A special congressional committee needs to investigate the Sept. 11 Benghazi attacks because “a unified effort would be more likely to get to the truth,” Former GOP presidential candidate Fred Thompson tells Newsmax TV.
“When you've got several committees with jurisdictions, they're overlapping,” Thompson, the former Tennessee senator, tells Newsmax in an exclusive interview.
“One of the committees, the Intelligence Committee, can't disclose what's happening in it to other committees. You'll be in competition for witnesses and there'll be questions about who you give immunity to.
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“There should be a unified, focused effort by people who are specially selected because of the respect that they enjoy or their confidence in a particular field,” Thompson adds. “Benghazi covers foreign affairs. It covers intelligence. It covers governmental operations. It covers about four or five different areas.”
Thompson, 70, who served on the Senate Watergate Committee formed to investigate President Richard Nixon, says that the common threat between that scandal and the Libyan assaults that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans is “the abuse of power.”
“It has to do with a government that gets big. It gets unwieldy. It provides more opportunities for abuse of power,” the "Law & Order" star tells Newsmax. “And as long as human nature is what it is, you're going to have people who have fought hard to achieve power or exercise their power, sometimes in ways in which they shouldn't.
“That’s just as relevant today and it was back in the 1970s when you had the Watergate scandal.”
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Benghazi is the far more serious embarrassment facing the Obama White House.
“You had, at a minimum, gross negligence that cost the lives of Americans, including one of our ambassadors,” Thompson begins. “It demonstrated excessive timidity, culpability, inability to acknowledge the facts that common sense will tell you were true.
“There’s a scandal with what happened before the attack in Benghazi. There's a scandal with regard to what happened during it — and then one involving what happened after it. The one that's getting the most attention now is the one that happened after it and the obvious lying and cover up that they carried out.
“The fact that these people were not given adequate protection, the fact that when they came under attack they weren’t defended — there was no attempt to do anything for them — and where was the president during all of this? There was no leadership.
“What signal does that send to hooligans and terrorists around the world where we have people?” he asks. “It's a terrible scandal. It cost the loss of lives. We have now put more people in jeopardy because of the way that this matter was handled than we have before.
“It's something that has to be pursued,” Thompson tells Newsmax. “It's Congress' responsibility. They should not be timid about it — and a special committee, a select committee, is a special way of going about this.”
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