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Benghazi then and now – no answers, no accountability

There are issues that face our nation that demand answers. Issues that affect our nation in its ability to conduct effective diplomatic actions, as well as reflect our nations willingness to defend our people and priorities. One such issue has been, and continues to be, the Benghazi attack on our consulate in Libya.

While this is not a top headline issue for the media, I have had many people across the New York 22nd Congressional District ask me where I stand on this issue. I have been asked what I would do, if elected, about this.

First, I will address what the incumbent has done. Rep. Richard Hanna was contacted directly by M V Consulting, Inc (the company I own, which maintains the political commentary site www.mvass.com) and Binghamton Political Buzz Examiner (where I am a reporter/commentator until announcing my run for Congress) on November 15, 2012 about Benghazi. This was along with Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand.

The letter highlighted several concerns at the time, that remain concerns today. One question that Rep. Hanna was asked to respond to was:

The attack on the consulate took more than 6 hours from start to finish. During that time nearby military bases sent no support troops, air gunships in the region provided no support, and CIA operatives 1 mile from the consulate were told to stand down efforts to support the consulate at least 2x. Further, air support to remove a terrorist mortar position went unheeded leading to a mortar attack that likely killed at least 1 American…

What, therefore, are you doing to help resolve this issue to the benefit of constituents overseas, their families stateside, and the nation as a whole?

As of 12/10/13, neither M V Consulting, Binghamton Political Examiner, nor myself directly have received a response from Rep. Hanna nor any other member of Congress we sent the letter to.

Further, on 1/18/13, H Res 36 was presented in the House of Representatives. It’s goal is to create a special committee to resolve key issues about what happened in Benghazi and the impact on the nation. In part it would seek to:

(4) how the relevant agencies and the executive branch responded to the attack and whether appropriate congressional notifications were made;
(5) any improper conduct by officials relating to the attack;
(6) recommendations on what steps Congress and the President should take to prevent future attack; and
(7) any other relevant issues relating to the attack or the response to the attack.

Rep. Richard Hanna does NOT support this measure. As of June 24, 2013 Rep. Hanna was on of 73 Republican members that was identified as still holding out. As of this being written Rep. Hanna continues to not support H Res 36, and any resolution it could bring to the benefit of Americans overseas that are serving the interests of the nation.

At this time, a Google search of Rep. Richard Hanna Benghazi finds 4,600,000 results of which none in the top 5 pages shows a single comment from Rep. Hanna on this issue and where he stands.

That is the representation constituents of the NY-22 are getting at this time on the Benghazi issue. I do not believe this reflects what the public wants done, nor is it in the best interest of the nation in my opinion.

I believe that support for H Res 36 should be vocal and clear. This is an issue that may be affecting all our Ambassadors and Embassies across the globe. Members of Congress have an obligation to determine if the murder of our Ambassador and 3 Americans is a systemic problem, a failure of leadership at various Government organizations, or a combination of the 2.

America cannot ask citizens to voluntarily place themselves in harm’s way, so that they can act in the best interest of the nation diplomatically, without providing a credible and genuine assurance that if another Benghazi-styled attack were to occur they will be protected. Such assurance is deeply in question today.

As of this writing, no one has been held accountable for the Benghazi attack on our consulate. There has been no impact in the State Department, Homeland Security, CIA, military, or any other Agency of the Government. All those initially brought before Congress, and those that were temporarily suspended, are back to work without reprimand at this time (with the exception of then-Secretary of State Clinton, who has moved on to seek other political ambitions apparently).

There has been, effectively, zero accountability. At the same time, there remains no answer on whether or not this tragedy was cause by a systemic problem, a failure of leadership (and/or how high that failure went up the chain of command), or a combination of both. This is unacceptable.

I believe that our Representative should be acting like Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina

If elected, I would support Rep. Gowdy and other members of Congress in there effort to answer these questions and provide accountability. I will support providing answers and accountability – including prosecution where needed – so that every American working in our Embassies across the world can do so with the credible assurance that we will never allow an attack like Benghazi to occur again. I will actively work to provide answers to the media and the public, on this and other issues that the American people expect and deserve a forthright answer on.

That is one of the differences between Rep. Hanna and myself. I invite you to www.MichaelVasquezforCongress.com to learn more about be, and lend me your support if you agree that we deserve better from a Representative in Congress in 2014.

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