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Public Statements Rep. Scott DesJarlais to participate in hearing on Benghazi today

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Eight months after the terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed a U.S. ambassador and three Americans, a congressional committee will once more press for answers regarding the initial response by the military and the administration of President Barack Obama.

Rep. Scott DesJarlais, a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, will be among the 40 members participating in Wednesday's event, titled Benghazi: Exposing Failure and Recognizing Courage. Rep. Jim Cooper, who represents Tennessee's 5th Congressional District, is also a member of the committee.

Wednesday's hearing comes seven months after the group held its first hearing on the Sept. 11, 2012, attack. Questions are likely to center on what prevented military intervention from occurring as attacks unfolded on the compound and why administration officials quickly categorized the assault as a spontaneous response to an anti-Islamic YouTube video.

In an interview with, DesJarlais said he would seek to shed light on two questions--whether American lives had been scarified for political purposes and whether the military had been told to withhold or stand down because of similar reasons. The congressman suggested the administration had acted with the re-election of Obama being held in higher regard than the situation's immediate needs.

"He was seven weeks from an election, trumpeting the capture of Osama bin Laden and the suppression of al-Qaida," DesJarlais said.

DesJarlais said he hoped the hearing would also restore accountably in government, suggesting that public distrust of the government had reached an "all-time high."
"I would like to focus on why it has taken so long for people to tell the truth," DesJarlais said.

After being sworn into office for a second term in January, the congressman was part of a six-member congressional delegation to travel to the Middle East to inspect the safety quality of American embassies and consulates. The group visited outposts in Algeria, Turkey and Lebanon.

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