Fox News is reporting that a House panel plans on holding closed door hearings with intelligence officials from the Obama administration on the September 11, 2012 attacks on the American mission in Benghazi, Libya that left our ambassador and three other Americans dead:
The House Intelligence Committee will hold its closed hearing on the attack on Nov. 15, Fox News has learned. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, CIA Director David Petraeus and Matt Olsen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, are expected to testify.
The Senate Intelligence Committee plans to meet the same day to discuss the Libya attack — that hearing will also be closed to the public.
Olsen was the first member of the Obama administration to publicly describe the Libya assault explicitly as a “terrorist attack,” at a hearing more than a week after the attack, though Obama had spoken earlier more generally about the U.S. response to “acts of terror.”
Republicans, who control the House, have accused Obama officials of downplaying the attack’s terrorist nature to maintain an administration narrative that Al Qaeda is on the run. Officials initially suggested an anti-Islam video produced in the United States had motivated the attack, which U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice said five days later appeared to be “spontaneous” violence after a protest escalated.
Congressman Mike Rogers (R-MI) chairs the House Intelligence Committee.
Prior to the election, Congressional hearings on Benghazi were held by the House Government Oversight Committee, which is chaired by Darrell Issa (R-CA). Jason Chavetz (R-UT) played a prominent role in those hearings.
Issa and Chavetz have persistently criticized the Obama administration’s response to the Benghazi attacks.
Many conservatives have criticized the mainstream media for failing to follow up their reporting on the details of the Benghazi murders. With the election now over, and President Obama re-elected, it is unclear how this investigation will be pursued, and what level of coverage it will receive in the media.