Democrats Start Asking Questions About Benghazi (Updated)
September 28, 2012 - 7:55 am
Is the Democratic dam about to burst? Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), in most times one of the Obama administration’s staunches allies in Congress, is now seeking answers as to what happened in the administration in the hours and days after the attack that left four Americans dead.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, chaired by Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., circulated a bipartisan letter addressed to Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides, asking for an “accounting of the attacks against U.S. missions in Egypt, Libya and Yemen,” according to a copy obtained by The Washington Examiner.
The lawmakers are also demanding to know whether the administration had any advance warnings of the Libyan attack and, if so, whether it had shared that information with U.S. personnel on the ground.
The letter marks the first time congressional Democrats have so directly expressed their dissatisfaction with the administration’s response to inquiries about the attacks, which resulted in the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others and raised questions about U.S. security throughout the Middle East and Northern Africa.
A Kerry aide confirmed that the committee intended to enlist the support of Republicans and Democrats and said the letter would likely be sent Friday. Another aide told The Examiner that the panel’s 10 Democrats and nine Republicans plan to sign it.
It’s not clear yet whether Kerry et al are serious about getting answers or are moving just enough to give themselves some cover. But the fact that they’re moving at all is significant. If Benghazi-gate gets truly bipartisan, it can quickly become a cancer on the Obama presidency.
Update: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s letter demands answers — by November 13.