Says Legislation to Create Select Committee Has Added 14 Cosponsors Since Interim Report Was Released Last Week; Now Totals 134

FranklinwolfWashington, D.C. (April 30, 2013) – Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), chief sponsor of legislation to create a House Select Committee on the Terrorist Attack in Benghazi, today released the following statement regarding a report on Fox News last night in which a U.S. Special Operations member with knowledge of the events in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012 said U.S. forces were close enough to Benghazi that they could have responded, contradicting the Obama Administration’s repeated narrative there was no help available nearby:

“Last night, I watched a member of the Special Operations community confirm what I have suspected for months: There is a White House cover up of what happened in Benghazi, where four Americans lost their lives and several others were seriously injured.   

“The operator, whose face was blacked out and voice was altered, said: ‘The problem is you’ve got guys in the special ops community who are still active and still involved, and they would be decapitated if they came forward with information that could affect high level commanders … I don’t blame them for not coming forward.  It’s something that is risky, especially in our line of profession, to say anything in the realm of politics or that deals with policy.’

“This supports allegations we have repeatedly heard about administration intimidation of Benghazi whistleblowers by White House lawyers.  And if what President Obama said today in his press conference was true – that the State Department has been forthcoming with information about this attack – why are we just now hearing reports like these? 

“I can assure the president that the State Department has not been forthcoming.  I have been waiting two months for a response to my March 1 letter requesting the condition and location of department employees wounded in the terrorist attack.  To date, my letter has gone unanswered. 

“It is clear that theadministration just wants the issue of Benghazi to go away, but I sincerely hope that Congress will not aid this White House cover up of the mistakes made by high-level members of the administration that cost four brave Americans their lives.

“The majority of the majority – 134 House Republicans to be exact – have stood up to this cover up by cosponsoring my legislation to create a select committee, H. Res. 36.  Just one week has passed since the release of the interim progress report on Benghazi by the five committees currently investigating the attack, and already 14 more Members of Congress have signed on. 

“Today, Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) spoke out in support of a select committee.  This proves what I’ve been saying all along: A select committee is the only possible way that the American people, the Congress and the victims’ families will ever know what happened that night and how to prevent an attack like this in the future. 

“The special operator from last night’s report admitted that people are afraid to come forward and explain what they know to the Congress.  A select committee’s comprehensive jurisdiction and subpoena authority would hold everyone accountable and protect federal agency employees who feel a duty to testify, but may be pressured not to by the administration.  Frankly, to do nothing would jeopardize the national security of the United States.

“The interim progress report left us with more questions than answers, and the five committees have been unresponsive to follow-up questions since the report was released.  Since then, members of the Special Operations military community have renewed their support of a select committee by publicly speaking out on national television and radio programs, such as the report last night.  And further, it’s clear that my colleagues have heard from their constituents while at home during the recess this week as four of the 14 new cosponsors signed on since yesterday, proving that the current multi-committee investigation is too weak, too lacking in new information and too slow.

“This isn’t about ‘winning’ a political game – in fact, part of the appeal of a select committee is its bipartisan nature – but is instead about bringing justice to the families of four brave Americans who died at the hands of anti-American terrorists, honoring the victims and ensuring that we prevent other similar attacks.  The majority of the majority in the House, the three Senators who spoke out today, the American public, the victims’ families and the Special Operations military community can’t all be wrong – it’s time to move forward with a bipartisan select committee on Benghazi.”