Families of Benghazi Dead, Former Military Leaders Demand Special Congressional Investigation

Monday morning, a group of approximately eighty people, including families of those Americans killed in the brutal September 11, 2012 attacks in Benghazi as well as concerned former military leaders, released an open letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner chastising him for "the failure of your House of Representatives to extract the truth from the Obama administration concerning the attack on our diplomatic and intelligence facilities in Benghazi, Libya."

The letter calls on the Speaker to form a "Select Committee on Benghazi" to investigate not only the deadly attack on American interests there, but what exactly Ambassador Stephens was doing in the country at the time and what they call the "protracted cover-up" that has followed.

The letter follows in its entirety.

 

The Honorable John Boehner

Speaker, U.S. House of Representatives

The Capitol, H-232

Washington, D.C., 20515


                                                January 6, 2014

 

Dear Speaker Boehner,

We write to express our grave concern over the failure of your House
of Representatives to extract the truth from the Obama administration
concerning the attack on our diplomatic and intelligence facilities in
Benghazi, Libya; and, the brutal deaths of Ambassador Christopher
Stephens, U.S. Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith, and security
officers Ty Woods and Glen Doherty.

To date, five (5) different committees of the House have conducted
separate hearings, uncovering information in a piecemeal fashion
lacking professional investigators.  The five committees’ efforts are
disjointed and uncoordinated.  The Obama administration has benefited
from that dysfunctional process to hide the truth.  Hardly any Obama
administration witnesses have testified – publicly or privately.  You
have resisted repeated calls for the creation of a select
investigative committee with subpoena authority. It appears that you
are satisfied to allow that state of investigative incoherence and
ambiguity to continue.  The last public hearing by any of the five
committees was held in September – four (4) months ago.  The families
of the dead who fought valiantly to protect the mission and their
families, the survivors, and the American people deserve better from
you and your Members of Congress. They deserve the absolute truth from
their government. Your failure to get the truth and hold public
officials accountable increases the possibility of other repeat
attacks and additional failures to defend Americans abroad.

On Sunday, December 29, 2013, the New York Times published a story
concerning the Benghazi attacks that directly contradicts the sworn
testimony of witnesses who appeared before various committees.
Besides the obvious New York Times editorial and political objectives
of inoculating Hillary Clinton and her 2016 presidential campaign from
further criticism of her failures as Secretary of State, the story
contradicts objective truth and established facts in a way that
confuses the public.  Your inaction and failure to lead on the
Benghazi investigation directly contributes to the repetition of lies;
a lack of accountability from responsible government officials; and
the political advancement of persons who seek to continue to
“fundamentally transform” the Constitution and our country.  The New
York Times recent publication proves the Benghazi story is not “going
away.”

Your oversight of the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of
Investigation has been without any meaningful effect or result.  Not a
single terrorist in this well-planned and executed military attack by
radical Islamists has been apprehended.  Ahmed Abu Khattala, a
ringleader of the attack, granted long interviews to reporters in
Benghazi cafes, while the Obama administration – and you – have done
nothing.  Nearly 16 months after the terrorist attack, the American
public has no accountability and no plan of action from House
leadership. The public is subjected to undisputed disinformation from
a White House who calls the terror attack a “phony scandal.”  While
the White House repeats false and misleading information, you continue
to ignore claims, documented by Rep. Frank Wolf, of intelligence
officers being intimidated with multiple, punitive polygraph
examinations and harassing non-disclosure agreement demands.  If
Benghazi is “phony” why are intelligence officers being threatened not
to speak and subjected to polygraph exams? Why do you stand by
passively?

Some analysts believe your inaction and passivity towards getting to
the truth concerning Benghazi is because you were briefed on the
intelligence and special operations activities in Libya as a member of
the “Super 8.”   You may possess “guilty knowledge.”  We recall how
then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi developed a form of “amnesia” concerning a
documented briefing she received on so-called “enhanced interrogation
techniques” – later termed “torture” for political purposes.  Are you
in the same position as your predecessor?  Are you dodging a
legitimate, thorough, coordinated investigation of Benghazi because it
will damage your political position as Speaker?

