The Edmond Sun


May 13, 2013

No Americans forgotten in Benghazi

WASHINGTON, D.C. — More than eight months ago on Sept. 11, the nation was shaken by the attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Claiming the lives of four innocent Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, that horrific night still demands further investigation before it can be laid to rest. Due to an uncooperative administration and State Department who attempted to downplay the terrorist attack just eight weeks before the presidential election, we still don’t know the truth.

As the events of that night unfolded to the public last year, leaders at the State Department initially blamed the attack on an anti-Muslim YouTube video, explaining that it caused a spontaneous protest and ultimately led to the murders. However, later evidence revealed that State Department officials deliberately changed talking points to tell this story even though the situation already had been classified as planned and executed by Ansar al-Sharia — a group connected with Islamic terrorists. It also was discovered that consulate staff suspected danger and requested backup months before the attack even took place. For these reasons, we can only suspect a political cover up for the preventative inaction of President Obama and then-Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.

Early on, the White House stated that it needed more time to adequately investigate before briefing the American people or even calling it a “terrorist act.” When questioned 134 days after the event took place during a hearing conducted by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Secretary Clinton exploded, “What difference at this point does it make?” It makes a tremendous difference to the families whose loved ones could have been spared if the dangerous situation in Libya had been adequately monitored. It also makes a huge difference to the future security of our nation in preventing similar attacks.

In the same way, now eight months later, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney recently acted as if the attack was a closed case saying, “Benghazi was a long time ago.” Even if it was a long time ago, questions are still unanswered, and supposed unclassified reports have not been made available to House committees with jurisdiction to properly investigate.

On Wednesday last week, the House Committee on Oversight heard the compelling testimony of three leaders from the State Department who came forward to shed light on what really happened. These key witnesses were barred from speaking out about the situation, even though all were directly watching as it occurred last September. Greg Hicks, former Deputy Chief of Mission in Libya, even claimed that he was demoted for questioning how the situation was handled and presented to the public. The emotional and courageous testimony brought by these whistleblowers brings us closer to answers, but there is still work to be done.

With this new evidence and the likelihood of other witnesses coming forward, we must continue uncovering the truth and pursue a fact-based investigation. Congressman Frank Wolf, R-Va., has provided a framework in H. Res 36 for pursuing the investigation; I support this along with many of my colleagues. Currently, five House committees hold jurisdiction in separate aspects of the investigation. This legislation would create a select committee with full jurisdiction and streamline the process by allowing members of the bipartisan panel to have subpoena power over all the relevant information and key witnesses. With a clear deadline and mission to solve the scandal surrounding Benghazi, this committee would create one definitive report from which to take further action.

After all this time, we should have resolved what circumstances led to the murder of four Americans. We still don’t have answers — just excuses. The American people deserve to know the truth, and those involved must be held responsible.

U.S. REP. TOM COLE, R-Moore, represents Oklahoma’s 4th Congressional District.

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    There are some surprising omissions on his list. While he includes two films, “A Touch of Evil” and Chimes at Midnight” made by Orson Welles, and one, “The Third Man,” that Welles starred in but did not direct. He did not however, include “Citizen Kane,” that was the first movie Welles made, that is  often cited by both film critics and historians as a favorite film.

    July 28, 2014

  • Logan County’s disputed zone

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    July 28, 2014

  • Russell leads in Sun poll

    Polling results of an unscientific poll at show that Steve Russell, GOP candidate for the 5th District congressional seat, is in the lead with 57 percent of the vote ahead of the Aug. 26 runoff election. Thirty readers participated in the online poll.

    July 28, 2014

  • Healthier and Wealthier? Not in Oklahoma

    Increased copays, decreased coverage, diminished health care access, reduced provider budgets and increased frustration are all the outcomes of the Legislature’s 2014 health care funding decisions. Unlike some years in the past when a languishing state economy forced legislators into making cuts, the undesirable outcomes this year could easily have been avoided.

    July 26, 2014

  • Medicaid reform a necessity

    Historically, education spending by the state of Oklahoma has been the largest budget item. This is no longer the case. In recent years, the state of Oklahoma spends more on Medicaid (operated by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority) than common education and higher education combined, according to the state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

    July 25, 2014

  • Remembering lessons from 1974

    This week marks the 40th anniversary of an important milestone in America’s constitutional history. On July 24, 1974, the Supreme Court voted 8-0 to order the Nixon White House to turn over audiotapes that would prove the president and his close aides were guilty of criminal violations. This ruling established with crystal clarity that the executive branch could not hide behind the shield of executive privilege to protect itself from the consequences of illegal behavior. It was a triumph for the continued vitality of our constitutional form of government.

    July 25, 2014

  • RedBlueAmerica: Is parenting being criminalized in America?

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    July 24, 2014

  • Technology that will stimulate journalism’s future is now here

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    July 23, 2014

  • New Orleans features its own “Running of the Bulls”

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    July 22, 2014


The runoff race for the 5th District congressional seat is set for Aug. 26. If the voting were today, which candidate would you support?

Al McAffrey
Tom Guild
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