One year later, still seeking answers about Benghazi

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Sean Smith, the information officer killed in the Benghazi attack, was a good government servant, a good father and husband and was doing his job to the best of his ability when he was killed in the attack on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya on September 12th, 2012. He was also my nephew via his marriage to my wife Sharon’s niece. We were not close due to the distance incurred by Sean’s duties, I regret that and wish that we had gotten a chance to know each other better.

The journey that I have been on is not so much that of a grieving family member, but as an American citizen that still believes that the government should always tell the truth and accept responsibility for its actions no matter how painful it may be.

When I heard Congressman Frank Wolf speak on the House floor in December 2012 about cutting funding to Egypt until we got some answers about Benghazi, I called his office to express my thanks and agreement with his statements. I was asked by Congressman Wolf’s legislative director, Tom Culligan, to leave my phone number as the Congressman would like to speak to me. On December 17th, I received a phone call from Congressman Wolf who asked about Sean. I said Sean and I had not had much contact, but as an American citizen I was angry about the lack of honesty and accountability demonstrated by the Obama administration regarding Benghazi.

Congressman Wolf asked me to read a bill that he would introduce, now House Res. 36, which establishes an Independent Select Committee to investigate the Benghazi murders, and asked me to write a letter of support if I agreed with it. I read the bill, agreed, and complied with Congressman Wolf’s request for a letter of support, which was distributed to the members of the House on December 19th, 2012.

Starting in late February 2013, I felt I needed to do more and started to contact various Congressional offices asking for support as co-sponsors for House Res. 36. At various times I also called various Senatorial offices about a variety of Benghazi topics. The most recent count I have received is that there are currently 168 representatives supporting the bill. I recently submitted a letter to Congressman Wolf’s office on the one-year anniversary of the attack expressing my frustration with the lack of truth and accountability about Benghazi. This letter will be handed out to House members today:

Dear Congressman Wolf and Colleagues:

Since December 2012, we have been supporters of Congressman Frank Wolf’s efforts to establish an Independent Select Committee to fully investigate what happened in Benghazi. Our nephew, Information Officer Sean Smith was killed in the attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012. The terrorist attack in Benghazi was predicated by a failure in leadership by the Obama Administration and has quickly escalated into a cover up and a real scandal. We wrote a letter of support to Congressman Wolf on December 18, 2012 in support of what was then House Res. 824, now House Res. 36. Since then, Michael has contacted by phone, e-mail, and letter, over 260 Congressional and Senatorial offices asking for support for Congressman Wolf’s efforts and thanking those who have chosen to cosponsor House Res. 36.

A failure to establish an atmosphere of truth and accountability about Benghazi sends a simple and dangerous message to countries that do not have America’s best interests at heart. It tells our enemies that you can kill American citizens and civil servants and not face any consequences.

Now, as we approach the one year anniversary of the attacks in Benghazi, we are afraid that this must become a letter of indictment. Ladies and Gentlemen of the 2013 Congress, you have failed to obtain justice for Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods. The souls of these four brave Americans are not Congressional currency in a turf war.

Speaker John Boehner, you have failed in your leadership of the House of Representatives by stubbornly refusing to accept the need for an Independent Select Committee. Michael has contacted your office on several occasions with no response back.

In fairness, we must also address the Senate’s lack of attention about Benghazi. With the exception of a few vocal Senators, the Senate has been largely silent about Benghazi. Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid seems to be missing in action when it comes to addressing the issue of Benghazi.

President Obama and his administration have done little to nothing in the establishment of an honest dialogue about Benghazi. Deception and rhetoric have been the operative procedure by the Obama Administration when addressing the issue of the Benghazi murders. There is nothing phony about the deaths of four Americans when it could have been prevented.

It seems that America has become some arcane dangerous territory when an American citizen chooses to speak their opinion. However, we cannot rest, and will not remain silent, until the complete story of Benghazi is told to the American public. This is not a Republican issue or a Democratic issue, but a truth issue.

With all due respect,
Michael Ingmire
Sharon Watson Ingmire