You should be embarrassed that members of Congress, and your own
party, are forced to file Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests
with Obama administration agencies to get basic information about the
Benghazi issue.  What a sad and pathetic statement about the
operations of House standing committees looking into this tragedy that
FOIA has become the last resort of even Republican Members seeking the
truth!  Are you concerned that the scattershot and untimely efforts of
the various committees may actually be doing more harm than good at
documenting facts?  These are all examples of Republican leadership
failures.  How are you accountable?

Rep. Mike Rogers and the Intelligence Committee seem to act as defense
counsel for the Obama administration.  A recent Intelligence Committee
weekly update note stated as fact that no arms shipments were being
run from Libya, and that no intelligence officers were being coerced
not to speak.  There is substantial evidence to the contrary on both
counts.  Why does Rep. Rogers parrot the discredited falsehoods of the
so-called “Accountability Review Board” (ARB)?  Conflicting accounts,
testimony and evidence need to be investigated – not dismissed or
ignored.  Don’t those contradictions and questions compel you, on
behalf of the American people, to take any action to resolve the
matter and get to the truth?

Aren’t you concerned that General Carter Ham was suddenly and
prematurely recalled from AFRICOM, and then made statements at the
Aspen Institute that directly contradicted the Obama administration’s
position on the nature of the attack in Benghazi?  Why has General Ham
not testified publicly before one of the House committees?

The New York Times story reports that the CIA was, in fact, collecting
weapons in Benghazi.  If true, why was the CIA running a separate,
parallel weapons program from the State Department’s $40 million
collection effort?  Where did the CIA-purchased weapons go?  Is the
Obama administration arming al Qaeda affiliated jihadists in Syria?

If you wished, you could have publicly engaged Rep. Devin Nunes
concerning his November 6, 2013 letter to you, addressing the nine
unanswered questions about Benghazi. Instead, there was thundering
silence from your office. You have an opportunity to show strong
leadership and resolve a national disgrace perpetrated by specific
public officials. You are failing.

Your reluctance to lead and resistance to create a Select Committee on
Benghazi must end.  More than 75% of all House Republicans – with the
conspicuous absence of those in leadership or committee chairmen –
have cosponsored Rep. Wolf’s Select Committee bill.  Few bills in this
Congress demonstrate such overwhelming support from Republicans.
Additionally, the bill enjoys the support of national security
advocacy groups, and the Wall Street Journal editorial board, among
many others.

We urge you to bring the bill to the floor for a vote immediately to
start effective oversight on this critical national security matter
immediately. We have waited long enough. Your approach is not working.

Mr. Speaker, we call upon you to act now and create a Select Committee
on Benghazi to investigate all aspects of the United States
involvement in Libya, to include, but not be limited to the attacks of
September 11, 2012.  It must now also include the protracted cover-up
the American people, the families of the fallen and those with loved
ones serving overseas have endured. The new committee must have
subpoena power, capable staff and Members from both parties who are
committed to finding the truth, not playing politics.  The Committee
must be staffed with new, professional, qualified and experienced
investigators. It must have resources to conduct a thorough,
comprehensive investigation and issue an exhaustive report before this
Congress adjourns.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned:

 

(Titles for identification purposes only)

 

Charles Woods, Father of Ty Woods

Pat Smith, Mother of Sean Smith

Michael Ingmire, Musician/Writer, Uncle to Sean Smith

and

Adm. Jerome L. Johnson, USN Ret., former Vice Chief of Naval Operations

Lt. Gen. E.G. “Buck” Shuler, Jr., USAF, (Ret)

Lt. Gen. Richard D. Lawrence, USA (Ret)

LTG William G. Boykin, USA (Ret)

Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely, USA Ret, Chairman, Stand Up America

Maj. Gen. Carroll D. Childers, USA (Ret), Ranger

Maj. Gen. Thomas F. Cole, USA (Ret)

Maj. Gen. Richard M. Cooke, USMC (Ret)

Amb. Henry F. Cooper, Former Director, Strategic Defense Initiative

LTC Allen B. West (US Army, Ret) former Congressman, FL

Capt Joseph R. John, USNA ‘62, USN (Ret), Chairman, Combat Veterans
For Congress PAC

