In response to the lack of investigation the media has done on the Benghazi terrorist attacks that took place on September 11, 2012 at the American diplomatic post and CIA annex in Libya, a Citizen’s Commision was born.
The Citizen’s Commission on Benghazi is made up of retired military officers, intelligence officers, and national security experts who are hungry to find answers.
The Commission is a project of Accuracy in Media which is non-profit, media watchdog which has made for a natural parent organization To the group. The Citizen’s Commission has had to rely heavily on witness testimonies throughout their extensive investigation and have found that the whistleblowers and sources they have spoken with are more comfortable stepping up to talk confidentially with a project tied to a media watchdog.
Former CIA officer, Clare Lopez — who serves as the group’s spokesperson — explained that witness testimonies have been an essential part of the investigation because not a single Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request has been granted by the federal government.
The Commission issued FOIA requests for various documents to the FBI, State Department, CIA and Defense Department. In total, 55 FOIA requests were issued and they’ve all been stonewalled. To be fair, Lopez mentioned, “for some of them, the deadline has not yet passed.” She says she’s not holding her breath though.
Lopez assured that the full report of the Commision’s findings and the results of the testomony it gathered would be released in early April. The report is expected to answer questions that the four seperate committees in Congress have still not been able to deliver on.
Here are the primary questions that the Commission addressed:
Before the attack
- Why did we intervene in the Libyan civil war in first place?
- Why did we empower known al-Qaeda militias to overthrow a sitting sovereign government?
During the attack
- Why was no military response forthcoming?
- Why were our people left to fight/die alone?
- Why weren’t rapid response teams — stationed only hours away — not mobilized?
After the attack
- Why did the administration blame the attacks on a Youtube video?
Lopez said, “It was an armed military style assault by terrorists.” She went on to conclude, “they knew it within minutes.” The Commision is confident that the upcoming report will bring new intel to light from sources who have direct knowledge of the events that took place that day. Lopez added that in most cases, the Commission did not have to approach the subjects who they interviewed.
In the wake of a public conference that the Commission hosted at the Heritage Foundation, “People came to us,” she says.
Recently, all 17 Democrats on the House Oversight and Reform Committee called for an end to the probe that the Committee’s Chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa has spearheaded.
Lopez responded by saying, “They certainly don’t want anyone getting closer to the answers — It’s reprehensible.”