Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Benghazi Select Committee Meets to Rise Above Politics and Find Answers

Today was the first hearing of the Benghazi Select Committee effort to find out answers to what happened in Benghazi and to prevent it from happening again.  As its communication director Jamal Ware stated:

“As Chairman Gowdy has said, he is willing to risk answering the same question twice rather than risk it not be answered at all. Since all documents responsive to Congressional inquiries into the Benghazi terrorist attack have not been produced, it is fair to say that not all questions have been asked and answered.

“Chairman Gowdy is leading a fair, fact-based and impartial investigation. The Committee will consider all evidence, across all jurisdictions, and produce the final, definitive accounting on behalf of Congress of what happened before, during and after the terrorist attacks on our facilities in Benghazi.

“Chairman Gowdy sincerely hopes that all sides will not prejudge the outcome of the investigation—before even the Committee’s first hearing, which is on a topic suggested by the Democrats—and instead allow a constructive and thorough investigatory process that produces a final report on Benghazi that is beyond any doubt. Chairman Gowdy is committed to a process and result worthy of the sacrifice of the four Americans who were killed in Benghazi and worthy of the trust of our fellow citizens.” 

Today Chairman Gowdy said in his opening statement:

A little over two years ago, four Americans were killed serving our country in Benghazi, Libya.  Two were killed when a facility emblematic of our country was set on fire.  Two were killed because they dared to fight back and defend themselves and others.   Sean Smith, Chris Stevens, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty represented us.  They represented our country and our values.  We sent them to do that.  They were killed in an attack rooted in the animus some people hold toward us, simply because we are us.

. . .I remain hopeful there are still things left in our country that can transcend politics.  I remain convinced our fellow citizens deserve all of the facts of what happened before, during, and after the attacks in Benghazi and they deserve an investigative process worthy of the memory of those who died and worthy of the trust of our fellow citizens.  

. . .Benghazi was not the first time our diplomatic facilities and people have been attacked.  The barracks in Beirut, our facilities in Tanzania and Kenya are a few that come to mind amid too many others. And after those attacks, groups came together and made recommendations on how to prevent future attacks.  That is the process seemingly followed.  An attack takes place, we commission a group to study how to make sure it doesn’t happen again, we pronounce it is time to move on and yet it happens again.  So to those who believe it is time to move on, that there is nothing left to discover, that all questions have been asked and answered, that we have learned the lessons to be learned— we have heard that before.   And yet the attacks and the tragedies keep coming.

 . . .  The people we work for yearn to see the right thing done, for the right reasons, and in the right way.  They want to know that something can rise above the din of politics.  They want to trust the institutions of government.  So to fulfill the duties owed to those we serve and in honor of those who were killed perhaps we can be what those four brave men were: neither Republican nor Democrat.  We can just be Americans in pursuit of the facts, the truth, and justice no matter where that journey takes us.  

Let’s hope Democrats care more about finding the truth of why these Americans died and preventing it from happening again, than about politics. 

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