Clock Running Out on Slow-Moving Benghazi Select Committee

If you’re one of those people who’ve been wondering where the House Select Committee on Benghazi has been, you’re not alone. Now, as a new Congress is about to begin, the House will have to reauthorize the Committee’s formation and work, which makes the timing of the release of the recent House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) report just a bit more curious.

There are signs that some in the House of Representatives may be engaged in a bit of Kabuki theater over the Benghazi investigation. If so, the American people should demand an accounting.

As reported, the Intelligence Committee report was completed in early August but was not released until late November, on a Friday, one day after Obama’s announcement he was issuing an executive order on amnesty, and smack dab in the middle of a lame duck session of Congress.

Predictably, Democrats are pointing to the HPSCI report as evidence the Select Committee is no longer needed. One of the reasons Democrats are doing so is that the Intelligence Committee is headed by a Republican – Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI). The report, which exculpates virtually everyone, is bi-partisan they say.

Select Committee ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings (R-MD) is quoted as saying:

“Based on these unanimous, bipartisan findings, there is no reason for the Benghazi Select Committee to reinvestigate these facts, repeat the work already done by our Republican and Democratic colleagues, and squander millions of additional taxpayer dollars in the process.”

A truly bipartisan gesture should come from Select Committee Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC). As has reported, he should depose Rogers. Among other things, Rogers should be asked why Ambassador Christopher Stevens visited with the HPSCI days before his murder.

Aside from it being laughable that Cummings is somehow concerned with squandering taxpayer money, there is far more than sufficient probable cause to suggest Rogers is compromised, has significant conflicts of interest or both. As has chronicled, there is a laundry list of reasons why Rogers would not want the truth about Benghazi to come out, not the least of which involves his wife’s work with Aegis, a defense contracting company based in Great Britain that was on the ground in Libya in 2011.

Read this August 5, 2014 report: Benghazi Select Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy Stabbed in Back by Republican Colleague

The announcement of the Select Committee was made this past May. As reported and showed in great detail, the Democrats clearly went all out in creating a distraction with the #BringBackOurGirls campaign.

Since the formation of the Committee and the appointment of Tea Party favorite Rep. Trey Gowdy as its Chairman, there hasn’t been much activity to report. There has only been one hearing, and it was rather uneventful. Those wanting the truth about Benghazi told have shown significant deference toward Gowdy because of how he has conducted himself in hearings. Frankly, if it were anyone else, there would probably be accusations made that the select committee is slow-walking the proceedings.

As to the fate of the Committee in the new Congress, Speaker Boehner says he will re-appoint Gowdy as chairman but is mum on the issue of reauthorizing the committee itself:

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Monday evening announced that he is reappointing Republican Trey Gowdy of South Carolina to head the Select Committee on Benghazi next Congress.

The problem, however, is that by doing so, Boehner named a chairman to a panel that does not yet exist. Because the Benghazi committee is select and not permanent, the House will have to vote again to re-create it when Congress returns for a new session in January.

Boehner’s statement did not mention that another vote would need to occur in order for Gowdy to have a panel to lead or for other Republicans to serve on it.

As has reported, one of Boehner’s predecessors as Speaker – Newt Gingrich – alleged that the House Intelligence Committee was ‘co-opted’ by the CIA when it came to Benghazi. In the video below, Newt is almost apoplectic over why the Committee even issued the report.

It has clearly provided ammunition to the Democrats at the perfect time.

If Newt is right that the CIA ‘co-opted’ one House Committee on Benghazi, would it not be interested in co-opting the far more relevant Committee that has a bulldog, former prosecutor as its chairman? The timing of the HPSCI report, the need to reauthorize the Select Committee next year, and the curiously slow-moving Select Committee should garner more scrutiny.

If – and granted, this is a big if – the Select Committee is not reauthorized next year and the HPSCI plays a role in its demise, Americans will have to ask a very serious question:

Was Trey Gowdy duped or was he a willing participant in a Kabuki dance?

If it’s the former, he should be expected to come forward and say so. If it’s the latter, there is no one trustworthy in Congress.

No one.


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