It has been nearly eight months since jihadists attacked U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed, and many more were badly injured. And that is pretty much all we know for sure about an incident that has – let’s face it – been subjected to the most comprehensive, and successful, cover-up in modern political history.
Now, seven hundred heroic special operations veterans have written an open letter to Congress calling for the creation of a new investigative committee to establish the truth. They want to know, in particular, why warriors like them weren’t allowed to aid our countrymen in their hour of need.
Their letter reads in part: “This was the most severe attack on American diplomatic facilities and personnel since the attacks on the US Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998. Thus far, it appears that there has been no serious effort to determine critical details of this attack. This is inexcusable and demands immediate attention by the Congress.”
During their years of service, these 700 special operations veterans have put their lives on the line for our country. They trained and prepared for and, in many cases, executed missions to come to the aid of Americans who were in danger or in enemy hands. They know firsthand the risks that are entailed, and they willingly took those risks.
In short, these special operators lived by one of our military’s most sacred principles: No comrade is left behind, ever.
And these storied veterans are determined to find out, among other things, why two of those comrades and two other Americans were allowed to die in Benghazi on September 11, 2012 at the hands of jihadists without any effort made to help them. In their words: “Congress must show some leadership and provide answers to the public as to what actually occurred in Benghazi. Americans have a right to demand a full accounting on this issue.”
This is not an effort to settle political scores. Neither the Democrats who run the Senate nor Republicans who run the House have conducted the needed “full accounting.” What is required is more than just a postmortem on a national security debacle, however.
The signers of the open letter are determined to ensure than no one else needlessly loses their lives by establishing – and learning from – all the lessons of the Benghazigate scandal. And they know it will take the sort of transparency and accountability up the entire chain of command wholly absent since the first shots were fired by jihadists that fateful night.
The Special Operations Force (SOF) 700 believe the only way at this point to achieve such transparency and accountability is by the establishment of a new, independent and bipartisan select House committee charged with the full investigative powers of the Congress. The pending legislative vehicle for setting up such a panel is House Resolution 36, sponsored by Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA) and some 70 of his colleagues.
As one of the SOF community’s most revered leaders – in both war and peace, retired Army Lieutenant General William “Jerry” Boykin, put it recently: “I have seen men take great risks to save a fellow warrior. I have even seen men die trying to do so. The lack of accountability regarding the Benghazi event disturbs me greatly and bears the earmarks of a cover up.
“America is entitled to a full accounting of this egregious attack on our people with some explanation as to why there was no effort to save the Americans in [Benghazi] or at least to recover their bodies before they fell into Libyan hands. Our Congress has yet to fulfill its responsibility to provide a complete analysis of the attack or to provide answers as to what exactly happened. A bipartisan Special Committee is needed to determine the truth about Benghazi.”
Citizens who wish to join in the SOF 700’s call for a real investigation of the policies and decisions that led up to the murderous jihadist assault on two U.S. facilities in Benghazi, what occurred during that attack and the cover-up that ensued in its aftermath can do so by visiting EndtheCoverup.com They can also find out more about the work of Special Operations Speaks and how they can help at SpecialOperationsSpeaks.com
It is a sad indictment of the state of our polity that warriors like the SOF 700 must step forward to demand that Congress perform the oversight function that is its solemn constitutional duty. But we have relied on them before to save our collective bacon, and it speaks volumes about the character, clarity of vision and love of country of these men that they have not hesitated to muster out once again on our behalf.
God bless the SOF 700 and may Congress heed their appeal for enactment of H. Res 36.
Frank Gaffney, Jr.
Frank Gaffney is the Founder and President of the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C. Under Mr. Gaffney’s leadership, the Center has been nationally and internationally recognized as a resource for timely, informed and penetrating analyses of foreign and defense policy matters. Mr. Gaffney formerly acted as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy during the Reagan Administration, following four years of service as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Forces and Arms Control Policy. Previously, he was a professional staff member on the Senate Armed Services Committee under the chairmanship of the late Senator John Tower, and a national security legislative aide to the late Senator Henry M. Jackson.