Sunday, July 21, 2013

Are there non-disclosure agreements on Benghazi?

US House Representative Frank Wolf is attempting to focus attention on the issue of the Benghazi attack September 11, 2012.  Thursday,  his office issued this release:

Contact: Jill Shatzen
(202) 225-5136


Washington, D.C. (July 18, 2013) – In today’s question(s) about what happened in Benghazi, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) asked:

How many Benghazi survivors, including federal employees, military personnel or contractors, have been asked to sign additional Non-Disclosure Agreements by the different agencies relating to what happened in Benghazi?
Do these NDAs apply only to those under cover, or have non-covert State Department and Defense Department employees been directed to sign them too?

In his floor speech today, Wolf also noted that he will be sending letters to the CIA, Defense Department and State Department asking for a list of all of their personnel or contractors they have required to sign original or additional NDAs relating to Benghazi. 

Wolf on Tuesday announced his plan to raise questions about what happened in Benghazi during the weeks before Congress breaks for its August recess, noting that the House has just nine days of legislative business before the break.  When it returns in September, the one-year anniversary will be two days away.

Wolf is the author of a resolution to create a select committee on Benghazi, H. Res. 36, which currently has 160 cosponsors – more than two-thirds of the majority party – as well as the support of family members of the victims, the Special Operations community and the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, which represents the Diplomatic Security agents who were at the consulate in Benghazi.

For a full list of endorsements, click here.

For more on Wolf’s work on Benghazi, click here.

The full text of Wolf’s remarks is below. 

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to ask another question that has not yet been answered by the House.
This question will be the third in a series of critical issues that have not yet been resolved – and I will continue to raise additional questions for the next nine legislative days until we depart for August recess, keeping in mind that the one-year anniversary of the Benghazi attacks will be upon us when the Congress returns in September.   

It is also noteworthy that there does not appear to be a single hearing on Benghazi scheduled in any committee between now and the one-year anniversary. 

That is why, in the absence of public hearings to address these questions, I am raising them on the House floor this month. 

On Tuesday, I raised the question of why none of the Benghazi survivors – whether State Department, CIA or private security contractor employee – have testified publicly before Congress. 

Yesterday, I asked about whether there had been any intelligence failures in the vetting of the Libyan militias who abandoned the Americans at the consulate as the assault began.  I also asked who provided the terrorists with a detailed understanding of the consulate property. 

Today, I return again to the Benghazi survivors and other career employees and contractors working for the CIA, Defense Department and the State Department who were involved in the response, or lack thereof, to the Benghazi attacks. 

According to trusted sources that have contacted my office, many, if not all, of the survivors of the Benghazi attacks – along with others at the Department of Defense and CIA – have been asked or directed to sign additional Non-Disclosure Agreements about their involvement in the Benghazi attacks.  Some of these “new” NDAs, as they call them, I have been told, were signed as recently as this summer.

It is also worth noting that the Marine Corps Times yesterday reported that the Marine colonel whose task force was responsible for special operations in northern and western Africa at the time of the attack is still on active duty despite claims that he retired and therefore could not be forced to testify before Congress.      

If these reports are accurate, this would be a stunning revelation to any member of Congress – any member of Congress that finds this out – and to the American people.  It also raises serious concerns about the propriety of the administration’s efforts to silence those with knowledge of the Benghazi attack and response.

So today I ask: How many federal employees, military personal or contractors have been asked to sign additional Non-Disclosure Agreements by each agency? 

And do these NDAs apply only to those under cover, or have non-covert State Department and Defense Department employees been directed to sign them too?   

Later today I will be writing the CIA, Defense Department and State Department to ask for a list of ALL of their personnel or contractors who have required to sign original or additional NDAs relating to Benghazi.  

Perhaps, through a list of all employees that have signed NDAs relating to Benghazi, we may finally develop a witness list to subpoena for eyewitness testimony to learn what happened that night where we lost four American lives. 

I do not expect the Obama Administration to be forthcoming with answers, but if this Congress doesn’t ask for the information and compel its delivery, the American people will never learn the truth.

Any federal employee or contractor who has been coerced into silence through a Non-Disclosure Agreement should expect the Congress to speak out on their behalf and compel their voice to be heard. That is why I, along with 159 of my colleagues, support a Select Committee to hold public hearings to learn the truth about what happened that night in Benghazi.

I say any colleague who is not on our resolution, if you are not on our resolution, please get on so we can find out the truth about what happened in Benghazi.

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