Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi Report, One Year Later
By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media
April 22nd marked the one-year anniversary of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi’s (CCB) 2014 Interim Report illuminating key details about the ongoing Benghazi scandal.
The CCB’s interim report found last year that:
- The war in Libya was not only unnecessary, but the administration quashed possible truce talks between itself and Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi at a crucial juncture.
- The United States switched sides in the War on Terror, facilitating the provision of weapons to al Qaeda-linked rebels during the Libyan civil war.
These two actions fostered the climate for the preventable September 11, 2012 terror attacks. Yet many in the media seem uninterested in exploring the reasons why the United States intervened in Libya in the first place, or the role that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, now running for president, played in pushing the United States to intervene there.
President Obama’s decision to aid al-Qaeda-linked rebels and switch sides in the War on Terror in Libya also reveals his core foreign policy strategy—that America’s enemies should not be considered adversaries, but as allies or strategic partners, regardless of the foreign leaders’ totalitarian ideology, whether or not these countries oppress their citizens, and whether or not future governments will facilitate Islamic terror.
“The failure to attempt to rescue these Americans amounts to a dereliction of duty,” stated the report. Three Annex Security Team members later confirmed that they were told by the CIA to stand down three times.
The findings of our report ring even more true today as more and more evidence has been found of a government cover-up on Benghazi. As I recently wrote, Obama administration leaders’ early knowledge that these were terror attacks indicates that our government deliberately misled the public during an election season. These leaders, including President Obama and Secretary Clinton, then blamed terror attacks against Americans on an Internet video about the life of Muhammad.
The question is not who is responsible, but rather when will the ringleaders be held accountable?
The CCB had also been calling for a Select Committee on Benghazi, long before our Interim Report was issued last April 22nd. When the Select Committee on Benghazi was finally established on May 8, 2014, with Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) as chairman, it was a move widely applauded by the CCB and others determined to see the truth come out and people held accountable. However, there have only been three public hearings to date. But Gowdy recently told me that they have conducted more than 20 transcribed interviews in private since January, including with key people never before interviewed by any previous congressional investigatory committee. So the investigation continues behind closed doors. The Committee has requested a private interview with Mrs. Clinton by May 1st.
“I expect the negotiations to be ongoing,” said Gowdy, according to The Washington Times. “I think she’ll come twice. …I hope she will.” But according to a letter sent on April 22nd from Mrs. Clinton’s attorney, David Kendall, she is willing to address the committee in public, but not in private. Perhaps that has something to do with the rules limiting the amount of time each Member can question her in a public hearing.
As we move deeper into the presidential political season, the stakes and the stagecraft become more complicated. But truth and accountability remain the ultimate purpose of these investigations.
While Newsmax indicates that the Select Committee’s investigative findings will likely be issued in 2016, what America already knows about this scandal makes it clear that the ensuing government cover-up serves as a Rosetta stone for widespread abuse-of-power and dishonesty by the Obama administration.
As it did last year before this issue made the media spotlight, the CCB will continue its fight to uncover the truth about Benghazi. We have filed a number of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and sued the administration to obtain access to documents which will aid the push for administration accountability.
The liberal media have and will likely continue to label Benghazi as a “phony scandal,” despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. But the CCB will continue to provide the public with additional revelations, despite the fact that a complicit media and the Obama administration would prefer they never come to light.