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Public Statements

Letter to Majority Leader Reid and Minority Leader McConnell

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) today sent the following letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell urging the immediate creation of a temporary Select Committee to conduct an investigation of the events that led to the murder of four American public servants, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012, and the response of the Administration to this terrorist attack.

November 3, 2012

The Honorable Harry Reid

Majority Leader

United States Senate

Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Mitch McConnell

Minority Leader

United States Senate

Washington, DC 20510

Dear Majority Leader Reid and Minority Leader McConnell:

We write to urge the immediate creation of a temporary Select Committee, possibly encompassing members of both the Senate and the House of Representatives, to conduct an investigation of the events that led to the murder of four American public servants, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012, and the response of the Administration to this terrorist attack.

This tragedy has raised many important questions that affect the national security of the United States and the safety of those Americans who serve our country abroad. Many of these questions are the subject of internal reviews by the Administration. While we await the findings and recommendations of these reviews, it is essential for the Congress to conduct its own independent assessment of the attack in Benghazi. Several different committees of jurisdiction in both the House and the Senate are currently holding briefings, planning hearings and reviewing portions of this case. However, we believe that the complexity and gravity of this matter warrants the establishment of a temporary Select Committee that can conduct an integrated review of the many national security issues involved, which cut across multiple executive agencies and legislative committees -- including Foreign Relations, Intelligence, Armed Services, and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

Among the issues we believe a Select Committee would need to examine are the following: the intelligence and other threat reporting that preceded the attack, the security measures and manpower decisions taken to protect our people in Benghazi prior to the attack, the military force posture in the region at the time of the attack and the resulting ability of our Armed Forces to respond in the event of a crisis, the response of U.S. government officials once the attack began, the public characterization of the attack in Benghazi in the days and weeks that followed, the adequacy of intelligence and intelligence-sharing during the attack, as well as other important issues. In addition, the Select Committee should make recommendations to guide executive and legislative action, as necessary, to affect changes to policy elsewhere in the world in light of lessons learned in this tragedy.

The American people deserve answers to the many questions that have been raised about the attack in Benghazi. We believe that the full and independent accounting of the facts that the American people are demanding may, at this point, only be accomplished through a temporary Select Committee. We stand ready to work with you to help in the establishment of this Committee.

Sincerely,

John McCain

Lindsey Graham

Kelly Ayotte


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