Up to this point, the House Oversight Committee has gotten little from the investigation into the Consulate attacks on 9/11/2012 that left four Americans dead, and the Obama administration scrambling to cover up the details just weeks before the presidential election. After running into repeated dead-ends, stonewalling from the White House and State Department, and a hearing with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that amounted to nothing more than a petty argument, the House Oversight Committee finally has the opportunity start getting straight answers on what happened that fateful night in Libya. The three men scheduled to testify at tomorrow’s hearing have likely destroyed their careers by agreeing to appear before the committee, and lawmakers owe it to them to start making progress in finding to the truth about Benghazi.
In order to move this investigation forward, the committee needs to get three things. First, the testimony from these men must clearly point to a conspiracy to deceive the American people, and that more could have been done to save lives on the night of the attack. Gregory Hicks is reported to testify that people on the ground at the Benghazi Consulate immediately communicated to Washington that it was a planned and coordinated terrorist attack, which the White House and State Department actively tried to conceal in the following days. He is believed to also testify that he was threatened about appearing before congress. Mark Thompson is believed to testify that military rescue teams were told to stand down when preparing to fly to Benghazi to aid and exfiltrate the survivors while the attack was still ongoing.
The second thing that the committee needs is a list of names. If meetings were held to remove any mention of terrorism from the Benghazi talking points, who from the White House and State Department attended those meetings? If whistleblowers are being threatened, who specifically is threatening them? If the response teams to Libya were told to stand down, who gave the order, and where did the order originate? Congress must be able to apply pressure to force personnel involved in these decisions to appear before Congress under oath, and hold anyone who attempts to evade giving testimony in contempt.
That brings us to the third thing that the committee will need to obtain, a trail of evidence. They need anything they can find that prove a cover-up, and more witnesses to come forward and corroborate what these witnesses are alleging. If the allegations of these whistleblowers are true, then multiple crimes may have been committed. If Congress can collect enough evidence and witness testimony, they’ll not only have the names of people to subpoena, but also justification to force them to cooperate with the investigation, or sit in jail if they refuse. Only when there are real consequences for hiding the truth will the people with intimate knowledge of the Benghazi cover-up in the White house and State Department start to roll over. Self-preservation is a great motivator.
Forget trying to simply dig up dirt on President Obama or Hillary Clinton. Forget attacking Susan Rice. Congress needs to get answers and names to reach the truth about the Benghazi Consulate attack on Wednesday. It has to be about more than just politics. Every question that Republicans ask of these whistleblowers should be focused on, “who ordered,” “who knows about,” and “what evidence exists?” This is the last opportunity to start getting the truth on Benghazi, and Congress will need to obtain solid leads to move the investigation forward. If Congress fails to deliver anything concrete on Wednesday, the truth will never be found. Liberal media has been bullied into covering this hearing by dedicated reporters from conservative media sites, the Weekly Standard, and Fox News Channel. Mainstream media reporters are looking for any excuse to bury this story once and for all. If nothing comes from this hearing, that’s exactly what they’ll do, and blame Fox News for hyping the story (though some left-wing media will make that claim regardless). If the testimony these whistleblowers deliver turns out to be the press is being told, and congress manages to get real answers on the “who” and “when” on the Benghazi cover-up, then it becomes a story that the media won’t be able to sweep under the rug, try as they might. We’ll know the answer tomorrow.