Representative Trey Gowdy, a Republican from South Carolina, will
head a panel that will investigate the attack by armed militants in
Benghazi on September 11, 2012 which killed U.S. Ambassador
Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
Gowdy noted that the city was known to be dangerous, adding; "We
were the last flag flying in Benghazi and I would like to know why."
Democrats say Republicans are focusing on the attacks for political
reasons, especially to harm the reputation of Hillary Clinton, a
potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate who was secretary
of state at the time of the Benghazi attacks.
The port city of Benghazi remains dangerous. On Thursday, gunmen
shot dead the intelligence chief for eastern Libya. And a suicide
bomber detonated an explosives-packed minibus outside a special
forces camp recently, killing two people.
House Speaker John Boehner, Republican from Ohio, said he wanted the
panel to probe requests for security before the attacks and what
Washington told its diplomats during the assault. He also tasked it
with establishing whether the White House was truthful about what
"I don't want theater. I don't want a side show," he said on the Fox
news program "Sunday Morning Futures", adding the committee had no
deadline for presenting its findings.
Democrats have not yet said if they would participate on the panel.
Representative Xavier Becerra, chairman of the House Democratic
Caucus, said the party would decline to take part if it was a "witch
[to top of second column]
"We don't want to see reckless and irresponsible handling of an
affair that took the lives of four brave Americans," he said on "Fox
Gowdy pledged to refrain from sending campaign fundraising letters
based on his work on the committee, but accused Democrats of using
tragedies like the killing of 20 students and six adults at Sandy
Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, to win financial
backing for their candidates.
"I will never and have never sent out any fundraising literature
trying to raise money in the grief and the tragedy of four dead
Americans," he said on "Fox News Sunday".
"I have asked my colleagues to follow suit but it would be helpful
if our colleagues on the other side of the aisle did not have
selective amnesia when it comes to what it is appropriate to raise
money off of and what is not."
(Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Jim Loney and Rosalind
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.