Numbers are hard, apparently.
Wednesday, Democrats on the House Select Committee on Benghazi hurled an already debunked accusation at Committee Republicans. They claim the contentious investigation into the terrorist attack on the U.S.’s Benghazi embassy in 2012 has gone on longer than the Congressional investigation into the 9/11 terrorist attacks of 2001.
There’s one tiny little problem with their latest claim — it’s not true.
Committee Democrats write [emphasis mine]:
Today marks the 609th day since the authorization of the Select Committee on Benghazi, surpassing the length of time the 9/11 Commission took to investigate the terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people on September 11, 2001.
The Benghazi Select Committee is one of the longest, least productive, and most partisan investigations in Congressional history, including the investigations of Hurricane Katrina, the attack on Pearl Harbor, the assassination of President Kennedy, Iran-Contra, and Watergate.
“The Select Committee’s investigation of the Benghazi attacks has been widely condemned as hyper-partisan and ineffective, and it stands in stark contrast to the bipartisan investigation and report issued by the 9/11 Commission,” said Ranking Member Elijah Cummings. “Instead of following the bipartisan model set by the 9/11 Commission, which brought our entire nation together after we were attacked by terrorists, Republicans created a highly partisan Select Committee with an unlimited budget to attack their political opponents. Republicans continue to drag out this political charade closer to the 2016 presidential election, and the American taxpayers continue to pay the price.”
The website for the Committee’s Democratic members and participants disagrees with the Committee’s claim. There, they list the investigation a 608 day-long affair, not the 609 days cited in the press release.
The Democrats contradictory day count aside, they’re still wrong. The 9/11 investigation lasted 634 days.
Similar claims were made by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in September of 2015, and subsequently ruled “false” by Politifact.
Clinton’s campaign said the Benghazi probe is “the longest-running congressional investigation ever.”
The clearest way to measure this is to look at when a special congressional committee dedicated to a specific investigation officially began and ended. By this measure, this claim is wrong. While the Benghazi investigation has lasted about 17 months, we found other investigations that lasted 30, 40 and even 90 months. And the number of longer investigations only goes up once probes by permanent committees are included. We rate the claim False.
Committee Chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy insisted Republicans are not intentionally prolonging the investigation.
Republican leaders have turned the tables on Democrats, claiming that their unwillingness to participate in the investigation has slowed down the committee’s work. GOP leaders also blame the Obama administration for slow-walking documents that is has asked for.
“We are just as anxious to wrap up our work as you are,” Gowdy told reporters on Wednesday.
“You have a choice: you can either issue a report that’s incomplete because you don’t have all the documents [or] you can wait and put up with the criticism of how long it’s taking until you do have all the documents,” he added. “And I have accepted the reality that we’re going to be criticized no matter what we do, so we might as well provide a complete and exhaustive report. “
Democrats' comparison of 9/11 Commission & #Benghazi investigation only proves process moves faster when Democrats help instead of obstruct.
— Benghazi Committee (@HouseBenghazi) January 6, 2016
Press Secretary for the House Select Committee on Benghazi, Matt Wolking, told Legal Insurrection:
“Democrats on the Benghazi Committee continue to waste taxpayer dollars playing politics and issuing stupid, meaningless press releases that are inaccurate to boot. Their complete lack of interest in getting answers for the families of the four Americans who died because they were left without adequate security on September 11 in one of the most dangerous places in the world is grotesque. If Democrats would actually assist with the investigation instead of undermining it – and stop acting as a full-fledged arm of the Clinton campaign – perhaps the committee wouldn’t still be waiting for crucial documents and witnesses to be produced by the administration.”
Former CIA Director, General David Patraeus, met with the House Select Committee on Benghazi this afternoon.
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