August 15, 2014
With Congress officially in recess, Americans are anticipating the return of the House to Washington and the resumption of Congressman Trey Gowdy’s committee hearings on the September 11, 2012 terror attacks against a U.S. diplomatic mission and nearby CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
A number of previous investigations have taken place, but failed to uncover all of the relevant facts that Americans want and deserve to know. Gowdy has promised to uncover the truth surrounding the attacks and their immediate aftermath, and the number and fame of some of the witnesses he may call to do so could be remarkable.
Unfortunately, however, there are 15 witnesses that he might like to call but cannot. All 15 of them have been killed in the two years since the attacks under investigation.
The report also says that it’s “unclear” whether those killings have anything to do with the ongoing investigation by the United States.
Blaming “inadequate cooperation and a lack of capacity by foreign governments,” the report says the FBI investigation is “slow and insufficient” to bring the murderers to justice.
Perhaps more importantly, the report also concludes that the terrorist attacks were “preventable,” and blames both the State Department and America’s intelligence community for failing to adequately protect U.S. personnel on the ground in Libya.
It’s unclear how much the 15 dead witnesses knew about the attacks, whether Gowdy planned to call them, or what their unavailability means for his investigation, but it certainly seems unlikely that their absence will assist the committee’s efforts to uncover all the facts.
Also unclear is how many Libyan witnesses remain alive and available to testify. If 15 witnesses out of, say, 300 have been killed over two years in a nation wracked by civil war, that is sad, but not terribly surprising.
On the other hand, if the original total was more like 30, that’s quite a different story.
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