Debra Burlingame, Co-founder, 9/11 Families for a Safe and Strong America

Elaine Donnelly, President, Center for Military Readiness

Dick Brauer, Col, USAF (Ret), Special Operation Speaks

Tom Fitton, President, Judicial Watch

Allen Roth, Secure America Now

Joel A. Arends, Veterans for a Strong America

Ginni Thomas, President, Liberty Consulting

Catherine Engelbrecht, President, True the Vote

Anita MonCrief, Black Voters Alliance

David Wallace, Restore America's Mission

Dr. James Pollock, Maj., USAF (Ret), OIF VETx2, SOCOM, Wounded Warrior
Congressional Advocate

John J. Molloy, Chairman, National Vietnam & Gulf War Veterans Coalition

James C. Harding, Col USAF (Ret) National Spokesman for Veteran
Defenders of America

Diane M. Sendlenski, Veteran US Air Force, Special Operations Speaks Coordinator

John G. B. Howland, Publisher, USNA-At-Large

Katherine Cornell Gorka, Executive Director, The Westminster Institute

Paul Caprio, Executive Director, Family Pac Federal

William L. Walton, Chairman, Rappahannock Ventures LLC

Sandy Rios, Director of Governmental Affairs, American Family Association

David Horowitz, President, Freedom Center

Peter Thomas, Chairman, The Conservative Caucus

Rear Adm. Hugh P. Scott, MC, USN (Ret)

Rear Adm. Bill McDaniel, USN (Ret)

Rear Adm. John A. Moriarty, USN, (Ret)

Rear Adm. Robert B. McClinton, USN (Ret)

Rear Adm. Don G. Primeau, USN (Ret)

Brig. Gen. Michael Neil, USMCR (Ret)

Brig. Gen. Francis Hughes, USA (Ret)

Brig. Gen. John Zierdt, Jr., USA (Ret)

Brig. Gen. Michael T. Byrnes, USA (Ret)

Brig. Gen. William A. Bloomer, USMC (Ret)

Captain Kenneth Rauch, USN (Ret)

Captain Peter A. Hewett, JAGC, U.S. Navy (Ret)

Captain James Knight, USN (Ret)

Captain Roger W. Barnett, USN (Ret)

Captain Gregory Streeter, USN (Ret) USNA ’58

Col. G. Huntington Banister, USA (Ret), and former Acting Director,
Selective Service System, 1994

Col. S. Badiner, USMC (Ret)

Col. Gregory G. Raths, USMC (Ret)

Col. Joseph V. Potter, USAF (Ret)

Col. Rob Maness, USAF (Ret), U.S. Senate Candidate 2014, R-Louisiana

Dan Bongino, 2012 Republican Nominee for US Senate, MD

Lt. Col. Ken Benway, USA (Ret)

Lt. Col. Dennis B. Haney, USAF (Ret)

CDR Randolph J. Horhutz, USNA '61, SC, USN (Ret)

Everett Woolum, CMSGT, USAF (Ret)

Gregory J. Rose, USNA '73

Thomas Corboy, USNA, ‘61

Anthony R. Papandrea, USNA ‘61

Raymond H. Clary, Jr., USNA ‘65

John W. Slagle, U.S. Navy Aviation veteran (Ret) Special Agent
U.S.B.P. Anti-Smuggling Unit

Sarah Folger White, Former Presidential Commissioner

Dick and Patricia Schermerhorn, Appleton, WI

Lee Boyland, Author, former military officer, entrepreneur, nuclear engineer

Susan Creed Percy, Advocate for Military Families

Dave Hollenbeck, retired CA Highway Patrol

Paul F. Wirtz, Military family, OH resident

John Lillywhite, U.S. Citizen

Gene Andrews, U. S. Citizen

Mrs. Nancy Olbert, Supervisor Criminal Advocates, Daytona, FL State
Attorney Office

Dr. Frank Ingels, Military Defense Consultant, MSIC/TETRA Office

Robert M. Trent, Senior Special Agent, USINS and former Marine and
Vietnam combat veteran

Kelly Monroe Kullberg, Christians for a Sustainable Economy; OH resident

 

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