing concentrates the political mind like a criminal investigation with teeth, outside the direct control of the Executive Branch or the Legislative Branch.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The only one in government who can appoint a Special Prosecutor right now is Eric Holder. Ain't gonna happen. There should have been several already to investigate this corrupt administration.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Quite possibly because the Founder's knowledge of the Long Parliament led to our Constitution vesting no authority in the legislative branch to put executive branch officials on trial.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And, there is no LAW which allows a Special Prosecutor outside the control of the Executive Branch. Ultimately, even a special prosecutor is under the ultimate control of the Attorney General. In the absence of a law, there is no mechanism to do what you suggest.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And with THIS Attorney General there is most definitely an "absence" of the law...

Remember BENGHAZI!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What the hell does Obama's NSA or IRS or DOD, or whatever, have on Boehner?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Whatever they have on Boehner it must be really good. If so Boehner should man-up and take the hit, fight or resign. In any event, Boehner should be replaced (not by Pelosi) now.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
what did they have on David Petraeus, whose much-anticipated testimony was short-circuited by emails between him and some woman?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Dunno, but it is obviously something potentially ruinous to the Speaker's career .....I bet he cries at his resignation address.

Remember BENGHAZI!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Status quo - that is the problem with Washington politics and with leadership in general. Every one in power wants to maintain the status quo - not rock the boat, for it may be he that gets cast asea when details are investigated and made public. Politicians do not give up power easily without just cause.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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