WASHINGTON—Numerous Republican lawmakers vowed on Wednesday to find out the truth about the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans on Sept. 11, 2012.
Many questions hang over Washington one year after the attack—which killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens—but this week’s anniversary brought with it developments on several fronts. On Wednesday, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, announced a Sept. 19 hearing that will include State Department officials, family members of those killed in the attack, and Ambassador Thomas Pickering and Adm. Mike Mullen, the two men who led the Benghazi Accountability Review Board last year.
“The only way we can truly protect the lives of Americans at home and abroad is to be honest about the ongoing threats we face and tireless in our response to them,” Issa said.
Issa charged the Obama White House with blocking committee access to survivors of the attack and failing to turn over important documents.
The slow-moving investigation has prompted increasingly loud calls for the creation of a special select committee. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., filed H.R. 36 in January to form a select committee, and on Tuesday he said it now has 172 co-sponsors.
Wolf told me the five committees investigating the matter are spread too thin and the information needs to be consolidated.
“Not only do we not know answers, we have more questions than we did when it happened,” Wolf said. “A lot of the people who were on the scene have never been called.”
According to The Weekly Standard, CIA director John Brennan agreed in a letter this week to Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, to let Benghazi survivors speak, but no such assurances have come from the State Department.
Wolf said he’s spoken to House Speaker John Boehner, who has the power to create a select committee, but he wouldn’t disclose Boehner’s reaction to the idea.
On Wednesday, Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas; former Rep. Allen West, R-Fla.; Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, executive vice president of the Family Research Council; and Frank Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy, held a press conference on the Capitol lawn to remember the Benghazi victims and renew calls for a select committee.
“We left fallen comrades behind, and that’s disgraceful,” Boykin said. “There has to be accountability.”
President Obama has named Benghazi as one of several “phony scandals” Republicans are pushing, but last month a Fox News poll found a 78 percent majority of Americans think questions about the Benghazi attack need answers.
Listen to World News Group's Kent Covington talk about the Benghazi attack on The World and Everything in It: