As the nation was preparing on Tuesday to observe the 12th Anniversary of the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001, U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., the current House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman, demanded that the U.S. State Department allow his committee to interview survivors of the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, dead and several others wounded.
In his Sept. 10, 2012, letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, Issa voiced his frustration and stated that his oversight committee “may be forced to use the compulsory process if cooperation is not forthcoming.
“The survivors of the attacks are the only people who can give testimony to the Committee about what happened on the ground in Benghazi,” said Issa in the letter sent to Secretary Kerry one day before the first anniversary of the Benghazi attacks that occurred while the nation observed the 11th anniversary of 9-11.
“Details provided by the survivors will not only help the Committee determine what took place during the attack, but will also help the Committee and other interested parties determine ways to prevent future tragedies.”
While the Obama administration continues to claim it is cooperating fully with the probe into security failures as well as alleged failures in leadership during the seven-hour attack at the U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya, it has been shown to be stonewalling the investigation as every turn, according to veteran intelligence, military and law enforcement officers.
In fact, according to Issa, on Aug. 23, 2013, State Department officials informed Issa and the other committee members that it was, “not prepared to support the request for transcribed interviews.”
Chairman Issa’s letter notes that “the Accountability Review Board (ARB) interviewed eyewitnesses as part of their review and media outlets have also reportedly had access to survivors of the attack.”
However, according to critics of the State Department, the ARB probe was nothing more than a dog-and-pony show and it held no one accountable for the security failures that led to four Americans, including an ambassador, to be killed by brutal terrorists.
As reported in an Examiner news story: “The State Department has long known that weak security at American embassies and consulates worldwide could result in a tragedy like Benghazi but warnings [were] ignored and a former [President Bill] Clinton administration official runs the [State Department’s] division behind the scandal.”
Furthermore, the letter states:
“The State Department has further restricted the Committee’s access to these witnesses, claiming that they must be insulated from congressional investigators as they ‘would very likely be witnesses in any criminal proceedings relating to the Benghazi attacks’… The Department’s concerns about jeopardizing law enforcement efforts were not at issue during its own internal ARB investigation, and should not be an issue with the congressional investigation.”
“I must receive confirmation that the [State] Department will make these witnesses available to [Oversight] Committee investigators by September 24, 2013,” the letter states. “Otherwise, I will have no alternative but to consider the use of compulsory process,” wrote Rep. Issa.