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Victims' Parents Join Call for Special Panel to Probe Benghazi

Monday, 06 Jan 2014 10:01 PM

Frustrated by a "failure . . . to extract the truth" of the deadly 2012 siege on a U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, parents of two victims, retired military brass, and conservative groups are demanding a special panel to investigate the terrorist attack, the Washington Examiner reported Monday.

In a letter addressed to House Speaker John Boehner, they note that five House committees have held hearings, uncovering information "in a piecemeal fashion lacking professional investigators," and effectively watering down the effort to uncover the truth of the attack in Libya.

"We write to express our grave concern over the failure of your House of Representatives to extract the truth from the Obama administration concerning the attack on our diplomatic and intelligence facilities in Benghazi, Libya; and, the brutal deaths of Ambassador Christopher Stephens, U.S. Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith, and security officers Ty Woods and Glen Doherty," the letter says.

The signers — including Smith's father and the mother of Woods, both former Navy SEALs — called on Boehner to create "a Select Committee on Benghazi to investigate all aspects of the United States' involvement in Libya, to include, but not be limited to, the attacks of September 11, 2012," reported The Examiner, which had obtained a copy of the letter.

"Your failure to get the truth and hold public officials accountable increases the possibility of other repeat attacks and additional failures to defend Americans abroad," the letter charges.

Select committees typically have more power than regular committees, The Examiner noted.

The letter was harshly critical of "Republican leadership failures" in the matter.

"Nearly 16 months after the terrorist attack, the American public has no accountability and no plan of action from House leadership," the letter says. "The public is subjected to undisputed disinformation from a White House who calls the terror attack a 'phony scandal.' While the White House repeats false and misleading information, you continue to ignore claims, documented by Rep. Frank Wolf, of intelligence officers being intimidated with multiple, punitive polygraph examinations and harassing non-disclosure agreement demands."

Wolf, a Republican from Virginia, has sponsored a bill to establish a select committee, but no vote on the measure has been scheduled.

An anonymous House GOP leadership aide rejected the letter's accusations, Breitbart reports.

Boehner aide Michael Steel told the Washington Examiner that Boehner and House Republicans are "committed to finding the truth about what happened in Benghazi and why the White House failed to level with the American people."

But Breitbart said Steel failed to answer questions from the news outlet, including details on the lone staffer he says House GOP leadership has working to coordinate the investigation among the various committees.

Calls for a select committee have been made to Boehner before, including a memo from four former Republican congressmen — Jim Courter, Dick Schulze, Gary Lee, and John LeBoutillier — written to the speaker in November.

Boehner also came under fire in September from conservative political action committee Revive America USA, which complained that he should be fired over his response to the attacks.

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