As many of you know, the Middle East is facing an increasing number of serious political, social, and security challenges. This week, Israel has had to endure a particularly heavy barrage of rocket attacks from Gaza. Iran continues to pursue nuclear capability. Al Qaeda has penetrated the demilitarized zone between Egypt and Israel, known as the Sinai Peninsula. Syria remains locked in a bloody civil war. And, the Obama Administration has withheld the truth about the nature of the attacks on our diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt for weeks.
I have received correspondence from many of you regarding the attacks on our consulates and embassies in Libya and Egypt. Like many, I am completely dissatisfied with the narrative provided thus far by the White House and the U.S. Department of State. This week, we are finally beginning to receive some answers. On November 15, 2012, the House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing to determine the extent of our security failures. My hope is that testimony provided by General David Petraeus at today's hearing in the House Intelligence Committee will shed additional light on the Administration's actions, including why it did not immediately disclose the truth to the public.
While we cannot solve all of the problems in the Middle East, it is essential that we do everything in our power to keep our diplomatic missions safe and our allies secure. My promise to you is that I will work to do both of these things.