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WASHINGTON – Accusing Congress of being “full of cowards,” retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely has called for an “industrial strength congressional” select committee to investigate events surrounding the Sep. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

The attack, which the Obama administration for weeks attributed to a spontaneous demonstration in response to a video mocking Muhammad, resulted in the brutal deaths of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stephens, his aide, Sean Smith, and two retired Navy SEALs, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.

Doherty had arrived at the U.S. annex in Benghazi with a team following the attack in an attempt to rescue the Americans.

“The sobering reality now is,” Vallely said, “rather than praising the 31 survivors for their bravery, the Obama administration has muzzled them through extraordinary harassing measures, including nondisclosure agreements and repeated polygraphs vis-à-vis the Benghazi attacks.”

Last September, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, introduced legislation calling for a joint House and Senate select committee. His bill has 24 Senate co-sponsors.

Retiring Rep. Frank R. Wolf, R-Va., also had introduced such legislation in the House. Wolf’s legislation has 186 House co-sponsors.

A select committee would investigate events surrounding the siege of the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and the lack of any attempt to undertake a rescue of U.S. personnel. No action has taken place, however, despite the large number of co-sponsors in the House and Senate to the formation of a joint select committee.

“Of course, this raises the question,” Vallely said, “Why is Congress full of such cowards? Both bills should have had the requisite sponsors within days.”

Vallely, a major critic of the Obama administration who has charged it with purging high-ranking military officers, was a deputy commanding general of Pacific Command and had positions of leadership during the Vietnam War.

Today, he serves as the chairman of the military committee of the Center for Security Policy and is founder and chairman of Stand Up America.

Along with retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney, Valley is a co-author of “Endgame: The Blueprint for Victory in the War on Terror.”

Vallely said that it also is a mystery as to why Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, in his capacity as speaker of the House, has failed to convene  a select committee.

Asked by WND why Boehner would refuse to convene a House select committee, the general said he didn’t know, adding that Boehner is being “complicit with the (Obama) administration in the cover up.”

“We do not know why yet,” Vallely said. “And it may not be the case,” referring to alleged Boehner complicity with the administration in failing to form such a select committee, “but there is something fishy going on. Our commission is still investigating.”

The commission to which Valley referred is his Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi, comprised of the watchdog group Accuracy in Media and a number of the country’s top retired military officers, intelligence and national security experts.

The commission already has held a few open hearings.

In addition to Vallely, commission members include Roger Arnoff, editor of AIM; former congressman and retired Army Lt. Col. Allen West; retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Charles Jones; retired Adm. James “Ace” Lyons; retired Air Force Gen. Thomas McInerney; former CIA Operations Officer Clare Lopez; former CIA Officer Wayne Simmons; Capt. Larry Baily, retired U.S. Navy SEAL; retired Army Lt. Col. Ken Benway; retired Air Force Co. Dick Brauer, Jr.; retired Air Force Col. Dennis Haney; and retired Marine Corps Col Wayne Morris.

Vallely said, however, that the Obama administration is involved in a massive cover-up of the Benghazi attack, and creation of a select committee and holding hearings could finally reveal what the “White House fears,” Vallely said in The Washington Times.

“Let’s be clear,” Vallely said. “Terrorists ejected America from Libya that day (Sep. 11, 2012), ushering in anarchic rule that persists to this day – the same America that gave Libya $1 billion in military assistance during the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ to liberate its people from strongman Moammar Gadhafi.

“Nearly a year later, just after Labor Day as President (Barack) Obama was bracing himself for the presidential contest that would determine whether he would retain power, this enormous catastrophe occurred in Benghazi.

“That the administration sought initially to obfuscate with the patently false video story shows it takes Americans for fools,” Vallely said. “But then, we were fools.”

He pointed out that Obama’s team had altered the official talking points given to then-U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan E. Rice for her appearances on five talk shows on Sept. 16, 2012, “where she spewed total nonsense.”

“No one dug deeper, and the president got past the election,” Vallely said. “Never mind that Michael J. Morell, CIA counterterrorism chief, admitted in hearings before Thanksgiving 2012 to altering the talking points that Mrs. Rice used on those shows.”

Vallely said that Morrell had altered those talking points in concert with the White House Deputies Committee, which is comprised of the deputy secretaries from national security agencies within the National Security Council.

“This group took out words such as ‘terrorist attack’ and ‘al-Qaida’ and scrubbed all references to the CIA’s documented earlier warnings about the deteriorating security situation in Benghazi,” Vallely said.

Vallely said that Obama has refused at least twice to respond to questions regarding whether Stevens and the other three Americans killed in the attack were denied help.

He said the question is the same one that Charles Woods, father of Tyrone Woods, has repeatedly asked Obama since the attack that took his son’s life.

“Why won’t [Obama] answer this question?” Vallely asked. “More than 17 months later, it’s clear he’s hiding something.

“This is America, where we have a system of checks and balances,” Vallely said. “When the cover-up is big enough, an industrial strength congressional response is needed, namely a select committee such as the one employed to get answers to the Watergate scandal.”

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