News & Politics

Gowdy: 'Eye-Opening' Benghazi Report Coming 'Sooner Rather Than Later'

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) said on The Hugh Hewitt Show Monday that the Select Committee on Benghazi will be issuing a report “sooner rather than later” and predicted that the part of the report that people will find “the most eye-opening” deals with how military assets were positioned on the night of the attacks, and why they sat idle “for hours and hours and hours.”

The investigation has been organized around what Chairman Gowdy calls the “three tranches”: What happened before, during, and after the Benghazi attacks.

Why was security at the Benghazi diplomatic and CIA compounds inadequate? Why did the U.S. military fail to respond? And why did the administration initially describe the attack as a spontaneous demonstration over a YouTube video, rather than a pre-planned terrorist attack?

Gowdy told Hewitt that people will be most surprised by what the committee discovered regarding what happened during the attacks, and noted that those findings were somehow missed by the other committees. Asked if he had yet seen “13 Hours,” the movie about Benghazi currently in theaters, Gowdy answered that he had not.

“We have one more book author to interview, and I realize I’m old-fashioned, and a lot of people could see the movie and still do a fair job of questioning one of the book authors. But it is important to me that I have his testimony in mind as opposed to what I may have seen in a movie theater,” Gowdy explained.

“I think of all the folks in the world who are entitled to tell their version of what happened, the eyewitnesses would be number one on that list. So I support those guys, and I like them personally. I have explained to Tonto, I promise I’m going to see the movie. But I’m going to do it after I finish the last interview.”

Hewitt next asked Gowdy if military assets were available that night to come to the assistance of the people under attack in Benghazi.

“Hugh, I will tell you this, when we issue our report, and hopefully, it is coming sooner rather than later, I think that part of our investigation is going to be the most eye-opening, the most surprising, and frankly, will dwarf the other two tranches of Benghazi in terms of what we have been able to find,” Gowdy answered.

“So you put your finger on a couple of the issues. Number one, how were the assets positioned? If they were not positioned in such a way as to respond to Libya, Tripoli or Benghazi within the time frame, why not, particularly on the anniversary of 9/11 with, frankly, with Cairo having just happened? Why would your assets not be moving after Cairo?” Gowdy continued. His next point is important because it goes right to the very top.

“If the president did say, do everything you can, and Secretary Panetta communicated that order to his command staff, do everything you can, both of those communicates took place before 7 p.m. Eastern time,” Gowdy explained. “Why did the first wheel not take off for hours and hours and hours? That is the part that we are getting at, that I would submit to you the other committees did not, and I think you’re going to be surprised at that part of our report.”

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Col. Andrew Wood told journalist Sharyl Attkisson on her show “Full Measure” earlier this month that forces were on their way to Benghazi during the attack time frame, but were ordered to turn back.

Wood commanded a Special Forces anti-terrorism team protecting Ambassador Chis Stevens and other diplomats in Libya until August of 2012.  Wood told Congress in October of that year that one month before the attacks in Benghazi his team was removed from Libya by the Obama administration, despite numerous warnings of impending terrorist attacks.

At 7:19 p.m. Washington time on 9/11/2012, then-Department of Defense Chief of Staff Jeremy Bash sent an email to Jacob Sullivan, deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, saying that “we have identified the forces that could move to Benghazi. They are spinning up as we speak.”

“Those individuals I know loaded aircraft and got on their way to Benghazi to respond to that incident,” Wood told Attkisson. “They were not allowed to cross the border as per protocol until they got approval from the commander in chief. That authority has to come from him or they’re not allowed to enter the country.”