President Obama should come clean with the American people about what exactly happened in Benghazi, according to the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Representative Buck McKeon (R-CA).
In fact, the President is the only one who has all those answers, McKeon says.
“The whole thing smacks of a cover-up,” he says. According to McKeon, the military has been muzzled by unprecedented orders not to provide information to Congress.
Benghazi, Libya, is where the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were killed on September 11, 2012, by a terrorist attack, which reportedly was monitored live for several hours by President Obama from the White House Situation Room.
In an interview on “Istook Live!” Friday (Listen to the interview here), McKeon said he’s heard that the White House might be setting up the military as scapegoats: “One of the things I’ve heard is that maybe they’re trying to put some blame on the military that they disobeyed orders or they didn’t respond to orders.”
But the military “would have somebody taking down notes of everything that was said,” according to McKeon. Normally such orders from the President would be put into writing, he said. But just in case there was a delay in written orders, the commanders would have those notes.
“I know these people,” he said. “They are men of the highest integrity. They are unchallenged in their patriotism….They would do whatever they were commanded to do by their commander in chief.”
Despite Congress’s direct constitutional powers over the military, McKeon says:
We’re not getting anything. I have written to commanders in the field, 3-, 4-star admirals and generals, and the response I got out of the Department of Defense is that “we will not be able to answer your simple yes and no questions,” that I’m sure they already know the answers to. “We will not be able to answer them on your timeline (which was now a couple of weeks ago when I wrote the letter), and we do not know when we’ll be able to respond.” And the other requests that we’ve asked for briefings, “we will not be able to comply with.”
This is the first time I’ve seen where the military has been basically silenced, when they could not answer a direct yes and no question from the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.
We’re not able to do our job if we can’t get information, and the commander in chief or somebody that he’s over has told them that they cannot respond to us. I think the whole thing smacks of a cover-up, and the President could clear this all up if he would just go before the American people.
The one who knows it all, that could clear it all up, is out campaigning and is totally silent on the issue after telling us he wants us to have all the information as soon as he receives it.
McKeon told me that the only information he can get is from Fox News and other media outlets, and from individuals who continue to push for disclosure. “The President could easily clear this up,” McKeon says. “He’s the only one who can.”
Former Congressman Ernest Istook hosts “Istook Live!,” broadcasting from The Heritage Foundation 9 a.m. to noon Eastern, Monday through Friday. Listen live at www.istook.com.