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Rep. Wolf to Newsmax: Botched Benghazi Response Saps Military 'Ethos'

By Amy Woods and David A. Patten   |   Monday, 04 Nov 2013 09:38 PM

U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens might be alive today had the initial call requesting military support to defend the besieged consulate in Benghazi been answered, Rep. Frank Wolf tells Newsmax.

The Virginia Republican says he does not know who gave the order for troops to "stand down," but whoever it was violated the "ethos" of the U.S. armed forces.

"We're going to continue to push this until we find what the truth is," he told Newsmax TV on Monday.  "This will be the first time in the history of the nation that we've left people behind."

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Wolf said Gen. William G. Boykin, who was commander of the military in Mogadishu, Somalia, in October 1993, "in order to reclaim . . . the bodies of two individuals who had been killed, in order to bring them back because they have an ethos — no one is left behind — they had 15 people killed and 72 people wounded."

The Mogadishu battle was the subject of the movie "Black Hawk Down."

"The Obama administration violated that ethos on Sept. 11 last year," Wolf said.

Wolf has reintroduced legislation to create a House select committee to investigate the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, and President Barack Obama's response to it. He said the governmental cover-up is so apparent it reeks of President Richard Nixon's Watergate scandal.

"This administration is modeling that to a certain extent," Wolf said of the 1972 break-in and ensuing revelations. "I mean, if you recall, they said it was because of the video. [Former U.S. Ambassador] Susan Rice went on television — five shows on that Sunday — and said it was because of the video. Everyone knew at the time that it wasn't because of the video."

Wolf said Obama flew to Las Vegas the following day for a fundraiser.

"So, you find administrations circling the wagons, but this has been amazing. I've been a little disappointed that more people haven't been willing to come forth publicly."

When asked why House Republicans are hesitant to create a select committee to investigate, Wolf answered, "I have no idea."

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"I really can't even . . . answer that question because I don't know," Wolf said. "We've met the threshold, we have over 177,178 co-sponsors, we've got the support of the American Legion, all the special-ops groups who have an editorial supporting us in The Wall Street Journal, the families of those who were killed. I don't know."

Wolf said one of the biggest questions surrounding the attack that killed three other Americans in addition to Stevens was the presence of the CIA.

"What was the CIA doing there?" he asked. "Were they moving weapons? Were the weapons going into Syria? Were the weapons going to Islamist jihadists? Why didn't the CIA and the Department of Defense and the White House have teams ready to come to assist?

"There are so many questions, and everything has come out not because of the Congress, but it's really come out because of the press, so I appreciate the media has been focusing and has not allowed this to die," Wolf told Newsmax. "You would have thought it would have died by this time because it's been well over a year. But there are so many questions, and they're all interrelated."

Public hearings will be needed for the country to get to the bottom of a tragedy that probably could have been prevented, Wolf said.

"Frankly, unless we have public hearings, we'll never know what the truth is," he said.

Based on information Wolf has gathered from sources who were on the ground in Benghazi, they think that if the first call for help had been answered, "they may very well have saved Ambassador Stevens."

On the topic of isolationism, Wolf did not say whether he thinks Obama embraces it, but said the administration's domestic and foreign policies are in "decay and disarray." Wolf pointed to such programs as the IRS' targeting of tea party groups, along with the White House's misleading the public about the purported collapse of al-Qaida.

"Our foreign policy in Iraq has been some fundamental failure," he said. "You're finding the number of deaths in Iraq has skyrocketed. Things are not going very well in Afghanistan. Their policy in Egypt with regard to [former President Mohammed] Morsi was really a disaster. The policy in Syria has unraveled to the point that 115,000 or more have now died.

"I was over in the region a couple of months ago. We see in China 25 Catholic bishops under house arrest, hundreds of Protestant pastors. You see to date about 118 Buddhist monks and nuns have set themselves aflame . . . so just wherever you look, it just seems their foreign policy is in decay and disarray," Wolf said.

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U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens might be alive today had the initial call requesting military support to defend the besieged consulate in Benghazi been answered, Rep. Frank Wolf tells Newsmax.
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