As a guest on Wednesday's Hugh Hewitt radio show, Paul Ryan gave a clear and precise reason for the formation of the committee, a reason others have been reluctant to explain, "...you want to be able to accomplish out of this is that next time somebody in our government thinks about doing something like this, covering up the truth when American’ lives were lost, they think twice because they know they’ll get caught at the end of the day, and accountability will be had."
Hewitt and Ryan began by discussing the reaction to the committee and the reason it was necessary, then transitioned into what the Congressman was told from the daily briefings he received as a Vice Presidential candidate as well as the Candy Crowley incident during the second Presidential debate:
Hewitt: Of course, Democrats from Xavier Bacerra, who’s normally pretty calm, and Joe Crowley are calling it a charade, a kangaroo court.
Ryan:They’re making a mistake doing that.
Hewitt: And why do you think so?
Ryan: They’re making a mistake doing that, because we do not have answers. Four Americans are dead, including our ambassador. They were killed in a terrorist attack. We know that civilian and military authorities within 24 hours of the attack knew that this was a terrorist attack, and yet this narrative continued to be spun. And now we know that the White House was involved in pushing this narrative. We also have unanswered questions about security beforehand. We had all of these security problems surrounding this embassy, this consulate and others, and there were repeated requests for more security. And not only did they not get those requests honored, they had reduction in security. So there are a lot of questions that are still begging for answers. And for these victims and their families, justice requires that we get to the bottom of this. And so for a person in Congress, whether you’re a Democrat or Republican, it really shouldn’t matter. To not want to get to these answers, now that we have evidence that information has been withheld, is just not right, and I disagree with them, and I think they are making a big mistake.
Ryan went on to lay out the case for the select committee, voters have a right to know if their leaders lied to them:
Ryan: Yes, so we did not have all that information at the time. Believe me, I remember it vividly from just preparing for debating Joe Biden and working with Mitt on his debates. We were in a tempo where we did not have all the information that we now have. And yes, I can clearly, you know, tell you that this was, I believe, a political narrative that was designed for political ends, which meant that do not acknowledge that this was in fact a terrorist attack, even though within 24 hours our civilian and military leaders knew that, and to, you know, continue this political narrative. And now we know that the White House had a hand in this, which before this email came out, that was not acknowledged. And so yeah, hindsight is 20/20. And I do believe that there were political motivations behind this, and we need to get to the bottom of this not because of scores, settling political scores, but so that this kind of thing doesn’t happen again. I mean, what you want to know out of this is the truth so that you can have justice, but also what you want to be able to accomplish out of this is that next time somebody in our government thinks about doing something like this, covering up the truth when American’ lives were lost, they think twice because they know they’ll get caught at the end of the day, and accountability will be had. That, to me, is very important for posterity’s sake.
Apparently even those daily national security briefings he received as a V.P. candidate didn't give Ryan the truth about Benghazi:
Ryan: Sure. I mean, but we did not know. Mitt and I, we got briefings, but we did not know without a shadow of a doubt what the source was. So we didn’t have all the information that we now have at that time. But clearly, we suspected that this was not simply because of the video. And as time went on, and as days transpired, it became more and more and more clear that that just wasn’t the case. And that’s why we prosecuted that. We made that point. Mitt did bring this up in the debate. I mean, we did talk about the fact that this was not because of a video or some spontaneous protest. So you know, as time went on, more information became clear, and we became more sure of the facts as we now know them.
As for Candy Crowley both the congressman and the host thought she was out of line:
Hewitt: Perhaps the most significant intervention by a member of the media in a presidential campaign ever is Candy Crowley’s intervention in the exchange between Governor Romney and President Obama. Do you think that was innocent? And number two, do you think she’d do it again knowing now what we know?
Ryan: I don’t know the answer to that. I don’t really know, so I’m not inside her head. I don’t know what she would do now. I’m just not going to speculate, because I just don’t know.
Hewitt: Do you think it was, okay, even from the objective standpoint, though, is it wrong for people in the media to prejudge this, because a lot of prejudging is going on already, as happened with Candy Crowley in that debate.
Ryan: Yeah, well, I think it represents some subjectivity in the media to prejudge events and to prejudge things, or to affix political motivation to these things. Four people were killed. They were Americans, our ambassador among them, and we don’t have all the answers. That’s all we should know, to know that we need to get to the bottom of this. Whether, you know, I don’t know what was running through her mind. Clearly, you know, I think prejudging in the media is something that happens all the time. She also violated the rules of the debate, in my opinion, from at the time. That was just my personal opinion, which was when she did that, obviously I was sitting there watching it, I did not think that was in conformity with the rules as set out in the debate. So…but that’s another issue.