- Hacking software could put ‘zombie drone army’ in user’s hands
- Support for stricter gun laws drops: poll
- 10 whales dead, 41 others stranded in Everglades
- John Boehner faces bipartisan pressure to allow gay-rights vote
- Martin Bashir resigns from MSNBC over ‘ill-judged’ comments about Sarah Palin
- Rep. Duncan Hunter: While Obama prays for Iranian change, U.S. should ready its nukes
- Best company ever? Veteran Beer Co. exists to employ vets, provide quality beer
- Iran official: Sanctions ‘utterly failed’ to stop nuclear program
- ‘Black Santa’ display at IU sparks student outrage
- Joint Chiefs chair Dempsey: Pentagon, VA too slow in merging medical systems
Watergate-style panel urged for Benghazi probe
Va.’s Wolf offers resolution
Question of the Day
House Republicans introduced a resolution Tuesday to set up a Watergate-style investigative committee to probe the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and the Obama administration’s response to it.
Fourteen Republican lawmakers signed on behind the resolution’s author, Rep. Frank R. Wolf, Virginia Republican, before it was even introduced.
U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the military-style assault, which unfolded in two stages over the night of the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the U.S.
Republicans also have alleged that administration officials were tardy in identifying the attack as a planned assault by militias tied to al Qaeda, instead of as a spontaneous reaction to the protests against a U.S.-made anti-Islam video.
The five Republican chairmen and five ranking Democrats on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and the Foreign Affairs, Judiciary, Armed Services, and Oversight and Government Reform committees would sit on the investigative panel.
It would have the power to subpoena witnesses and documents.
No one in the speaker’s office or the majority leader’s office could be reached for comment Tuesday.
Republicans have charged that the Obama administration ignored requests from Mr. Stevens and other diplomatic and security staff on the ground for increased security in Libya, and for more personnel at the compound in Benghazi, specifically.
Benghazi, which was a hub for extremists long before last year’s revolution that toppled longtime Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi, had seen a series of attacks against Western diplomatic targets over the summer, and the British and the Red Cross had closed their facilities there.
“We were the last flag flying,” said Army National Guard Col. Andrew Woods, who commanded a detachment of special forces troops protecting the U.S. Embassy and staff in Tripoli, Libya, told a congressional hearing in October.
The detachment was with withdrawn over the summer, despite the protests of local diplomatic security officials.
The issue of security was given renewed life last week by the revelation that the mission compound did not have special physical security barriers State Department policy required, despite widespread intelligence reporting about the growing strength and boldness of Islamic extremist militias, some affiliated with al Qaeda, in the town.
Several former military and diplomatic officials have told The Times that one or two additional security personnel at the mission likely would not have been able to fend off the first wave of the attack by dozens of extremists armed with automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenade launchers.
“It is our responsibility as a Congress to legislate and educate the American people on the circumstances surrounding the attack,” said Mr. Wolf, who chairs a House Appropriations subcommittee that funds the Justice Department. “We owe it to the families of the victims to fully investigate this tragedy in full and open hearings to have a clearer understanding of what happened.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
By Tom Harris and Madhav Khandekar
Bad science puts rich nations on the hook for trillions in climate liabilities
- Hola: Boehner prepares to push amnesty bill through House
- Martin Bashir resigns from MSNBC over 'ill-judged' comments about Sarah Palin
- First Dog Sunny knocks down Ashtyn Gardner; Michelle Obama yanks leash
- Puerto Rico caravan honoring Paul Walker ends in 6 drunken-driving arrests, 72 speeding tickets
- HURT: Postal Service misses address by a whole continent
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones
- Apple wins facial recognition patent for iPhone 6
- U.S. drops 2,000 mice on Guam by parachute to kill snakes
- EDITORIAL: Motor City meltdown
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Wall Street news for retail investors who want to know what's going on.
Does it take over 25 years in public service to really know what goes on in Washington?
Despite cynicism about the law, it can provide you justice, protection, and ensure your rights.
All of the world’s problems, solved on your back porch