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Public Statements

Seeking Answers on Benghazi Attacks

Statement

By:
Date:
Location: Unknown

On September 11, 2012, four Americans serving their country abroad died at the hands of terrorists in Benghazi, Libya.

In the days after the attacks, the Obama Administration insisted that it was a spontaneous event inspired by outrage over an anti-Islamic video produced in the United States. This was the message delivered to Congress and to the American people by Ambassador Susan Rice.

When questioned on the now-discredited talking points, the White House claimed last year that they were a product of the Intelligence Community and that political factors were not taken into consideration in their creation.

We now know that was not true.

Documents uncovered last week show those talking points were scrubbed by White House and State Department officials. What the White House claimed was only technical corrections included removing references to terrorism, an al Qaeda affiliate in the region, and CIA warnings about threats to the facility prior to the attack.

Why were these changes made?

One State Department Official took issue with references to threats in the region because they, "could be used by members [of Congress] to beat up the State Department for not paying attention to warnings."

In responding to an attack on Americans, the government should not be concerned with shielding any official or agency for, "not paying attention to warnings."

The same official took issue with acknowledging the Central Intelligence Agency's knowledge of Islamic extremists participating in the attack saying, "we don't want to prejudice the investigation."

It was obvious to Libyan officials immediately that this was a terrorist attack. How would stating this fact prejudice an investigation?

When changes were made the official pressed further saying the revisions, "don't resolve all of my issues or those of my buildings leadership" which most certainly included then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Rather than work with Congress to fully understand what happened in Benghazi, the political arm of the Obama Administration has sought to stonewall investigators.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney brushed off questions about the attack earlier this month saying, "Benghazi happened a long time ago."

It does not matter how long ago the attack took place. The American people deserve answers on Benghazi.

To this end, I have cosponsored legislation that would create a House Select Committee on the Terrorist Attack in Benghazi. This special committee would have full subpoena power to fully investigate what happened in Benghazi and the government's response.

This is not a political witch hunt. This is about ensuring that we are doing everything we can to protect those who put their lives on the line in service to this country. This is about ensuring that the political goals of an Administration do not trump the security and safety of our outposts abroad.

It is time for the Obama Administration to work with Congress so we can get to the bottom of this.


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