A bombshell piece of news that will play a central role in the future of the Benghazi investigation will have repercussions that could reshape the way Americans view the administration and the nation’s top commander in chief.
Obama will be remembered for two key events that happened on September 11, 2012: his decision to launch the war in Libya, and his decision not to name the culprits responsible for the Benghazi attack.
The U.S. ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, and three other Americans died in the attacks.
While most Americans have been riveted by the events of September 11 and the subsequent congressional investigations, the Obama administration was far less enthusiastic about the events.
The president told reporters on the day of the attack that he would not be calling the perpetrators by name until after he had spoken with President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.
“What’s the point of calling the killers by name if I don’t know who they are?”
Obama said at the time.
“I will not be naming them until we have the facts.
I will be calling them by name, until we get the answers to all of these questions.”
In the weeks that followed, the president took steps to make sure that Americans would not lose faith in him.
The day after the attacks, the White House issued a public statement saying that Obama was “committed to bringing to justice those who have perpetrated these heinous crimes.”
On September 17, 2012, the day before Obama took office, he signed an executive order creating a commission to investigate the Benghazi attacks.
The commission was chaired by retired general William C. “Bill” Boykin, who had been a top adviser to the White Street firm, Citigroup.
The day before the commission was set to begin, Boykin was asked by CNN’s Dana Bash about his views on the Benghazi investigations.
“I think that it was premature,” Boykin said.
“They have been in the headlines, but they are really only the tip of the iceberg.”
While Boykin initially said he believed the attacks were “preplanned and planned” and that the attackers were “pro-Islamist,” he changed his tune as the weeks went on.
In an interview with the New York Times in June, he said, “I think the evidence is that they were well-armed, well-prepared, well equipped, well funded, and well-organized.”
By the time of the commission’s launch in late May, it had raised over $2 million in contributions from a wide range of political interests.
At the time, the commission had a staff of nearly two dozen, including former Vice President Joe Biden and former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.
Biden, Johnson, former Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and Rep. Pete King (R.-N.Y.) also served as members of the committee.
The most prominent Republican member of the panel was Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.
In a March 2016 letter to the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Schiff said the panel’s findings were “a stark indictment of the Obama Administration’s mishandling of the attacks in Benghazi, Libya.”
While many Democrats were quick to praise the panel for its work, some Republicans expressed reservations about the work of the group.
“The Benghazi commission should be commended for its thorough investigation, but there’s not enough information to support the committee’s conclusions,” Rep. Trey Gowdy (R., S.C.) wrote in a letter to Chairman Nunes in April.
“Instead, the panel relied on an unsubstantiated and politically motivated story from a partisan and unproven source to advance their baseless and politically-motivated conclusion.”
As part of the investigation, the House Judiciary Committee and the House Homeland Security Committee also began investigating whether the Obama White House was aware of the events in Benghazi prior to the attack.
The Benghazi investigation has now been in a state of limbo since May, when the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee announced it would begin its own investigation into the matter.
While the panel has made progress, it remains far from a done deal, with Gowdy threatening to subpoena witnesses and former White House officials, as well as former deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes, from the committee if they do not cooperate.
On Tuesday, the Oversight Committee announced that it had subpoenaed former National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes from the panel and former acting assistant secretary of defense Ben Rhodes.
Rhodes, who was not part of any of the investigations into the attacks and was on the committee at the same time, is also being subpoenaed.
“It is the committee chairman’s decision whether to subpoena anyone, and if he does, it is his decision whether he will issue subpoenas,” Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R.
The committee is also looking into the potential for the State Department to have classified information leaked from its consulate in Libya to a blogger.
In May, the New Yorker reported