At a House Foreign Affairs Joint Subcommittee hearing into the Benghazi attacks this week, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) introduced our report into the Congressional record. Upon doing so, Rohrabacher made the findings of our report the central focus of his exchange with witnesses.
The witness list included Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Director of the Center for the Study of Terrorist Radicalization, Aaron Zelin of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and Dr. Daniel L. Byman, professor at Georgetown University. A fourth witness – Michael Lovelady – lost his brother in the attack / hostage-taking operation at an Algerian gas plant last January. Lovelady gave issued a gut-wrenching statement that included details about what happened to his brother.
Gartenstein-Ross, seated on the far left, and Zelin, who was seated next to him, are the two witnesses who spoke the most in response to Rohrabacher’s questions about our report and appeared more interested in dismissing it, especially Zelin, who said he found “these claims not that credible” when talking about the alleged involvement of Ansar al-Sharia, the Muslim Brotherhood, or Mohammed Mursi in the Benghazi attacks. Zelin also said:
“…there’s no evidence to suggest based off of anything I’ve seen that the Muslim Brotherhood is linked to Ansar al-Sharia in Libya or that any members of the Muslim Brotherhood were involved or that Mohammed Mursi told members of the Muslim Brotherhood to go to Libya to conduct…”
Rohrabacher then cut off Zelin and told him to read our report. Chairman Ted Poe (R-TX) reiterated Rohrabacher’s request that witnesses get back to him in writing:
Note: We will have much more on these developments in the days to come.
On January 23rd of this year, Rep. Rohrabacher was one of the few congressmen who did not go easy on outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she testified in front of the House Foreign Affairs Committee: