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​Democrats weigh boycott of committee to investigate Benghazi attacks

Published time: May 09, 2014 03:36
John Boehner.(AFP Photo / Drew Angerer)

John Boehner.(AFP Photo / Drew Angerer)

The US House of Representatives voted Thursday along largely partisan lines to create a select committee to investigate the 2012 attacks on the US diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya that killed US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

In a 232 to 186 vote, the Republican-led House approved the special 12-member committee to be made up of seven Republicans and five Democrats. The panel’s creation was supported by all House Republicans and seven Democrats.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has selected Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) to lead the committee that, Republicans claim, will focus on exactly what happened during the attacks. The GOP has consistently criticized the Obama administration for negligent security at the diplomatic compound and a lack of transparency around the events of September 11, 2012.

“The White House has engaged in a pattern of obstruction - consistently ignoring subpoenas, redacting relevant information and stonewalling investigators,” said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA). “This obfuscation and refusal to come clean to Congress has left us as well as the people of this country wondering what else is the White House hiding?”

Meanwhile, Democrats are considering several maneuvers in responding to what they expect to be heated, politically-motivated hearings that the minority party will have almost no control over, all amid a congressional election year.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is reportedly weighing a possible Democratic boycott of the panel, or sending less than five members to the committee’s proceedings, allowing her party to monitor the panel while still protesting its machinations.

Democrats also consider the panel a grandstanding move in the sense that the US Secretary of State at the time of the attack, Hillary Clinton, is the likely frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016. Clinton will certainly be called on to testify before the select committee.

Speaker Boehner has insisted the investigation is not about politics, though he was not as clear on whether he would discourage his members from using the event to raise funds in an election year.

"It was time for us to bring this together into one place and to focus our efforts," Boehner said. "This is all about getting to the truth. This is not going to be a sideshow, it's not going to be a circus. This is a serious investigation."

The attacks by dozens of unidentified individuals on the US diplomatic compound in Benghazi in September 2012 killed US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, an American Foreign Service officer, and two CIA contractors. Ten others were injured in the attacks, which came less than a year after deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was captured and killed by rebel forces following the NATO-supported fall of Gaddafi’s government.

Eight congressional committees have investigated the Benghazi attacks, yet Boehner said the select panel was needed to consolidate efforts, Politico reported.

While many congressional Republicans have pressed for further probes into the attacks, it wasn’t until last week, when a conservative government watchdog group released White House documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. The documents purportedly reveal more detailed information of the events in 2012, both in Libya and in Washington, than evidence previously provided to congressional committees.

Comments (13)


Paul Lyberg 15.07.2014 16:45

it's a shame that our politicians have to use these schemes to discredit people at election times, to gain footing they have lost in reference to trust. instead of governing they are using our tax dollars to go after witch hunt after witch hunt. instead of governing for the people they are looking inward for self-preservation at a time when they have done nothing to be proud of. now they strike with nonsense to keep the citizens off track of the true issues and motivations of the GOP


Lauren Lee 31.05.2014 19:51

This is my US. No matter what this still the best place 2 live on earth. Look@all countris on TV/News &makes 1grateful to live in the US.We've more immigrant than NEcountry annualy cuz we've most comfort lifestyl on earth &oppotunity.Am Dream we live I hail frm Honolulu n I live never dreamt possbl

Szes of home in major of cities w exceptin 2Honolulu San Fran New York.We're Blessed 2 live here in US

we've a host of probs globally we shouldn't be @homewe not live auster condition lest Ufrom ghetto trailer parks chicago We need always B thankful! I apprcte lifestyl God has given 2 my family. Eductn hardwork = AM DRM


John M. Wadsworth 10.05.2014 00:14

Jones Redcloud 09.05.2014 10:47

Some false ethics from the Republican Neocons to take focus off the U.S. flop on Ukraine while the U.S. still blames Russia all along feeling money for terrorist to overthrow the legitimate Govt. and create chaos and blood in the street of people who wish to live work in peace.


Ne o-cons aren't in power. The pseudo-liberal progressives are. Not being in power, the neo-cons have no reason to divert attention from Obama's failures. In fact, the congressional Benghazi investigation is an attempt to get to the bottom of one of Obama's many failures.

View all comments (13)
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