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Dems open door to taking part in Benghazi probe

By Bradley Klapper and Donna Cassata

WASHINGTON (AP) - House Democrats opened the door Tuesday to participating in a special panel's investigation of the deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya, even if they see it as little more than an election-year ploy by Republicans to discredit the Obama administration and motivate GOP voters.

Laying out her party's conditions, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Republicans must conduct interviews and share information as part of their new inquest into the Obama administration's response to the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. diplomatic past that killed four Americans. She called for the same number of Democrats as Republicans on the panel, a demand the GOP majority immediately rejected.

"If this review is to be fair, it must be truly bipartisan," Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a statement. Later, she told reporters that rank-and-file Democrats are "suspicious of whatever the Republicans are trying to do."

With midterm elections looming closer, Republicans are sharpening their focus on the Benghazi attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. A vote to authorize the probe is expected this week. A senior GOP congressman has issued a subpoena to Secretary of State John Kerry to testify before a separate committee. And the subject could surface in multiple other congressional hearings this week.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, unveiled his plan Tuesday night and said it would entail no time constraint on the select panel, whose establishment is all but a formality in the GOP-controlled House.

Earlier, the congressman chosen by Boehner to head the investigation, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., said Democrats wouldn't get the same number of seats - and votes - on the committee.

"Look, we're in the majority for a reason. We have more seats in the House," said Gowdy, a second-term congressman and a former prosecutor. He called Pelosi's comments a "good sign" that she is considering Democratic participation.

Republicans want a 7-5 ratio on the committee. A House vote on a resolution to establish the panel is expected on Thursday.

Twenty months since the attack, Republicans have made Benghazi a central plank of their strategy to win control of the Senate in November's elections. Democrats are in a bind. They don't want their presence to provide credibility to what they believe will be a partisan forum for attacks on the president and his top aides. But boycotting the committee would mean losing the ability to counter Republican claims.

In a telephone interview with The Associated Press, Gowdy said his record in Congress shows he is fair and respectful of Democratic committee members. He said he frequently discusses witnesses before scheduling hearings and tries to "have a good working relationship with everyone." He said he was interested in the truth, not politics. "Facts really don't come with a color," he said. "They're not swing state facts."

Republicans say the White House, concerned primarily with protecting President Barack Obama in the final weeks of his re-election campaign, misled the nation by playing down intelligence suggesting Benghazi was a major, al-Qaida-linked terrorist attack. They accuse the administration of stonewalling congressional investigators ever since, pointing specifically to emails written by U.S. officials in the days after the attack but only released last week.

The administration denies any wrongdoing and says officials tried to provide the public with the best information available. Democrats accuse the Republicans of trying to generate a scandal to drum up political support ahead of the midterm elections, and to target former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the presumed front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016.

Democrats controlling the Senate have shown no interest in launching a similar probe. And up to now, House Democrats have criticized the effort as partisan and unnecessary given several ongoing investigations in Congress, without clearly stating whether they'd participate in or boycott the select committee. White House spokesman Jay Carney has been similarly vague, saying Monday the administration cooperates with "legitimate" congressional oversight.

A select committee isn't bound by jurisdictional issues that can limit investigations by armed services, foreign relations, oversight or other standing committees.

Much of the Democratic concern over process reflects more than a year of tensions in the House Oversight Committee, which has taken the lead among all the congressional investigations into Benghazi.

Its chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and the State Department are engaged in an ongoing dispute over a subpoena he issued for Kerry to appear before the panel on May 21. A Kerry spokeswoman said Monday the secretary of state has a scheduled trip to Mexico that day and wouldn't appear before Issa's committee. Kerry said Tuesday he'd comply with his responsibilities and that his department has "absolutely nothing to hide."

Meanwhile, Judicial Watch, which last week released a batch of Benghazi-related emails obtained through a lawsuit, said Tuesday the Obama administration was withholding further correspondence pertaining to its early explanation of the attack as a demonstration hijacked by extremists. The administration later retracted that explanation. The watchdog group said the correspondence largely centered on how to respond to members of Congress seeking clarification.

Join the discussion

1000|Char. 1000  Char.
danielisticall May 07 2014 at 9:51 AM

Paul Ryan On Benghazi: 'I Don't Know' If There Was A Cover-up Posted: 05/19/2013
WASHINGTON -- Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Sunday that he does not know whether President Barack Obama intentionally misled the public about the nature of the September 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, backtracking from previous comments that the administration had engaged in a "cover-up."
"What we now know from congressional testimony is that the number two man in Benghazi, the deputy chief of mission, informed his superiors including the secretary of state that this was a terrorist attack," Ryan said during an appearance on "Fox News Sunday."

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2 replies
James M. Adams danielisticall May 07 2014 at 9:56 AM

He's eager to find out, just like the rest of us.

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1 reply
hanlon1212 James M. Adams May 07 2014 at 10:26 AM

The Accountability Review Board determined NO WRONGDOING.

31 RepubliCOMN hearings produced NO EVIDENCE OF WRONGDOING.

WE KNOW.
=========

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obama.worst.president.ever danielisticall May 07 2014 at 9:56 AM

As the Benghazi cover up(s) evidence slowly gets uncovered (i.e. emails, etc.)
The unknown of - A Cover-up Posted: 05/19/2013 - is clearly becoming a KNOWN cover up.

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1 reply
hanlon1212 obama.worst.president.ever May 07 2014 at 10:26 AM

BULLNONSENSE.

