NEW YORK – The military commanders on the Citizens Committee on Benghazi reacted with skepticism to the announcement Thursday afternoon that the House Select Committee on Benghazi has scheduled a hearing, contending the congressional panel led by Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., is not uncovering the truth behind the deadly episode that resulted in the death of an American ambassador.
The hearing will be held next Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. at the Capitol on a topic vaguely listed as “Subject Matter: Status Review of Outstanding Requests,” with no list of witnesses.
The skepticism intensified after Sharyl Attkisson, now an independent journalist after parting ways with CBS News, reported the subject of the hearing will be complaints that some federal agencies continue to stonewall the House Select Committee’s investigation by denying access to all relevant documents and witnesses.
Retired U.S Navy Adm. James “Ace” Lyons, a founding member of the citizens’ commission – which WND reported has been conducting its own investigation for the past year and a half to ensure Congress uncovers the truth – said the “idea that government agency stonewalling continuing now for over two years is the reason Gowdy’s committee can’t make progress is pure nonsense.”
Lyons, a former four-star admiral who served as commander-in-chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, said he was speaking for himself, not on behalf of the commission.
“Let’s say it clearly,” he told WND. “This is a continued cover-up. You have to take the wraps off and you have to go for the jugular. Is Gowdy so incapable and ineffective that he can’t boss these agency heads to comply with Congress’ mandate? Is he that ineffective?”
The 17-member Citizens Commission on Benghazi, or CCB, includes former military commanders and Special Forces operatives, former CIA and intelligence officers, as well as well-known experts in international terrorism and in media and government affairs.
Another member, Clare Lopez, a former career operations officer with the CIA who now is vice president for research at the Washington-based Center for Security Policy, cautioned against jumping to conclusions.
“We have the general subject matter for what the select committee hearing next week is going to cover, but we really don’t know how it will play out,” Lopez said. “We also don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors in the select committee hearings. If Gowdy is proceeding as a good prosecutor should, he is lining up all his ducks before he goes public with anything.”
Lyons, meanwhile, compared the situation to a subordinate military commander coming to him during a military engagement with the enemy and complaining that an important objective could not be taken because enemy resistance was too stiff.
“I’d tell that subordinate commander to make sure the door didn’t hit him in the rear on the way out,” Lyons said. “The conclusion I’d come to is that I’d say, ‘You’re relieved,’ and I would find somebody that could break through.”
He said that if Gowdy “isn’t the man for the job because he’s being thwarted by some government bureaucrat that stonewalls Congress, then maybe we were wrong to be enthusiastic about Gowdy in the first place.”
WND reported Tuesday commission members believe the Obama administration “changed sides in the war on terror” in 2011 by facilitating the delivery of weapons to the al-Qaida-dominated rebel militias in Libya attempting to oust Moammar Gadhafi.
‘Why not subpoena Hillary?’
Retired U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Charles Jones, another citizens’ commission member, attributed Gowdy’s scheduling to a series of WND articles on the CCB in which various members, speaking independently, have expressed concerns that the Republican leadership in Congress may be seeking to bridle the House investigation.
Written by JEROME R. CORSI
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