Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., said he wasn’t surprised that President Obama called Benghazi a “phony scandal” or that White House press secretary Jay Carney dismissed the terrorist attack on a U.S. consulate as something that happened a long time ago.

What he is surprised by, Gowdy told news reporters in October, is “how many people bought it.”

Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor recently picked by Speaker John Boehner to lead the House of Representatives’ new select committee on Benghazi, gave the media a preview of his no-nonsense style in that encounter. He asked journalists nine basic questions, then left them to draw their own conclusions about “whether or not the media has provided sufficient oversight.”

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Polls indicate that many Americans consider Gowdy’s questions, captured in this video, to remain unanswered seven months after he asked them – and 20 months after the Benghazi attacks on Sept. 11, 2012:

1. Can you tell me why [U.S. Ambassador to Libya] Chris Stevens was in Benghazi the night that he was killed? Do you know? Does it bother you whether or not you know why Chris Stevens was in Benghazi?

2. Do you know why we were the last flag flying in Benghazi after the British had left and the Red Cross had been bombed?

3. Do you know why requests for additional security were denied?

4. Do you know why an ambassador asking for more security days and weeks before he was murdered and those requests went unheeded? Do you know the answer to why those requests went unheeded?

5. Do you know why no assets were deployed during the siege?

6. Do you know whether the president called any of our allies and said, ‘Can you help? We have men under attack.’

7. Do any of you know why Susan Rice [then UN ambassador] was picked [to appear on television shows Sept. 16, 2012]? The secretary of state [then Hillary Clinton] did not go. She says she doesn’t like Sunday talk shows. That’s the only media venue she does not like, if that’s true.

8. Why was Susan Rice on the five Sunday talk shows?

9. Do you know the origin of this mythology that [the attack] was spawned as a spontaneous reaction to a video? Do you know where that started? Do you know how we got from no evidence of that to that being the official position of the administration?