GOP members on the House Foreign Affairs Committee released on Friday a report showing the State Department’s lack of accountability following the deadly terrorist attacks at the compound and the CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012.
The report itself did not present anything new other than elements of the most recently released Senate Select Intelligence Committee report related to the Benghazi investigation, which did present new information. Additionally, the House Foreign Affairs report makes repeated references to an Accountability Reform bill, authored by Chairman Ed Royce (R – CA), that is not related to theBenghazi investigation. However, Royce’s own bill has not moved beyond his own committee for nearly a year.
Among other points, the report admonishes then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as well as present Secretary of State John Kerry for not holding accountable any State Department personnel “for the flawed decisions about security in Benghazi.” The committee also goes after the those who put together the ARB report for not interviewing top State Department officials during their investigation.
Although, the committee makes a reference to the Senate Select Intelligence Committee Benghazi report regarding the lack of accountability State Department official Patrick F. Kennedy has received since the attack, the House Foreign Affairs Committee does not appear to make an effort to hold Kennedy accountable or announce that they’re hauling him back up to reconcile his conflicting testimony.
Royce’s press Committee office would not respond as to why the latest report appeared to only be rehashing established issues regarding the attack in Benghazi and if he believed it was time to investigate the matters through a House Select Committee. A number of members on Royce’s committee are supporters of Rep. Frank Wolf’s effort to form a select committee to look into the the terrorist attack and the investigation after the attack. However, Royce has not signed on as a co-sponsor and House Speaker John Boehner (R – OH) refuses to appoint a committee. The resolution currently has 182 co-sponsors.
In a statement to Breitbart News, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R – FL) said:
“Many Congressional reports have been useful in helping to collect information about the truth behind the Benghazi terrorist attacks which resulted in the deaths of Ambassador Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods. However, I have cosponsored legislation to establish a select committee whose sole purpose is to investigate what happened before, during, and after the attack at Benghazi in order to prevent a similar attack in the future at our diplomatic posts. We must continue to ask the Obama administration officials more questions about what they knew and when did they know in order to get to the bottom of this because the American people deserve answers regarding this horrific terrorist attack.”
Rep. Matt Salmon (R – AZ) , who chairs the subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, is also a co-sponsor of legislation (H.Res.36) to create a select committee to investigate the attack in Benghazi. “I continue to believe the most appropriate and thorough way to investigate the Benghazi tragedy is to establish an investigative select committee that will cut across jurisdictional barriers and provide a comprehensive picture of what went wrong and ensure it does not happen again,” Salmon said in a statement to Breitbart News.
Rep. Wolf has long said that a select committee would give subpoena power to members to compel witnesses to testify under oath, while streamlining the investigative process of all the committees. Although, the House Oversight Committee can issue subpoenas, such a move would happen very rarely.
“The two subpoenas issued by the Oversight and Government Reform Committee today for two of the State Department survivors from the Benghazi attacks to testify before Congress is a welcome and, frankly, long overdue step – but it’s not nearly enough,” Wolf said in a statement in September of 2013. He asked, “Why has it taken more than a year for these first subpoenas to be issued? “Will another year go by before the next subpoenas are issued?
A spokesman of Rep. Jeff Duncan (R – SC) told Breitbart News that “Congressman Duncan has been saying from the very beginning that he only believes the select committee process is able to effective in uncovering the truth.”
Rep. Tom Marino (R – PA) told Breitbart News, “Absolutely. And that’s why I support Congressman Wolf’s legislation. Our consulate was attacked, our ambassador was murdered and no one at State has been held accountable. If the Administration isn’t willing to take action, Congress should.”
Other House Foreign Affair Committee members who are co-sponsors for a select committee are: Rep. Mo Brooks (R – AL), Rep. Tom Cotton (R – AR), Rep. Chris Smith (R -NJ), Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Rep. Steve Chabot (R – OH), Rep. Joe Wilson (R – SC), Rep. Mike McCaul (R – TX), Rep. Ted Poe (R – TX), Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R -IL), Rep. Paul Cook (R – CA), Rep. Randy Weber (R – TX), Rep. Scott Perry (R – PA), Rep. Steve Stockman (R – TX), Rep. Mark Meadows (R – NC), Rep. Ted Yoho (R – FL), Rep. Luke Messer (R – IN), Rep. Ron DeSantis (R – FL), Rep. George Holding (R – NC).
*Updated co-sponsor list at 1:55 EST