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"While the FBI continues its twin investigations into Hillary Clinton’s conflicts of interest at the State Department and transmission of classified information on her homebrew server, the Obama administration and the mainstream media continue to work to minimize the controversy and ensure that Mrs. Clinton is elected president. Most of all, the media have refused to admit that this is more than just a Hillary Clinton scandal." - Accuracy in Media
President Barack Obama's State Department finally forked over upwards of 1,000 pages of documents to the Republican-run House Select Committee on Benghazi, according to an announcement on Friday by the military veterans group Special Operations Speaks (SOP). Some of the records include communications between Hillary Clinton's "Girl Friday" Huma Abedin and Obama's Benghazi mouthpiece Susan Rice.
While the group of mostly special forces military men and women are happy to finally see the documents within reach, they are not happy that it took one year between the House of Representatives's select committee first request for them and actually getting their hands on those records for the investigation into the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in which terrorists killed four Americans including a U.S. Ambassador.
The committee’s chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-South Carolina, also blasted the State Department’s timing in complying with the records request. "I don't blame Rep. Gowdy: On the one hand the Democrats -- even those on the committee -- accuse him and the Republicans of using the Benghazi incident to hurt her political campaign but it's they who dragged out the investigation with slow-motion compliance with document requests," said former police counterterrorism specialist Peter Locane.
"The media allowed them to drag it out, as well, and then complained Benghazi was old news when documents came out drip-by-drip," he added.
The considerable number of records released included hard-copy emails from then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s then-chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, and Clinton aides Jake Sullivan, Human Abedin, as well as then-U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, according to a statement from the Congressional committee. Mills and Abedin are both working on the Clinton for President campaign while Susan Rice is Obama's national security adviser.
Chairman Gowdy said on Friday, after his committee received the records, including files stored on network folders used by senior employees within the Office of the Secretary, and emails from Cheryl Mills, Jake Sullivan, Huma Abedin, Susan Rice, and Patrick Kennedy, that he wasn't pleased with the length of time it took to turn over the legally-requested material.
“It is deplorable that it took over a year for these records to be produced to our committee, and that our Democrat colleagues never lifted a finger to help us get them. Shame on them and everyone else who has demanded this committee to give up before gathering all of the facts," he scolded.
"This investigation is about a terrorist attack that killed four Americans, and it could have been completed a lot sooner if the administration had not delayed and delayed and delayed at every turn," he said.
According to former special forces operative and police SWAT team member Victor Del La Rosa, "That was the plan all along and the news media colluded with the Democrats. Drag it out and then drag it out some more."
The war and police veteran believes had this been a Republican administration, there would have been a lot more "squawking by reporters" covering a major scandal. "Remember Iran-Contra? Remember the Valerie Plame scam? Not a day went by that some new revelation reinvigorated those scandals and caused Republican presidents to appoint special prosecutors," Del La Rosa noted.
While GOP congressmen are eager to progress with the investigation, they say they still haven't received all of the documents they requested. "The committee still does not have records we requested over a year ago, and we are still waiting for some witnesses to be made available for interviews.
As soon as possible, we will release our report and interview transcripts so everyone can see the evidence for themselves, and I’m confident the value and fairness of our investigation will then be abundantly clear to everyone,” said Gowdy, who was cheered by conservatives when he was appointed chairman of the committee.
Friday's document production is a response to a verbal and written request made by the Select Committee in November 2014, and follow-up subpoenas issued in March 2015 and August 2015, when requests were being ignored by the Obama administration. It includes work-related emails from the "personal email accounts" of Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin, and others, which the State Department had in its possession since the summer of 2015.
Prior to the Friday release, the Select Committee obtained and reviewed more than 72,000 pages of documents never before seen by a committee of lawmakers. Just recently, the Select Committee received more than 1,600 documents from the Office of the Secretary of State and gained access to crucial CIA records it sought for nearly a year.
After months of negotiations with the White House, the Select Committee was finally question Susan Rice and Ben Rhodes, which no other congressional committee had done.
Yesterday the Select Committee interviewed its 90th witness: General Philip Breedlove, former Commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Africa. This was the 71st witness who had never before been interviewed about Benghazi by a congressional committee, and the 35th witness interviewed since the Select Committee’s public hearing in October 2015.
One of the surprises -- some say shocks -- to come out of the hearings is the fact that while U.S. commanders claim American forces could not get to Benghazi in time, no one called any NATO bases some of which were closer to Libya.
"Much is owed the men who sacrificed their all at Benghazi. This is especially the case concerning uncovering the truth in getting to the answers to the critical questions of the families of THE BENGHAZI FOUR.
It is our absolute intent to leave no stone unturned as we seek to uncover the TRUTH concerning the cover-ups and lies surrounding the national tragedy of Benghazi that occurred on Sept 11, 2012, or any other pertinent matter that affects U.S. national security and the well-being of our great nation," Gowdy said in his press statement on Friday.
Jim Kouri, CPP, is founder and CEO of Kouri Associates, a homeland security, public safety and political consulting firm. Kouri appears regularly as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows,
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