Allen West Leads Efforts for New House Committee to Investigate Benghazi Attacks
Around the State
Having left the door open to a political comeback in 2016, former Congressman Allen West will be launching a national petition drive to demand the creation of a House Select Committee to investigate the Benghazi attacks.
West will be speaking at the Capitol steps in Washington at a media event on Tuesday in support of legislation from U.S. Rep. Frank Wolfe, R-Va., to create a committee examining the Benghazi attacks on Sept.11, 2012, in which four Americans, including Chris Stevens, the ambassador to Libya, were killed.
Republican leadership in the House, including Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, believes the matter can be investigated by other committees. Boehner has repeatedly opposed the creation of a new committee and, last year, assigned five standing House committees -- Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, Intelligence, Judiciary and Oversight -- to examine the matter. The committees provided an interim report to Boehner in April.
“We are determined to get to the truth regarding the terrorist attack on our mission in Benghazi, Libya, in which four Americans lost their lives,” Boehner said after receiving the interim report.
The speaker insisted the interim report did not end the matter. “Last year, I directed five committees to look at various parts of this investigation,” Boehner said. “This is a matter of national security and national importance, and our investigation will in fact continue.”
In the meantime, Boehner has relied on the Oversight Committee, led by U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., to lead the investigations. At the end of June, Issa issued four subpoenas to State Department officials to talk about the Obama administration’s response to the Benghazi attacks.
That’s not enough for West, who will be calling for a new committee on Tuesday. The event will feature a large petition demanding a full investigation by a new committee which has already been signed by 1,000 veterans. There will be efforts to bring similiar petitions to every congressional district in the nation. In the meantime, U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, is trying to get a discharge petition signed to get the bill heard on the floor but he needs the support of 218 congressmen before that can happen.
West, a favorite of the tea party movement despite losing his seat to Democrat Patrick Murphy, has been vocal in recent weeks in calling for a full investigation. Back in May, West called for creating a select committee to investigate the Benghazi attack.
“As a former member of Congress who also served in uniform, I know how important it is that we learn the truth about why military support was never sent to the Americans under fire at the U.S. annex in Benghazi last September," West said. “We owe it to the families of the four victims and the survivors -- some of whom sustained serious injuries and were still at Walter Reed hospital months after the attack -- to fully investigate this terrorist attack and the Obama administration's questionable response in the days and weeks that followed.”
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