As new details have emerged over the last six months, the September 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, has assumed at least four forms:
First, it seemed to be a tragic assault by an angry mob inflamed by an anti-Islamic YouTube video. The murder of four American public servants was the toxic fruit of a spontaneous protest that got severely out of control.
Next, this onslaught clearly became known as a raid planned and executed by al-Qaeda’s Libyan allies.
Soon, Benghazi was synonymous with deadly bureaucratic incompetence, as documents showed that the late ambassador J. Christopher Stevens lamented that city’s deteriorating security situation and pleaded in vain for help.
And now, Benghazi seems to stand for a massive Obama administration cover-up, with some 33 survivors of the massacre evidently told to shut up about that night.
The House Republican leadership has the power to solve this mystery and urgently must do so.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) is on the warpath on this issue, as well he should be. He promises to tie the Senate in knots until Team Obama identifies these 33 Americans who lived through that deadly night and, six months later, have yet to explain what they witnessed and what happened before and after the carnage.
Graham says he has spoken with several survivors, and they fear opening their mouths.
“The bottom line is they feel that they can’t come forth, they’ve been told to be quiet,” Graham told Fox News Channel’s Bret Baier on Friday. “Their story is chilling. They feel afraid to tell it.”
“The best evidence of what happened in Benghazi is not a bunch of politicians in Washington trying to cover their political ass,” Graham added. “This is the people who lived through the debacle, and I’m going to do all I can to get them before the Congress and American people. . . . We cannot let this administration or any other administration get away with hiding from the American people and Congress, people who were there in real time to tell the story.”#more#
The U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, burns after an al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist attack.
Obama & Co. ran out the clock on Benghazi before last November’s election. Obama won reelection in part by stonewalling the mounting questions and contradictions about this mayhem and refusing to let this terrorist attack undermine the happy talk about al-Qaeda being on the run since Seal Team Six sent Osama bin Laden to meet Allah. Mitt Romney’s brilliant consultants thought it would be unpresidential to press Obama on this matter in their third and final debate. Consequently, Romney is now the Unpresident of the United States.
Obama seems to have benefitted from a half-year-long gag order on nearly three dozen Americans with priceless, personal knowledge of the Benghazi blood bath. Beyond detailing the attack, these citizens should answer several other key questions:
Did they warn Team Obama about this pending attack?
Did they request more security?
What responses did they get, and from whom?
How did Team Obama react to the attack as it unfolded?
What role, if any, did Obama himself play that horrible night?
Does Team Obama’s official story differ from events on the ground?
When and how were they told to stay quiet about what they knew?
Were they offered any benefits, or otherwise bribed, if they hushed up?
Were they threatened, or otherwise extorted, if they spoke up?
Were they in any other way pressured or intimidated?
It is stunning that 33 Americans have remained silent for more than half a year about anything, much less a controversial, deadly terrorist attack. This suggests that they have been leaned on quite heavily.
“They are scared to death to come forward without some institutional support,” Graham told Fox News Channel’s Mike Huckabee on Saturday.
And institutional support is what these people deserve.
GOP representatives Jason Chaffetz of Utah, Jim Gerlach of Pennsylvania, and Frank Wolf of Virginia have been digging on this front.
“Six months later, none of the survivors have been identified or questioned by Congress about the attack or credited for their heroism,” Wolf stated on March 11. “We don’t know their names, conditions, or stories.”
But there is only so much that Senator Graham and these House members can do. As is the case too often these days, GOP House leaders passively bemoan Obama’s obstructionism rather than exercise their powers to check and balance him. As Senator Graham insisted: “To our leadership in the House: You’re going to have to up your game on Benghazi.”
With an apparent full-blown cover-up and perhaps dozens of public servants eager to talk, the House immediately should subpoena the Obama administration for the names and contact information for all 33 Benghazi survivors. It then should subpoena each of them, immunize them against prosecution, and protect them, their jobs, and their pensions and other benefits under the appropriate federal whistleblower statutes.
While some of these people should testify under oath behind closed doors, to protect classified information, others should offer sworn testimony in public hearings.
If Benghazi unfolded as Team Obama claims, and these 33 people have remained Sphinx-like merely because they had nothing contrary to say, so the historical record should read.
If, however, Obama & Company bribed, threatened, or intimidated these public servants to stay silent in order to secure Obama’s reelection, then Benghazi will prove to be a conspiracy more explosive and evil than Watergate.
The families and loved ones of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith, and former Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods deserve answers to these questions — as do the citizens of the republic for which they sacrificed their lives.