House Select Committee on Benghazi Interviews Its 61st Witness
The Select Committee keeps plugging away
Out of the spotlight, the House Select Committee on Benghazi quietly conducted its sixty-first interview Thursday.
Today, the committee interviewed a witness from the national security community. This was the 61st interview conducted to date.
— Benghazi Committee (@HouseBenghazi) December 10, 2015
The Select Committee is on track to interview 70 witnesses prior to releasing its report. According to the Committee’s press shop:
“The Select Committee is on track to complete more than 70 witness interviews before releasing its report in just a few months. And while our investigators are still waiting to receive some documents necessary to complete their work, they have already obtained and reviewed roughly 100,000 pages. These witnesses and documents come from the Department of State, the Department of Defense, the Department of Justice, the White House, the CIA and elsewhere, and the majority of them were never examined by a congressional committee. For example, the Select Committee is the first and only Benghazi investigation to include the Secretary of State’s emails, and the first to request Ambassador Chris Stevens’ emails. This thorough, fact-centered approach to finding the truth will provide the final, definitive accounting of what happened before, during and after the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attacks, and help prevent this kind of tragedy from happening again.”
Yesterday, the Select Committee interviewed its 60th witness to date, questioning Jeffrey Feltman, the former Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs. This was one of five scheduled interviews announced by the Select Committee last week.
The current interview breakdown is as follows:
Total number of witnesses interviewed so far: 60
Witnesses never before interviewed by a congressional committee: 51
Eyewitnesses to the attacks never before interviewed by a congressional committee: 7
Total number of pages of documents obtained and reviewed: approximately 100,000
Pages of documents never before obtained or reviewed by a congressional committee: approximately 67,000
State Department emails related to Benghazi and Libya obtained and reviewed despite the fact that the Obama administration was not in possession of them: 15
Earlier this week, an email obtain via FOIA by Judicial Watch taunted the partisans seeking to politicize the Benghazi tragedy. A partially redacted version of the email appeared to contradict the testimony of key Obama administration officials made in 2013, namely that immediate response to the rapidly escalating situation at the Benghazi embassy was not possible.
Democrats then responded to the Judicial Watch email by release the unredacted email. The Hill covered that messy little spat:
On Wednesday, Democrats on the House Select Committee on Benghazi released an unredacted email showing that the Defense Department had identified military forces to send to Benghazi to assist American officials under attack.
Republicans quickly fired back, however, accusing the minority party of trying to undermine their investigation for political reasons.
The Democrats released their email a day after conservative legal group Judicial Watch released a slightly redacted version, which it had won access to under the Freedom of Information Act. At the time, conservative outlets such as Fox News said that the email was a “smoking gun” that undermined testimony from former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
But the unredacted version of the email makes clear that the forces under discussion to move to Benghazi were the same ones that previous investigations had claimed were on the move: a Marine Fleet Antiterrorism Security Teams (FAST) and a special operations force out of Croatia.
“This email is yet another example of how conservative conspiracy theorists use bits of information out of context to rehash baseless allegations that have been debunked time and again,” a Democratic committee spokesman said.
Late in the day, Republicans fired back.
The decision to release the email “is further proof that Democrats are focused solely on playing politics and protecting Hillary Clinton,” committee spokesman Matt Wolking said, “not on conducting a serious investigation and getting the truth for the families of the four Americans who lost their lives.”
Democrats seized upon a poorly worded statement by Rep. Kevin McCarthy to paint the Select Committee which was established with bipartisan support and made up of both Democrats and Republicans, as a means to destroy Hillary Clinton’s presidential run. Democrats also claim the Select Committee is one of the longest running Congressional investigations, which as the Committee’s spokesman pointed out, was a claim proved false by PolitiFact.
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Any word on whether this committee or the FBI has been able to persuade Bryan Pagliano, the young guy who set up Hillary’s server, to talk?
61st witness. So will Rino Ryan wait until the 601st witness to finally vote Clinton in contempt of Congress?
Or his he waiting for his beard will grow down to his shaved groin?
What difference, at this point, does it make? Remember the Iran-Contra hearings? Breathless nightly news reports by the LibDem media and live coverage of Ollie North’s testimony. Nobody died but it was seen as a way to embarrass Reagan. Benghazi, dead American ambassador, nothing to see here – move along.
If Gowdy has any skill at all, it is in developing a case. IF there is a case to be made from available evidence, he will be the man to make it.
NOTE to whiny internet losers: your fantasies, suspicions, hallucinations, and fulminations aren’t strictly considered evidence – mmmkay?
Recall Panetta and ask him why he lied.
Executive summary: four Americans are dead and Hillary could not care less as long as her quest for power in uninterrupted.
This investigation is going nowhere. On purpose.
They will not get into what we were doing in Libya in the first place.
They will not ask Hillary about Zero Footprint: the operation to arm people we KNEW were al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood in Libya (and not just “flickers” of them, either).
They will not ask anyone about Zero Footprint: it’s too embarrassing for both parties.
They will not ask McConnell what he knew about Zero Footprint.
They will not ask Reid what he knew about it.
They will not ask Boehner what he knew about it.
They will not ask Pelosi what she knew about it.
They will not ask the other four intelligence “Gang of Eight” members (the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate Intelligence committees) what they knew about it.
They will not ask Hillary why she was in such a hurry to get rid of Qaddafi.
They will not ask Hillary why she continually warned of genocide by Qaddafi, when people on the ground in Libya said there was no such thing going on.
They will not ask Hillary why she thought it was OK to violate the UN arms embargo on Libya.
They will not ask Hillary why she thought she could manage a bunch of jihadists and use them to take out Qaddafi “on the cheap”.
They will not ask Hillary who decided to ignore Qaddafi’s offer for a truce so that a ceasefire could be arranged and he could step down.
They will not ask anyone why Stevens met with an envoy from Turkey the night of the attack.
They will not ask anyone about the status of the weapons that were being collected in Benghazi as Stevens was rounding them up from Zero Footprint.
They will not ask anyone about the weapons that were diverted from Libya to Syrian “rebels” via Turkey.
They will not ask anyone whether we knew at the time we armed them, that many of the “rebels” we were arming in Syria were actually al Qaeda in Iraq (these are the folks who later declared the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria…)
There’s a lot they will never ask; so the investigation will go nowhere.
It is time for retired general Carter Ham to testify. If I recall correctly, he was in Italy (Naples?) and had the quick response military resources at his disposal ready to fly to Benghazi and received orders to stand down.