(CNSNews.com) – A group of Congressmen and military veterans stood at the front steps of the U.S. Capitol Tuesday demanding a “thorough investigation” into the September 2012 Benghazi attack that took the lives of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, communications specialist Sean Smith, and former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.
The press conference was organized in support of Rep. Steve Stockman’s (R-Tex.) discharge petition to force a vote on Rep. Frank Wolf’s (R-VA) resolution (H. Res. 36) calling for the creation of “a select committee to investigate and report on the attack on the United States consulate in Benghazi, Libya.” Wolf introduced the resolution in January, but it is still languishing in committee.
“Congressman Wolf has fearlessly led the fight for justice on this issue… The only way we’re going to get a clean and thorough investigation is by forcing a vote with a discharge petition,” Stockman said in a July 17 press release. “If 218 House members, a majority of the chamber, sign the discharge petition H. Res. 36 would be recalled from committee and considered on the floor.”
“Truth doesn’t know a party… We owe it to those who might die in the future…to get to the bottom of this,” said Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex), a sentiment echoed by Stockman, Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.), former Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) and Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy. “Only a select committee with subpoena power can do that.”
Broun told CNSNews that “we need to get the truth out in the public.” He charged the Obama administration of being “the most obtuse and obscure administration ever in history” and accused the media of remaining silent at this critical time. He added that a select committee’s subpoena power could provide answers on “who was involved, who made these decisions, why these four brave Americans died, and why they were there to begin with.”
“The loss of an American ambassador cannot be the new normal,” declared West , who served 22 years in the military, as the Special Operations Speaks (SOS) PAC rolled out a 60-foot-long petition signed by more than 1,000 special ops veterans also calling for a Benghazi investigation. “To have former Navy SEALs to go and try to defend American lives and be left out to dry – that cannot be the new normal.”
When asked by CNSNews to comment about the lack of accountability in the Benghazi scandal, West called it “criminal,” adding that finding out what happened in Benghazi is ultimately “up to the American people. That’s why we’re out here today to make sure that these representatives sign the discharge petition.”
“How can you as a representative of this country look any man or woman that wears the uniform that you’re sending into harm's way in the face?” challenged West, “because they don’t believe that you have their back.”
In April, Special Operations Speaks sent an open letter to House members from retired special ops vets with a series of questions about the attack that remain unanswered to this day, such as: “Why was there no military response to the events in Benghazi?” and “Where are the survivors?”
SOS says the petition it displayed in front of the Capitol will later be used in a “nationwide grassroots campaign encouraging House members to sign the discharge petition and bring H. Res.36 to the floor of the House.”