by Spenser Garber
On May 8, a House of Representatives select committee was created to do more investigating on the Sept. 11, 2012, U.S. Embassy attack in Benghazi, Libya. It was created even though there have already been nine House and Senate committees, 13 hearings and over 25,000 pages of documents released related to the attack. Over 600 days after the attack, the story behind it is still hazy.
The committee is led by Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., a former federal prosecutor with the Attorney for the District of South Carolina. There are also six other Republicans and room for five Democrats. Nancy Pelosi, the minority leader in the House, appointed Democrats to the committee yesterday. There is speculation that she might want to boycott the committee as common belief is that the research into Benghazi has gone too far and there is nothing new to learn.
One of the points of contention is if the attack should be labeled as a terrorist attack. The group Ansar al-Sharia, who took responsibility for the attack, is labeled by some as a terrorist organization. In actuality, they are a militia group who “keep the peace” in Libya. Ansar al-Sharia is just one of the many groups who took over after Moammar Ghadafi’s fall from government leadership. Their actions could definitely label themselves as a terrorist organization, as they did attack a U.S. Embassy and murder four Americans.
Because this is an election year, the GOP seems to be using the opportunity just to shoot down the Democratic Party. If they could lay more blame on the Democrats, it would be cause for celebration. Not only will it garner support and campaign funds for the Republicans, it could potentially cut down a 2016 presidential bid for Hillary Clinton, who was Secretary of State during the attack but resigned just months later. Unfortunately for them, I don’t see more information that needs to be uncovered.
The State Department definitely slipped up with security detail before and during the attack. Americans are better than to let a militant organization attack our own people on our own soil. Hillary Clinton has paid for her actions and most likely will still have to in the future, probably hurting her chances to become the president in 2016.
It’s not like this is the first time the House has tried to take down the president. The GOP did it to Bill Clinton when they had House majority. The Democrats then proceeded to do it to George W. Bush when they had House majority. It’s just the cycle coming around again.
Yes, it was a terrible thing that happened, especially on the anniversary of 9/11. There were four men murdered that day in Benghazi—two CIA contractors, a U.S. ambassador and a U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer—and we need to try and find the killers. We had a security problem at the embassy that definitely needs to be addressed. Congress is approaching the situation with the wrong questions. This is just another conspiracy that needs to be swept under the rug.