The stench of Benghazi: Select committee must be impaneled now

Sol W. Sanders  

Despite superficial controversy either purposely manufactured by the Obama administration to cover its tracks or simply the product of a kept main stream media, fundamental issues associated with the assassination of four Americans hovers ghostlike over the political scene.

Neither Gen. David Petraeus’ sexual peccadilloes — and, apparently, other high level commanders — which the main stream media has slobbered over, nor the question of truth-telling by our ambassador to the United Nations, ultimately obviates necessity for getting at the events at Benghazi.

Beyond the personal tragedies are questions requiring scrutiny of important national interest. They are far more important than simply the deaths of loyal and courageous Americans defending U.S. territory however much that issue, in itself, should have demanded a complete public inquiry.

President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have not been forthcoming in the aftermath of the tragedy at Benghazi.

A failure to defend U.S. interests represents a collapse of American foreign policy and military strategy in the face of the continuing threat of Islamic terrorism. Benghazi proved Obama campaign assurances Islamic terrorism had been defanged with the death of Osama bin Laden was bogus. In fact, while of a different nature, the threat may be more virulent than ever spread to a half dozen new “Afghanistans”.

Ultimately, there are three fundamental questions a confused and malingering Obama administration has not answered:

1) Why was there no anticipation and adequate preparation for the obvious threat posed by the advent of the anniversary of 9/11? That neglect in Libya, of course, was despite repeated calls by Amb. Christopher Stevens for additional security in a chaotic scene of radical Muslim activity where there had been earlier attacks on the U.S., the British and other foreign diplomats.

2) Once the eight-hour battle was joined over control of the U.S. Consulate-General and a second CIA installation, why was additional aid not sent the defenders? That is a question dramatically posed by an initial rescue of some 30 survivors shipped off to military hospitals in Germany where ever since they seem to have been kept in, pardon the expression, purdah.

3) Did, as he has said he had, the president order everything done to save the lives of Americans who put themselves in harm’s way in pursuit of U.S. strategic interests in eastern Libya? If so, was there a failure of the U.S. military to respond — if true, dangerous and significant given our continuing war in Afghanistan and constant threats to American security around the world? That is, is the argument being implicitly made the American military has been eroded with two inconclusive wars over more than a decade? Or, alternatively but equally critical, was there a failure in the command structure — at the Africommand, the Pentagon, or, indeed, at the level of the Commander-in-chief? The hinted at excuse no aid effort could have been successful is not acceptable. Since when have Americans under fire been abandoned even when the possibilities of rescue were slim!

4) Why, as again promised by the president, have there been no results — or , indeed, one what has been the effort — to apprehend and punish those involved in the attack? This is not a question of revenge, or even retribution, but part of any program by Washington to ward off such attacks in the future by ensuring those who perpetrate them will pay. This question again is dramatized by continuing reports individuals associated with the attack have been sighted moving freely in the area.

The proposal for an investigation by the State Department is not adequate. Obviously, such an investigation cannot be carried out independently under the aegis of Foggy Bottom itself. With the eminent departure of Sec. of State Hillary Clinton and a still undesignated successor with all the disorganization attendant in such a changeover, it is clear such an inquiry at a late date would be inconclusive on a matter of extreme importance to American security.

The bickering over turf among the House and Senate committees — the latter, of course, subservient to Democrats and the Administration — now underway has produced just the kind of confusion those seeking a cover up desire. It is critical, as Sen. John McCain has insisted, that a select committee of both houses be impaneled as soon as possible to get to the root of this major failing of U.S. policy to try to insure it does not happen again.

Sol W. Sanders, (, writes the ‘Follow the Money’ column for The Washington Times on the convergence of international politics, business and economics. He is also a contributing editor for and