Earlier this month Trey Gowdy, Chairman of the Select Committee on Benghazi, wrote a blistering letter to the Pentagon after a Pentagon spokesperson complained the committee was making too many time consuming demands. Gowdy’s letter concluded:
Your staff is welcome to waste taxpayer dollars writing partisan, factually deficient letters to our 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.
Ten days later, Democrats on the committee have responded in a letter which claims Gowdy’s committee is “putting a strain on the Pentagon.” The letter includes quotes from a January interview conducted by former investigator for the committee Dana Chipman. During an interview with Leon Panetta Chipman said:
I think you ordered exactly the right forces to move out and to head toward a position where they could reinforce what was occurring in Benghazi or in Tripoli or elsewhere in the region. And, sir, I don’t disagree with the actions you took, the recommendations you made, and the decisions you directed.
Monday the committee released a statement from Chipman. He did not dispute having made the statement but says he agrees with the committee’s decision to pursue every possible witness. CNN reports:
“If some witnesses refer the committee to other witnesses, “. The committee has an obligation to the American people to determine what can and cannot be substantiated, so if an individual makes public allegations about Benghazi, the committee should interview that person.”
The Democrats’ effort to discredit attempts to interview low-ranking military witnesses comes just four days after a Fox News report in which a witness whose identity was protected said the Air Force had planes that could have reached Benghazi in a matter of hours, i.e. before Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods were killed in a mortar attack. A second witness claimed the State Department prevented special forces from capturing or killing the parties responsible for the attack.