I'm reading through the report by the Democratic side of the House Benghazi Select Committee, and so far the best stuff is toward the end, where the minority Members unload on Chairman Gowdy.
For example, there is this list of the various unmet deadlines that Representative Trey Gowdy has, over the years, announced for completion of the Committee's business.
Chairman Gowdy has repeatedly postponed his estimates for when the Select Committee would conclude its investigation and issue its final report:
- In August 2014, Chairman Gowdy stated that he planned to complete the investigation by the “end of 2015.”
- In April 2015, Chairman Gowdy stated that the Committee’s report would not be issued until 2016.
- In January 2016, Chairman Gowdy stated that he would finish interviews “within the month.”
- In March 2016, Chairman Gowdy stated that he would release his report “before summer.”
- In April 2016, Chairman Gowdy stated that his target date was “mid-June.
- In May 2016, Chairman Gowdy stated the Select Committee’s work would conclude “before the conventions” in mid-July.
Do you think he'll keep that last promise to conclude by mid-July? Me neither. But he has to end this thing someday, and just maybe today's minority report will motivate him to paddle faster.
I like the recommendations at the end of the report, many of which address the need for Congress to keep budgeting for all the other recommendations that have already been made by the Benghazi Accountability Review Board and other parties.
Most of that funding pays for the continuation of the Capital Security Construction Program, which replaces old and vulnerable diplomatic facilities with purpose-built and secure new buildings. The recommendations section includes this highly pertinent quote from the testimony of Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs:
Then there is there is [sic] the macro [funding] question, Congressman, and that is that the best defense is ability to construct the new facilities that you have provided us additional funds for. Subsequent to the attack on Benghazi there was a major attack on our compound in Tunisia and there was a major attack on our compound in Khartoum. Those buildings held out and not a single American was killed or injured for over 8 hours until host nation security forces mobilized to defend us. But those building, in Khartoum and in Tunisia, were the new, modern buildings that we have had the assistance of the Congress and the funding to build. It is just that on a macro sense, because of the increase in the value of the dollar and because of inflation worldwide, the program that we started after Nairobi and Dar es Salaam [were attacked in August 1998] we were building eight Embassies a year then. Because of the decrease in funding we were building three.
Building more Fortress Embassies isn't the answer to every overseas security problem. But it could very well be the solution to the problem of surviving prolonged incidents of political violence, with our own resources, until our host governments become willing and able to intervene. Isn't that enough?