As first reported by Breitbart News, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R – UT) claims that the State Department is not telling Congress where the Americans who survived the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi are.
Chaffetz appeared on Fox News Channel’s On The Record with Greta Van Susteren on Thursday to discuss his frustration with the State Department. He revealed that injured Americans who were evacuated from Benghazi were not taken to Germany or Italy but to Tripoli:
One of the concerns with those who were injured was how they were extracted. Remember, the fire fight starts at 9:40 PM. The Department of Defense doesn’t even gin up the C-17 until 6 AM. It doesn’t leave Germany until the 2PM hour and doesn’t get back to Germany until the 10 PM hour.
Meanwhile, and nobody has ever said this on television, and nobody has ever mentioned this, they thought they were going to be attacked in Triploi, the embassy was evacuated in Triploli. And yet, when they have these injured people sitting on the tarmac–these guys are severely injured–what to they do? They send an airplane over to Benghazi and they return to Tripoli. Instead of going to Italy or to Germany. It makes no sense.
Chaffetz later said:
I’m not trying to politicize this but we have injured Americans. If it takes, in the worse case, 25 hours to extract them to a facility…an American facility–there or in Germany–at the best case 18 hours–and the administration won’t answer those questions. These are legitimate questions. I want to talk to that family. They deserve to answers.
Rep. Chaffetz serves as the chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs and is a member of the House Oversight Committee. He told Van Susteren he believes U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice withdrew her name for consideration for Secretary of State because the State Department is about to release its Accountability Review Board (ARB) report on the Benghazi attack. Mr. Chaffetz emphasized that Congress should get “the whole report”:
We are awaiting the State Department to issue their (ARB) report. Remember they said they weren’t going to offer any information until their blue ribbon commission got done doing their work. They said that would take 60 to 65 days. Well now that we’re closing in on month three, the State Department owes us a report.
That’s why I think Susan Rice made the announcement today, because I think we are on the verge of getting that report, but you’re starting to see the State Department squirm a little. But they’re saying now, “Well, maybe we’ll just give you the summary. Maybe Secretary Clinton might not come up [to Capitol Hill].”
I think the report, if it’s done accurately, is going to be a very difficult thing for the White House, the State Department, the Department of Defense, the CIA to explain. I’m optimistic, but I think that’s why Susan Rice made the announcement today and we want to get that report and that should happen any day now. It’s already late.