Boehner Promises More Benghazi Hearings: ‘The American People Deserve the Truth’

By Elizabeth Harrington | May 9, 2013 | 1:41pm EDT

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, meets with the news media at the U.S. Capitol, in Washington, Thursday, May 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

( – Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) promised there will be more hearings on the Benghazi terrorist attack -- following Wednesday’s dramatic hearing with three whistleblowers --  because the White House is “blocking access” to the truth about what really happened during that Sept. 11, 2012 assault.

“The goal here is to get to the truth,” Boehner said during a press conference on Capitol Hill on Thursday.  “Four Americans lost their lives.  Their families want to know the truth.  The American people want to know the truth.  And I believe it is Congress’ obligation to get to the truth.”

The Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya left four Americans dead, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

On Wednesday, May 8,  three whistleblowers, including Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Counterterrorism Mark Thompson and the former Deputy Chief of Mission in Libya Gregory Hicks, testified before the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform.

Their testimonies raised questions of inadequate security at the compound and why the White House insisted an obscure anti-Islamic video was to blame for the attack in its aftermath.

Boehner said Congress is committed to getting answers to make sure it “doesn’t happen again.”

“And understand the reason this is still underway is because the White House has done everything possible to block access to the information that would outline the truth,” Boehner said.  “And the question you have to ask is, why?”

Boehner expressed confidence in the five House committees currently investigating Benghazi, and praised Chairman Darryl Issa (R-Calif.) and the members of the House Oversight Committee for “eliciting more information that, frankly, we haven’t had for the last eight months.”

“Frankly, there’s going to be more hearings and more information,” Boehner said.

Former deputy chief of mission in Libya Gregory Hicks, center, prepares to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on May 8, 2013. He is flanked by witnesses Mark Thompson, deputy coordinator for operations in the State Department’s counterterrorism bureau, and Eric Nordstrom, formerly the department’s regional security officer in Libya. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Another question Boehner raised was the altering of the talking points used by Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, which excluded all references to terrorism.  Instead, Rice went on five television talk shows five days following Sept. 11, 2012 and blamed an obscure YouTube video, “The Innocence of Muslims,” for bringing about a “spontaneous protest” for the attack.

According to the Interim Progress Report from the House Republican Conference on the terrorist attacks, congressional investigators gained access to emails between White House and senior State Department officials where they discussed and edited the talking points.

“Those emails clearly reveal that Administration officials intentionally removed references in the talking points to the likely participation by Islamic extremists, to the known threat of extremists linked to al-Qa’ida in Benghazi and eastern Libya, and to other recent attacks against foreign interests in Benghazi,” the report states.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the only edits to the talking points by the White House were “stylistic and non-substantive.”

When a reporter asked Boehner if the White House is lying regarding the talking points, he would not say.

“You can characterize it any way you want, but somebody, clearly, decided they didn’t like the references to Islamic terrorism and made changes in this document,” he said.

“The American people deserve the truth, and they will get the truth.”

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