By Teresa Welsh |
It's been eight months since ten Americans were injured and four were killed – including a U.S. Ambassador - after a series of attacks on the U.S. consulate and a nearby annex in Benghazi, Libya. And, it was "sold" to the American people from the highest levels of the Obama Administration as a "spontaneous attack" by some extremists responding to a video, when in reality it was a pre-mediated coordinated attack by sophisticated Islamist militants. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's response to Congress as to why: "What difference, at this point, does it make?"
I applaud House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., for holding hearings this week on the Benghazi tragedy. As he said, the American people are entitled to the truth.
The more we hear about what happened, the more questions we have: Why were they denied extra security after pleas for help? Why were the security assets told to stand down? Who changed the so-called talking points?
Even Rep. Steve Lynch,D-Mass., – with an American Conservative Union Lifetime Rating of 11 percent – said on Fox News Sunday about the administration's talking points: "Well, it was scrubbed. It was totally inaccurate. There's no excuse for that. It was false information."
He acknowledged that they were likely revised to reflect President Obama's storyline during the election season last year that "al-Qaida is on the run." Folks, this is politics at its worst.
So how do we find the truth?
The goals of this Congressional inquiry should be to:1) Provide closure to the families of the victims by learning the truth of what happened to their loved ones; 2) Learn from mistakes and implement measures that will assure the future safety of American personnel abroad; 3) If cover-ups occurred, then the American people need to know and appropriate sanctions tendered.
Bottom line, this is a massive failure of Obama's administration, top to bottom. Luckily we have members of Congress who are willing to fight for the truth and uncover this tragic scandal.
About Al Cardenas Chairman of the American Conservative Union
Scott Lilly Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress
Thomas Joscelyn Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies
Frank Wolf Republican Representative from Virginia
Zachary Pleat Senior Researcher at Media Matters