Opinion: Editorials

Examiner Editorial: Let the Benghazi Five testify about the attack

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Congress,Editorial,Barack Obama,Hillary Clinton,Benghazi,State Department,Lindsey Graham,Libya

Sen. Lindsey Graham has thrown down the gauntlet to President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: No administration nominees move in the Senate until the administration ends the cover-up of what happened at Benghazi and Congress is allowed to interview the five State Department employees who survived the attack. Their enforced silence since September 11, 2012, has been the biggest obstacle to learning the truth about why four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were murdered in an attack that Stevens warned the State Department appeared imminent. It is all but impossible to believe the administration's claim that the five must be kept out of public forums because of an ongoing criminal investigation. That dodge is itself an abuse of the legal process.

As Graham explained Sunday on CNN's “State of the Union” program, “oversight is important. I want to perform oversight, I'm not trying to prosecute a crime ... I want to hear from the people who work for us, the American citizens in harm's way. What did you feel like when you were told nobody was coming to help you, did you see a protest, did you report a protest, did you tell the FBI about a protest. And if they didn't, did you see security concerns before the attack and if you did who did you report them to. Fourteen months after the attack, we haven't heard from those who survived the attack. Congress has an independent duty to find out what happened.”

Here's a suggestion as to why the administration is so desperate to muzzle the Benghazi five: Within hours of the attack, then-U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice went on five Sunday news interview programs and claimed the attack was a spontaneous response to an anti-Muslim film that had aired with virtually no audience. Then Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton repeatedly made the same claim. The assertion was ludicrous on its face and became more so as the days and weeks went by. Do one or more of the survivors know something about the genesis of the administration's claim? And would their testimony shatter the cover-up and expose dereliction by the Obama team?

Here's a second suggestion regarding the silence of the Benghazi five. As Washington Examiner columnist Hugh Hewitt points out, Clinton called the Benghazi compound during the attack and talked to second-in-command Gregory Hicks, But then “Hillary never called Hicks back that long night. It isn't even clear if she called him the next day. She vanished. Took a powder. Went dark.” Could it be that one of the five called the State Department, only to be told Clinton could not be found? The answer might end Clinton's 2016 campaign before it starts.

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