Benghazi on the Record: Asked and Answered
On September 11 and 12, 2012, the U.S. Special Mission Compound in Benghazi, Libya and a nearby annex were attacked, killing four Americans—Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods. Several others were seriously wounded, while others were successfully evacuated to safety.
On May 8, 2014, the House of Representatives adopted H. Res. 567, establishing the Select Committee on Benghazi. House Speaker John Boehner explained that a Select Committee was needed because "there are so many unanswered questions" about the attacks. Specifically, he said there were "three areas" the Select Committee would investigate:
- "The events leading up to 9/11, 2012, the requests–the number of requests for more security and why it was not provided."
- "The events of the night of September 11, 2012, what happened, why there was no response."
- "Thirdly, why did the White House describe this in a way, I believe, they knew was false."
Similarly, Rep. Trey Gowdy, who was appointed by Speaker Boehner as the Chairman of the new Select Committee, identified the top questions he believed the Select Committee should answer:
- "If you ask me personally what's number one to me, I would like to know why we, number one, were still in Benghazi when everyone else had pulled out."
- "Number two, why was our security footprint so light despite the repeated requests for more security."
These and many other questions have already been answered. An independent Accountability Review Board and seven different congressional committees interviewed dozens of witnesses, reviewed tens of thousands of pages of documents, conducted numerous interviews and briefings, and held multiple hearings. These investigative bodies have issued nine separate classified and unclassified reports.
Benghazi on the Record was prepared at the request of Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the Select Committee on Benghazi, to collect–in one place–as much information as possible regarding questions that have already been asked and answered about the attacks in Benghazi.
It includes an interactive Asked and Answered Database of more than 200 questions and statements by Members of Congress that have been addressed in previous investigative reports, interviews, and hearings. This database includes links to original sources, and it is searchable by keyword, date, and Member of Congress.
It also includes a 133-page Compendium of Investigative Resources that addresses each question in greater detail based on the wide range of already public investigative resources, including reports, interview transcripts, and hearing testimony.
Benghazi on the Record does not answer every conceivable question, but it answers many of the primary questions that have been raised about the attacks. This resource is intended to be used as a tool for Members of Congress and the American people.
With a budget of $3.3 million for 2014, it is critical that the Select Committee make full use of the extensive investigations that have already been completed, which are compiled here, to define its scope, avoid duplication, and conserve taxpayer dollars to help improve the security of U.S. facilities and personnel around the world.