WASHINGTON — On the one year anniversary of the terrorist attacks that killed four Americans in Benghazi, former Rep. Allen West called for the military to go into Libya and kill those behind it.
West — a former Republican congressman from Florida and Army colonel — said Wednesday that military action is the best way for the United States to bring the attackers to justice.
“If you want to have military action, I think it’s very much so justified in Libya because that was part of our national security interest,” West said at a press conference outside the Capitol on Wednesday. “It was in a consulate that was attacked and there were Americans killed.”
“So I would think that we would be able to launch a very surgical military operation to go in and bring the right type of justice to kill those who killed our Americans,” West said. “I think that’s the best way to do it.”
Four Americans died in the Benghazi attacks on Sept. 11, 2012, including Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya.
A number of conservatives are expected on Capitol Hill on Wednesday to mark the occasion and protest the Obama administration’s response to the attacks.
During the Capitol press conference organized by Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert on Wednesday, West reiterated conservative demands for a new select committee to investigate the Benghazi attacks.
Over the last year, Republicans have held hearings in multiple committees to look into whether the Obama administration could have done more to prevent the attacks.
“I think it was Einstein who said continuing to do the same thing, expecting the same results, is the definition of insanity,” West said. “It’s been a year and we have used the five committees across the board and we have not gotten anywhere near the bottom of what has happened.”
House Speaker John Boehner has publicly asserted that he is against the establishment of a select committee, saying he thinks the best course for examining the attacks is letting the five House committees already investigating to continue their work.
“It’s been a year doing it the way that they have tried to do it,” West countered on Wednesday. “And we haven’t gotten anywhere. So it’s time to do something different.”
Asked about concerns raised by opponents of the select committee that it could be too costly, West said: “I think they’ll be able to find the money.”
“Maybe instead of taking five weeks off, they should have stayed here and they could’ve gotten it done,” he said, alluding to the recent summer recess for lawmakers. “Because having been brought up in the military, we don’t go anywhere — we don’t go home — until the mission is done.”