More than 700 special operations veterans are demanding that the House of Representatives convene a special committee to uncover the answers to lingering questions about the Benghazi terrorist attacks almost seven months after the violence killed a U.S. ambassador and three others, including two Navy SEALs.
The veterans group Special Operations Speaks sent a letter to House leaders after previous inquiries revealed virtually no new information.
“I don’t anything significant has been learned except that what is to be learned is of sufficient importance that the administration is pulling out all the stops to hide it,” said retired U.S. Navy captain and SEAL Larry Bailey, who is also the co-founder of Special Operations Speaks.
As a result, Special Operations Speaks is now demanding that House leaders convene a special select committee to answer critical questions once and for all. The letter includes 16 key questions that the veterans believe need better answers, ranging from what resources were available in the region to why they weren’t used to the minute-by-minute actions taken by top officials here in Washington.
Bailey told WND the administration’s mishandling of the crisis suggests plenty of culpability and possibly even some criminal guilt on the part of some officials.
“The greatest indicator of culpability is the fact that the commander in chief, after having seen his troops under fire from a drone-mounted camera, after 30 minutes of being in the White House Situation Room, he excused himself and was never heard from since. He went to bed that night and got up the next morning and flew to Las Vegas for a fundraiser and never once – and this is according to (former Defense Secretary Leon) Panetta and Hillary Clinton – never once called back to check and see how things were going,” said Bailey.
“The guilt issue comes when the culpability is covered up, and that’s where we’re coming from. We know the culpability is there, but we have not begun to get our claws into the guilt issue, but we will,” he said.
Bailey said the deaths of two SEALs put this issue front and center for his group.
“It was so easy to get people to sign the petition (for a special committee). We got 700 names right away, all the way from four-star generals down to guys who were privates in the Army and didn’t do a career in the Army, but they were special operations and they’re part of our brotherhood,” Bailey said. “It just breaks your heart to hear about those two guys living for seven hours and fighting for seven hours and knowing they could have been rescued at any time during that time. Knowing that there were aircraft somewhere in the area, and knowing that there were ships not too far away and knowing that there were rescue teams within a reasonable distance, they could have been rescued.
“They went to the sound of the guns. They were saving people, but they couldn’t be saved themselves because of the ineptitude or the political chicanery of an administration that doesn’t even care about the military,” he said.
Bailey has not received a response from House leaders at this point, and he suspects there could be some resistance. In fact, he sees House Speaker John Boehner as part of the problem.
“Boehner is part of the cover-up. John Boehner, you know, he goes with the flow. He goes along to get along sometimes. He’s actually said that he thinks the investigations that have already been conducted are enough. But they’re not enough. The investigation that is enough is going to result in somebody going to jail or kicked out of office,” Bailey said.
He does not have a complete list of members he would like to see on a special Benghazi committee, but Bailey does hope Reps. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas; Duncan Hunter, R-Calif.; and Frank Wolf, R-Va., would be on the panel.
Another area of tremendous frustration for Bailey and other critics of the Benghazi investigations is the lack of access to the survivors of the attack. According to Bailey, all of them have been forced to sign nondisclosure agreements, and at least one of the wounded is believed to be in a military hospital under an assumed name.