Today Congressman Mo Brooks (R-AL) pressed U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for an explanation for Ambassador Susan Rice's false statements about the murders of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, at the Benghazi Consulate on September 11, 2012. Secretary Kerry appeared before the House Foreign Affairs Committee at a hearing entitled, "Securing U.S. Interests Abroad: The FY2014 Foreign Affairs Budget."
Shortly after the hearing, Congressman Brooks joined Congressmen Frank Wolf (VA-10) and Chris Smith (NJ-04) in a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol with Charles Woods, the father of Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods. Tyrone Woods is an American hero who was murdered during the terrorist attack in Benghazi. Congressman Brooks expressed his support for the Woods family, and his commitment to bringing the killers of the four Americans to justice. Congressman Brooks supports establishment of a House Select Committee on the Terrorist Attack in Benghazi (H.Res. 36), that would conduct a comprehensive investigation of the Benghazi attack and its aftermath.
During Secretary Kerry's appearance before the Foreign Affairs Committee Wednesday, Congressman Brooks made the following remarks: "Secretary Kerry, seven months ago Americans were murdered at the Benghazi Consulate. You mentioned earlier in your testimony that the Administration has testified eight times, given 20 briefings, and provided 25,000 pages of documents about Benghazi. Yet the American people still do not know why Ambassador Susan Rice during a heated Presidential race made so many false statements to the American people about what happened in Benghazi. More specifically, on Sept. 16, 2012, on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Ambassador Rice stated, "What this began as it was a spontaneous not a premeditated response to what transpired in Cairo.'
"Yet on the very same day Libyan President Mohammed Magarief stated on NPR, "The idea that this criminal and cowardly act was a spontaneous protest that just spun out of control is completely unfounded and preposterous. We firmly believe that this was a pre-calculated, pre-planned attack that was carried out specifically to attack the U.S. Consulate.' Similarly, the State Department's own Accountability Review Board concluded that there were no protests prior to the attack on the U.S. Consulate.
"Again on Sept 16, 2012, on Meet the Press with David Gregory, Ambassador Rice stated, "What happened in Benghazi was in fact initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in Cairo, almost a copycat of the demonstrations against our facility in Cairo which were prompted of course by the video.' Ambassador Rice made three false statements in one sentence. First, Ambassador Rice misrepresented that Benghazi was a spontaneous reaction to the Cairo protest. Second, Ambassador Rice misrepresented that Benghazi was a copycat of the Cairo demonstrations. And third, Ambassador Rice said Benghazi was prompted, "of course, by an anti-Muslim video' when there was little if any credible evidence to support this claim.
"Secretary Kerry, as we now know the Libyan President told the truth. The Ambassador to the United Nations of the United States of America did not. My question to you is: Can you give assurances to the American people that you will conduct an investigation that will find out why Ambassador Rice made so many false statements to America about what happened in Benghazi, and that you will share your findings with the American people?"
Secretary Kerry responded: "No. Because I don't think it's necessary."
In response to Secretary Kerry's refusal to investigate Ambassador Rice's misrepresentations, Congressman Brooks stated: "While I admire Secretary of State Kerry's candor, I am shocked and flabbergasted that Secretary Kerry was so cavalier, dismissive, and unconcerned about America's reputation for truth and veracity. Truth without credibility is meaningless. Credibility, once lost, is difficult to reacquire. It is important that the American people and the rest of the world trust the White House and America's leaders to be truthful about matters of importance. Ambassador Rice made false statements about the murders of America citizens. Ambassador Rice either intentionally lied or someone in the White House or elsewhere misled Ambassador Rice by giving her false information knowing that she would share it with the public. In order to prevent future misrepresentations, we must identify the weak link, the source of America's dishonor, and fix it."
Brooks concluded: "John Kerry has an obligation as Secretary of State to thoroughly investigate this issue to the full extent of his authority. I don't know whether Secretary Kerry is an active participant in an effort to cover-up Ambassador Rice's misrepresentation, or does not care about the truth of Benghazi. I do know that the Benghazi victims, their families, and the American people, deserve better. As for me, I will continue to use Congressional power to do all I can to discover the truth about Benghazi and discover why Ambassador Rice so brazenly misled the American people. The Benghazi victims, their families, and the America people deserve no less."