They don’t call him the Bulldog for nothing, Trey Gowdy is as tenacious as they come. And that’s good news for the families of the four men killed in Benghazi as he has been unrelenting in his pursuit of justice for the fallen four.
Truth is his determination to get to the bottom of the ordeal has lasted longer than most expected, largely because he’s been met with such severe resistance along the way.
In fact his desire to the proverbial case closed has really ticked off some people in the Pentagon, enough so they wrote him a letter telling him so.
The House Select Committee on Benghazi may be two years old, but its Chairman argues that he is not the reason it has yet to complete its mission.
Instead, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) is firing back at his critics — including those in the White House — arguing that it is their lack of cooperation that has delayed the investigation into the September 11th, 2012 terrorist attacks.
His most recent rebuke came in the form of a scathing letter to Defense Secretary Ash Carter, claiming that the Pentagon chief and one of his top lieutenants:
“…intentionally mischaracterizes both the nature of the Committee’s investigation and its interaction with the Department of Defense.
It is also riddled with factual inaccuracies, which not only does a disservice to the public but also does a disservice to the women and men who work for the Department of Defense.”
Gowdy closes his letter by dropping this hammer:
Your staff is welcome to waste taxpayer dollars writing partisan, factually deficient letters to out Committee, coordinate the language with House Democrats, and then leak it to the media. That is your prerogative. It will not prevent this Committee from interviewing all witnesses who can help us write the final, definitive accounting of what happened before, during , and after the attacks that killed four Americans in Benghazi and injured others. It will just prolong the investigation. I have been encouraged by too many soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines across the country to allow letters from political appointees to stop us.
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs Stephen C. Hedger, that ‘top lieutenant,’ had previously written a letter to Gowdy expressing his frustration with the Committee’s “crescendo” of new requests for witnesses and information on an “unrealistic timeline.”
Gowdy’s accusations were not limited to the Department of Defense.
In a recent interview with Politico, the Benghazi chairman acknowledged that the Central Intelligence Agency and the State Department have also contributed to the Committee’s alleged snail-like pace by delaying the hand-over of documents and interviews with key witnesses.
He told the paper:
“It’s taken way too long and way too much of our energy in simply gaining access.
There continues to be time wasted negotiating with executive branch entities who do not want to give us what I believe Congress is entitled to.”
Not everyone within the politically-charged Committee has bought into Gowdy’s argument, however.
Democrats sitting on the Select Committee, led by Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, believe that Gowdy spent too long focused on attacking former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton before eventually shifting its focus this past winter to the military’s response to the attacks, something they could have been doing simultaneously.
Cummings told Politico:
“This has nothing to do with federal agencies and everything to do with Select Committee Republicans not even making many of their requests until after their disastrous hearing with Secretary Clinton, which even Republicans criticized as a monumental flop.
Republicans have been spending their time scheduling dozens of new interviews — which they could have conducted long ago — to justify their own existence, drag out this investigation as close as they can to the election.”
Congress created the Select Committee in 2014 to investigate the terrorist attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya and, more specifically, the White House’s role in responding to the attacks.
It is currently scheduled to have its final report prepared “before summer,” however, it is possible that could be delayed given the tight timeline.
Truth is men like Gowdy are what make this country great. He isn’t allow obstruction to get in the way of his work. And while the work has been back-breaking (Gowdy will not run for elected office again) millions of Americans thank him for his genuine efforts.
The most disheartening thing about all of this is the simple fact so many in D.C. want to stand in his way. We hope that changes soon. Don’t you?