House Republicans send Obama a letter seeking answers on Benghazi attack
Published: September 26, 2012
The United States does “not appear to be learning from the past,” and may be in a “pre-9/11-mindset,” eight senior House Republicans wrote in a letter to President Obama this week.
The letter addresses the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and asks the president for a joint briefing to address their classified questions. Reps. Buck McKeon, Ileana Ros Lehtinen, Mike Rogers, Lamar Smith, Hal Rogers, C.W. Bill Young, Frank Wolfe and Kay Granger signed the letter. McKeon is the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Ros Lehtinen is chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Rogers is chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
“While we appreciate your willingness to provide the House of Representatives with an interagency briefing last week, many of the members’ questions were left unanswered,” the representatives wrote in the letter. “To that end, we are seeking additional information regarding the intelligence leading up to the attack, the security posture of our embassy, the role former Guantanamo Bay detainees may have played, as well as the way forward in Libya, and, indeed, the region.”
The letter says the administration made statements “that would lead the American public to believe this attack was a protest gone wrong, rather than what it truly was – a terrorist attack on the United States on the anniversary of 9/11.”
Investigators were late to the scene, the representatives charge, and were not able to secure important information, such as Ambassador Christopher Stevens’ journal, which was found by a CNN reporter.
“This seems like a pre-9/11 mindset – treating an act of war solely as a criminal matter, rather than also prioritizing the gathering of intelligence to prevent future attacks,” the letter reads. “Moreover, given that violence in the region continues unabated, what actions are we undertaking to deter terrorists from capitalizing on the successful Benghazi attack, or launching similar attacks elsewhere in the groin or in the homeland?”
Though Congress is not in session, the representatives said they “stand ready to return to Washington” for a briefing, if necessary.