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Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Issa issues subpoenas over Benghazi
Accuses State Department of dragging feet
Fed up and tired of waiting for answers on Benghazi, a key member of Congress is going on the offensive.
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has subpoenaed four State Department officials and sent a blistering letter to Secretary of State John Kerry.
Issa essentially accuses the State Department of stonewalling, saying in a tweet that the agency’s “persistent delays create the appearance that it’s dragging its feet to slow down the (committee’s) investigation.”
Another tweet from Issa said the State Department “has left me w/ no alternative but to issue subpoenas to compel testimony from these important witnesses.”
Issa told Kerry in his letter that the State Department “has been unable to provide firm dates for a single witness interview.”
“In fact, it is my understanding that interviews will not occur until the middle of July because the State Department is just now preparing documents and other materials for the witnesses to review,” Issa wrote.
“I respect the witness’ interest in preparing to answer the Committee’s questions; however, I am concerned that waiting weeks or months while the Department prepares witnesses to be interviewed creates the risk that their testimony will have been rehearsed or coached,” he said. “It does not require weeks of preparation to answer questions truthfully.”
Issa also tweeted: “All 4 subpoenaed officials led bureaus where @StateDept’s review found deficiencies contributing to lack of security during #Benghazi attack.”
Four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed by terrorists in an attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012.
The Obama administration blamed the attack on a YouTube video, but testimony before Issa’s committee has shown that was not the case.
Many members of Congress want to know whose idea it was to blame the attack on the video, including Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, who recently told WND the idea might be traced to a phone call.
“Apparently, there was a 10 p.m. call between [former Secretary of State] Hillary Clinton and the president and, gee, right after that call they start talking about a video. But at two in the morning, when [former deputy chief of mission in Libya] Greg Hicks says [U.S. Ambassador to Libya] Chris Stevens’ last, dying desperate words were, ‘We’re under attack,’ it is clear it was not about a video. Everybody knew it was not about a video. They knew it was an attack. [The attackers] knew exactly where to plant the mortars.
Another big question is why no American forces were sent to try to rescue the victims.
As a former U.S. Army captain, Gohmert is shocked the military did not send forces to respond to the attack.
“What happened at Benghazi is just unthinkable,” he said. “We have an American tradition of protecting your fellow soldiers. You never want to be left hanging by yourself. If somebody is out there without enough help, then you try to go help them.
“Then you find out there was military personnel ready to go, but they were told to stand down. I’ve been trying to get in touch with some of those people, and it’s tough,” added Gohmert.
“There’s just so much there, we haven’t got nearly to the bottom, and it already stinks to high heaven.”