Benghaziby Former Representative Frank R. Wolf
Posted on 2013-12-12
WOLF. Mr. Speaker, yesterday marked the 15-month anniversary of
the Benghazi attack. Once again, another anniversary has come and gone
with no new answers about what happened that night or just what so many
Americans, reportedly around two dozen, were doing at a secret CIA base
in Benghazi to begin with.
Another anniversary has come and gone with no new public hearings. By my count, the last public hearing was held on September 18, nearly 3 months ago, and no new public hearings are being held. The keyword is ``public.'' But perhaps most important, another anniversary has come and gone with absolutely no one being held responsible for the security and intelligence failures leading up to the attack, and no one has been brought to justice. And despite several recent developments related to the Benghazi investigation, practically nothing has been done in Congress to address them.
First, we have recently learned that CIA Director John Brennan distorted the facts in letters to the House Intelligence Committee and me when he claimed that Benghazi survivors were not made to sign new nondisclosure agreements.
Another major development is a November 24 article published by Breitbart reporting surprising new comments by Kevin Kolbye, the FBI's lead investigator for Benghazi, who stated for the first time that the FBI arrived on the scene in Benghazi within days, not weeks, of the attack. According to the article by Kerry Picket: The Washington Post reported that while the FBI had legats in Algiers and Cairo, a team of FBI investigators could not get into Benghazi 2 days after the attack. Kolbye disputes this. ``We were there,'' he said.
Is Agent Kolbye correct? Was the FBI secretly on the ground in Benghazi within days of the attack? If so, why is this being kept from the public? Once again, the Congress should know and, to my knowledge, has never asked Agent Kolbye to testify.
Equally important, why is it that we are learning additional comments before a paid audience of $400 a ticket? You had to pay $400 to hear this guy speak, but he has never spoken for free to the American people. This is just like when the American people heard new information about that night from retired General Ham when he appeared at a big-ticket event in Aspen. The American people did not hear. If you paid the money in Aspen, you got to hear. I guess there was no need to tell the Congress and the public what happened that night since paid audiences will hear through conferences, through books, and maybe even a movie.
Finally, I return to my concerns first raised on the House floor in July that the large CIA base in Benghazi may have been used to support covert operations with regard to Syria, including the possible transfer of weapons collected in Libya to Syrian rebels, possibly in coordination with third parties of foreign countries, particularly Saudi Arabia.
These concerns need to be addressed now more than ever after reports yesterday that both the U.S. and the United Kingdom have cut off support to rebels in northern Syria along the Turkish border after the Islamic front, a coalition of jihadi extremist fighters, overran bases run by the Free Syrian Army and seized their weapons and resources. According to a report from the BBC yesterday, the U.S. and European countries have reportedly facilitated secret arms shipments to Syrian rebels, allegedly including antiaircraft weapons commonly referred to as ``MANPADS,'' just like the weapons collected in Libya over the last 2 years.
A separate Washington Post article stated: A covert CIA program providing lethal aid to the rebels, consisting mostly of small arms and ammunition channeled to southern Syria through Jordan, would continue unchanged.
It is particularly noteworthy that during the same period of time the CIA was operating in Benghazi and U.S. weapons collection in Libya were underway, respected national security reporter Mark Hosenball wrote August 1, 2012: President Obama has signed a secret order authorizing U.S. support for rebels seeking to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government, U.S. sources familiar with the matter said. Obama's order, approved earlier this year and known as an intelligence ``finding,'' broadly permits the CIA and other U.S. agencies to provide support that could help the rebels oust Assad.
Hosenball continued: A U.S. Government source acknowledged that under provisions of the Presidential finding, the United States was collaborating with a secret command center operated by Turkey and its allies. NBC said the shoulder-fired missiles, also known as MANPADS, had been delivered to the rebels via Turkey.
Are these the same secret arms shipments that were just seized by the Islamic extremists in northern Syria? Have these weapons, transferred with alleged U.S. covert support, been used to kill innocent civilians, Christians, and Muslims? Don't the American people have a right to know if their tax dollars are being spent to supply Islamic extremists with weapons to use against Christians and Muslims? We need a select committee. The current process is not working.
It is time for the administration and the Congress to say what the CIA was doing in Benghazi and elsewhere around Syria.
A Wall Street Journal article from August detailed just how closely Saudi Arabia was working with the CIA to train and arm Syrian rebels, despite some concerns that the weapons could fall in the hands of the extremists.
It appears those concerns are coming true, but the American people still aren't being told the truth about the U.S. role in arming the Syrians and the role of the CIA base in Benghazi.
It's time for answers.
It's time for a select committee on Benghazi.