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JTTW May 07 2014 at 9:41 AM

Be diffrent if it were one of YOUR CHILDREN .THEY LIED TO THESE MOTHERS!!!!!!!! . Youd want answers . This administration has lied about so many things. Irs ..Benghazi.. Fast and furious. OUR HEALTH CARE..This chicago community leader along with Pelosi.. Ried and Boxer.. ect all need to get the hell out! .. stop living in the past .. Its the here and now. " remember" Bet you didnt even know it was happening. Stop going back to what was. this is the year 2014! HELLO!!!!!!!!!! God Bless America.

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1 reply
Gerrie JTTW May 07 2014 at 9:43 AM

if we just lived in a perfect world with perfect people! (:

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-H- May 07 2014 at 9:41 AM

I hope more than anything the Democrates give it their full attention and that the Republicans ask all the difficult questions. We deserve the answers to why these men died and why our own president went to bed and slept that night as well as where in the hell Hilary was and what words she spoke that night. I think we all know, but it needs to be acknowledged for this country to find peace and the parents to find answers.

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1 reply
Gerrie -H- May 07 2014 at 9:43 AM

are you talking about Iraq or Benghazi?

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danielisticall May 07 2014 at 9:41 AM

FOR THE MISSINFORMED FOX FOOLS

There were 13 embassies under siege on the same day worldwide not counting Benghazi.
There were 24 mass protests about that video that were staged throughout European the Middle East and Asia.
Hundreds of local security forces lost their lives protecting embassies in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Indonesia, the Philippines, keeping Americans safe from the consequences of that video.
The ambassador to Egypt apologized and pleaded for calmness ahead of the riots and protests worldwide before what happened in Benghazi.
Protests had broken out throughout the day outside the compound over that video and the security wall was breeched as people came and went taking photo’s and video’s but none of that fits the narrative.
Marines were deployed before the mortar assaults and one marine received the Silver Star medal for his bravery during the assault but according to the narrative they were told to stand down.
The entire narrative was beaten up to give Mitt Romney a we

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1 reply
Wise-1 danielisticall May 07 2014 at 9:45 AM

For the msnbc nbc and cnn fool. Time for you to wake up and smell the roses. OR the stink given off by Obama.

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nasatristate May 07 2014 at 9:39 AM

You libs are really weird! This was a cover up to get Obama re-elected! Google Watergate/Nixon, perhaps that will give some insight into Obama's future!

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2 replies
danielisticall nasatristate May 07 2014 at 9:43 AM

THIS HELP YOUR MEMORY?

Barack Obama,,Joe Biden,,, 65,899,660 popular vote 51.% electorial votes,,332
Mitt Romney,,,,Paul Ryan,,,, 60,932,152 popular vote 47.2% electorial votes,,,206
you lost and you lost badly Romney,, no amount of gifts can buy that kind of support”

OBAMA DID NOT NEED TO COVER UP ANYTHING TO BEAT THAT SHMUCK ROMNEY

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5 replies
Carl nasatristate May 07 2014 at 9:52 AM

No! It's much ado aboutr nothing for the republican's to gain political clout. Just look at the timing in of itself. Then we have this Mr. Gowdy stating that the republicans hold the house for a reason? Ever hear of gerymandering? The man's either stupid or arrogant. Then you have his statement that he's fair? He just proved himself disconnected from the truth and arrogant. But your going to miss all that aren't you?

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acmeme May 07 2014 at 9:37 AM

All of Hitlers men alaways backed him up!!!

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danielisticall May 07 2014 at 9:37 AM

FOR THE MISSINFORMED FOX FOOLS

Benghazi Attack: U.S. Special Forces Team Stopped From Going To Libya, Former Diplomat Gregory Hicks Claims
By DONNA CASSATA 05/06/13
Meanwhile, a second team was preparing to leave on a Libyan C-130 cargo plane from Tripoli to Benghazi when Hicks said he learned from the Libyan prime minister that Stevens was dead. The Libyan military agreed to transport additional personnel as reinforcements to Benghazi on its cargo plane, but Hicks complained the special forces were told not to make the trip.
Gregory Hicks, a former diplomat in Tripoli at the time of the attack, told a House panel that the unit was told to stand down.
Dempsey said that was not the case.
"They weren't told to stand down. A `stand down' means don't do anything," he said. "They were told that the mission they were asked to perform was not in Benghazi, but was at Tripoli airport."

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1 reply
JRivers danielisticall May 07 2014 at 9:44 AM

And you think that exhonerates the Obama administration? Your story supports the need for further investigation.

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1 reply
rmg21943 JRivers May 07 2014 at 9:56 AM

The fact there was no STAND DOWN order and no cover-up exonerates the
Obama administration. Every committee has stated that! Republican and Democrat!
And the IRB!

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twalsh4440 May 07 2014 at 9:36 AM

DEMS LYING PIGS

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boyle1034 May 07 2014 at 9:35 AM

If the feminist movement wants a poster child as to why woman are incapable of
commanding sincere respect for high level involvement in serious human endeavor one Nancy Pelosi in the Triple Crown Winner.

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1 reply
sargeantsamson boyle1034 May 07 2014 at 9:56 AM

That's a tough one! That old lying hag Hillary is giving her a good run for the money!!!!

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thomastthomasone May 07 2014 at 9:35 AM

This one thing I know and that is DEMOCRATS DO NOT UTILIZE LOGIC!

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1 reply
gbocapal thomastthomasone May 07 2014 at 9:49 AM

Amen!

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