An open letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner
We write you out of grave concern that the events of 9/11/12 in Benghazi are being given insufficient attention in the House of Representatives under your leadership. On numerous occasions, you demonstrated satisfaction with the White House’s response to Congressional inquiries, despite the lack of accountability and of specificity of testimony in those inquiries. To date, you have also declined to create a Select Committee to fully investigate what took place during the terrorist attack.
We feel strongly that the House standing committees, such as the Oversight and Intelligence Committees, have enough on their plates already and will not be able to dedicate the time and intense focus that the national tragedy in Benghazi demands.
As veterans of Special Operations, we find that deeply troubling. Through a wide array of experience during our careers with situations analogous to that in Benghazi, we have 16 specific questions with far-reaching implications that remain unanswered by both the Congressional hearings and by the administration.
The questions that have never been or are still outstanding are:
Why was there no military response to the events in Benghazi?
- Were military assets in the region available? If not, why not?
- If so, were they alerted?
- Were assets deployed to any location in preparation for a rescue or recovery attempt?
- Was military assistance requested by the Department of State? If so, what type?
- Were any US Army/Navy/USMC assets available to support the US diplomats in Benghazi during the attack?
- What, if any, recommendations for military action were made by DOD and the US Africa Command?
- What, if any, non-military assistance was provided during the attack?
- How many US personnel were injured in Benghazi?
- Why have the survivors of the attack not been questioned?
- Where are the survivors?
- Who was in the White House Situation Room (WHSR) during the entire 8-hour period of the attacks, and was a senior US military officer present?
- Where were Leon Panetta and General Martin Dempsey during the crisis, and what inputs and recommendations did they make?
- Where were Tom Donilon, the National Security Advisor, Denis McDonough, his deputy, Valerie Jarrett, and John Brennan during the attacks, and what (if any) recommendations or decisions did any of them make?
- Why were F-16 fighter aircraft based in Aviano, Italy (less than two hours away), never considered a viable option for disruption (if not dispersal) of the attackers until “boots on the ground” (troop support--General Dempsey’s words) arrived?
- Were any strike aircraft (such as an AC-130 gunship) in the area or possibly overhead that would cause former SEAL Tyrone Woods to laser-designate his attacker’s position and call for gunship fire support, thereby revealing his own location that led to his death?
- Who gave the order to “STAND DOWN” that was heard repeatedly during the attacks?
- What threat warnings existed before the attack, and what were the DOD and DOS responses to those warnings? What data (which will reveal exact timelines and command decisions) is contained within the various SITREPS, records, logs, videos and recordings maintained by the myriad DOD, Intelligence Community and State Department Command Centers that were monitoring the events in Benghazi as they unfolded?
- Why did the Commander-in Chief and Secretary of State never once check in during the night to find out the status of the crisis in Benghazi?
- What was the nature of Ambassador Stevens’ business in Benghazi at the time of the attack?
- What guidance has been provided to survivors and family members since the time of the attack, and who issued that guidance?
- Why are so many agencies now requiring their personnel who were involved in or have access to information regarding the events that took place in Benghazi sign non-disclosure statements?
We at Special Operations Speaks respect Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment not to speak ill of other Republicans. That said, as military veterans, we hold a deeper respect for the “no man left behind” principle. Our Special Operations Forces and those serving as ambassadors and diplomats abroad deserve better, and we’re demanding better.
With the Obama Administration willfully stonewalling requests for the truth, we need a Speaker of the House who will boldly stand for doing right by our military and any who serve America abroad.
Mr. Speaker – you have a clear choice before you. This is an unparalleled opportunity for you to do the right thing by those who sacrificed their lives, the thousands of public servants across the world, and the American people.Should you choose to do neither of these, it will send a strong indication to the American public that you are complicit in the Obama Administration’s cover-up and are no longer fit to hold your position of trust and power.
We request that you provide answers to the above questions within one week. If you are unable to furnish responses, we request that you create a Select Committee to investigate the incident in depth and to fulfill your duty to the American people and to the families of the fallen.
Alternatively, we respectfully request that you resign as Speaker of the House and allow the Republican caucus to select a successor who WILL see to it that answers are forthcoming.
Our nation deserves no less.
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