On September 11, a heavily armed group executed a terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, killing Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glenn Doherty. The following remarks were prepared for delivery by Congressman Gus Bilirakis for today's Foreign Affairs Committee hearing regarding these attacks:
Thank you Madam Chairwoman for organizing this important hearing regarding the tragic events in Benghazi, Libya.
I would like to express my extreme disappointment and frustration in the way this matter has been handled by the Administration and by Secretary Clinton, who has now twice declined invitations to testify before this committee about the attacks leading to the deaths of Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans.
While Secretary Clinton and President Obama have both claimed responsibility for this event, we are still no closer to receiving an answer as to why it occurred.
The American people deserve to know the truth about whether State Department officials had previously determined that the Benghazi facility had sufficient security, how the Administration dealt with reported pleas for increased assistance from personnel on the ground and why the Administration initially blamed the attack on a video rather than acknowledging it for what it was: a terrorist attack.
The American people want answers and deserve to hear them directly from the source -- those who made the decisions on September 11.