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Public Statements

Establishing Select Committee on Benghazi

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. CANTOR. I thank the chairman.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of this resolution, to proceed with a select committee to find out what happened at the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on the night of September 11, 2012.

Mr. Speaker, it has been almost 2 years since a terror attack claimed the lives of four brave Americans in Benghazi: Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens; U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith; former Navy SEAL Glen Doherty; and former Navy SEAL and Bronze Star recipient, Tyrone Woods.

Over the past 2 years, our committees in the House have aggressively investigated what happened that night in Benghazi and the Obama administration's preparedness and response to those terror attacks.

Unfortunately, the White House has engaged in a pattern of obstruction, consistently ignoring subpoenas, redacting relevant information, and stonewalling investigators. This obstruction gives cause to the grave concerns expressed by countless Americans across the country.

Mr. Speaker, what is worse, as the White House refuses to turn over documents, they go in front of the American people and claim to be transparent. Those in the administration claim to be cooperating. They claim to be focused on bringing the perpetrators of that attack to justice.

Mr. Speaker, the attacks in Benghazi brought the first time an American Ambassador was killed in the line of duty since the 1970s and, to this day, not a single perpetrator of the attacks has been arrested or brought to justice. We should be using every tool necessary to find those responsible and bring them to justice.

After ignoring for nearly a year a lawful congressional subpoena, the White House, under court order, finally released emails showing that administration officials deliberately and deceptively misled Americans, claiming that the attack in Benghazi was the result of an offensive Internet video, rather than the product of a failed foreign policy that allowed radical Islamic terrorists to flourish in post-Qadhafi Libya.

This obfuscation and refusal to come clean to Congress has left us, as well as the people of this country, wondering: What else is the White House hiding?

My colleagues on the other side of the aisle want Americans to believe that this investigation is motivated by politics. No. This investigation would not be necessary had the Obama administration come clean. This investigation would not be necessary had the Obama administration complied with congressional subpoenas.

This investigation would not be necessary had the Obama administration not misled the Congress, the American people, and the media about what happened in Benghazi.

The American people deserve the truth and, most importantly, the families of those four brave men deserve the truth.

This committee will build upon the excellent oversight work conducted to this date and ask questions and demand answers. Constitutional checks and balances were intended to ensure that each branch of government conduct itself with the utmost integrity and do so within the law. That is our duty, and we will solemnly and judiciously carry this out.

Today, we have an opportunity to stand together and take another step closer to accomplishing that goal, to finding the truth; and I urge my colleagues in the House to support this resolution.


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