On Wednesday, three State Department whistleblowers are scheduled to testify before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. They will discuss the events of September 11, 2012 as they relate to the terrorist attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya that left four Americans – including the U.S. ambassador to Libya – dead.
In particular, these witnesses are expected to testify about how political considerations loomed over the entire affair. In the immediate aftermath of the massacre, the Obama Administration was slow to call it an act of terrorism – instead blaming a short film uploaded to YouTube that was being protested in other Muslim countries. Since then, information has leaked out that shows the White House knew a lot more a lot sooner than was originally suggested. And the talking points, like the ones used by American ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, went through a thorough editing process that seemed more geared for pre-election damage control than sharing real information.
Members of the National Center’s Project 21 black leadership network are speaking out about the hearing and the Benghazi debacle.
Project 21 member Darryn “Dutch” Martin, a former State Department diplomat who served on the African continent, said:
I firmly believe that the congressional hearings on the Benghazi scandal will make Watergate look like a walk in the park.
Whereas nobody died during Watergate, four Americans – including our ambassador to Libya – were killed in a planned terrorist attack. It was not the result of some spontaneous anti-American demonstration as first claimed by the Obama Administration.
I consider the whistleblowers who stepped forward to testify to be patriots. They are honoring the memories of those Americans whose lives were lost last September 11 by coming forward and letting the truth be known.
Project 21 co-chairman and former congressional leadership staff member Horace Cooper said:
So many falsehoods, and so little time.
The truth about the loss of lives of a U.S. ambassador and other brave Americans will not go away. Almost everything the Obama Administration told us about the terrorist attack has proven to be false.
We were told that it was all about a movie. That’s false. They said it was a spontaneous protest. That’s false. They said there was no evidence of al Qaeda or terrorism. False. They said they did all they could to help the victims. False. They said they did not prevent help from coming. False.
Hopefully, the hearings will let the American people and especially the families of those killed at least understand what really happened. Then it’s our job to hold the responsible parties accountable.
Cherylyn Harley LeBon, the other co-chairman of Project 21 and a former counsel for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, added:
This congressional hearing will hopefully provide clarity and perhaps some closure for the families of the Benghazi victims.
Despite claims from the Obama Administration that a thorough investigation has occurred, testimony is apparently forthcoming which is contrary to White House assertions. In fact, a U.S. diplomat alleges that the reluctance to send Special Forces may have deprived wounded Americans in Benghazi of first aid.
The families and rest of America really deserve honest answers.
Project 21 member Demetrius Minor said:
The apparent White House cover-up of the Benghazi murders that occurred last September is beyond appalling.
It should make every American uncomfortable that lies are still constantly being told while the truth has remained clandestine.
Kevin Martin, a Project 21 member and veteran of the U.S. Navy, pointed out:
Finally, after more than eight months of blockage, Congress will hear from whistleblowers expected to expose efforts by the then-Hillary Clinton-led Department of State to deliberately mislead the public about the reasons behind the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012.
Evidence has come to light that points to a well-coordinated attack carried out by al Qaeda loyalists in Libya, the disapproval of a military response to the attacks by the Obama Administration and a public relations effort that ignored facts in an attempt to convince the American public that Islamic anger over a little-known YouTube video caused the attack. It also appears the State Department sought to intimidate witnesses into silence or forbid them to talk to congressional investigators in what may be a coordinated cover-up effort.
I hope that partisan politics will not get in the way of finding out the truth behind that tragic chain of events that lead to the death of a U.S. ambassador, a civil employee and two brave former SEALS, who willfully disobeyed orders in a brave and honorable effort to defend our interests in Benghazi, Libya.