Today, U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (PA-03) sent a letter to President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton demanding answers to questions regarding the events leading up to and following the September 11, 2012, terrorist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi. The letter, which was signed by 53 members of the House, asks the following:
Why did administration officials deny repeated requests for stronger security measures from U.S. personnel on the ground in Libya, especially in light of the escalating violence leading up to the September 11 attack?
Why did the administration withdraw elite Special Forces units from the Benghazi compound and seek to replace them with poorly paid local Libyan contractors, even after the compound had been bombed twice?
Why did the administration pursue what U.S. personnel on the ground described as a "cookie cutter" approach to security in Libya and impose an "artificial time table" towards "normalization" that ignored the dangerous facts on the ground?
Rep. Kelly issued the following statement:
"It's time for the Obama Administration to say what they did and didn't know leading up to the September 11, 2012, terrorist attack in Benghazi. Just months before that attack, which took the lives of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other great patriots and public servants, our facility in Benghazi had been bombed not once, but twice. You can't blame the "fog of war' for the administration's failure to provide adequate security provisions in the months preceding the deadly terror attack. There should not have been any confusion as to the increasing level of instability in Libya, which was well-known, well-documented, and clearly communicated to the administration from our personnel on the ground, including Ambassador Stevens.
"To date, the administration's account of the attack on Benghazi has been conflicting and convoluted, and their justification for the inadequate level of security leading up to the attack unclear. Today, my colleagues and I are simply asking the president and Secretary Clinton to come forward with the answers to some very simple questions, and, if possible, give the American people the reassurance that our government did everything in its power to protect and defend the U.S. mission in Libya, leading up to, during, and after the attack."