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700 Special Ops vets call for Benghazi committee

Hundreds of veterans of various special operations units joined together Monday to call on Congress to create a special committee to investigate the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benhgazi. "The undersigned are a representative group of some 700 retired Military Special Operations professionals who spent the majority of their careers ...

Hundreds of veterans of various special operations units joined together Monday to call on Congress to create a special committee to investigate the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benhgazi.

Hundreds of veterans of various special operations units joined together Monday to call on Congress to create a special committee to investigate the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benhgazi.

"The undersigned are a representative group of some 700 retired Military Special Operations professionals who spent the majority of their careers preparing for and executing myriad operations to rescue or recover detained or threatened fellow Americans," reads a letter organized by Special Operations Speaks, a group of special ops vets formed during last year’s presidential campaign.The group spent over $1 million in ads and public events last year opposing the reelection of Barack Obama.

"In fact, many of us participated in both the Vietnam era POW rescue effort, The Son Tay Raid, as well as Operation Eagle Claw, the failed rescue attempt in April of 1980 in Iran, so we have been at this for many years and have a deep passion for seeking the truth about what happened during the national tragedy in Benghazi," the letter continues.

The open letter was addressed to all members of Congress and calls for them to support H.R. 36, a bill that would create a House Select Committee on the Terrorist Attack in Benghazi. The bill was introduced in January by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) and now has more than 60 co-sponsors.

According to the text of the bill, the committee if created would be required to investigate and report back to Congress within 90 days on a number of issues related to the attack, including: intelligence known to the U.S. relating to the attack , requests for additional security or actions taken to improve security at the mission before the attack, a definitive timeline of the attack, how the relevant agencies responded to the attack and whether appropriate congressional notifications were made, any improper conduct by officials relating to the attack, and recommendations on what steps Congress and the president should take to prevent future attacks.

The former special ops officers have their own list of questions for the potential committee to investigate, including why have the survivors of the attack not been questioned, where those survivors are, and what was the nature of Ambassador Chris Stevens‘ business in Benghazi at the time of the attack.

"This was the most severe attack on American diplomatic facilities and personnel since the attacks on the US Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998. Thus far, it appears that there has been no serious effort to determine critical details of this attack," the letter states. "This is inexcusable and demands immediate attention by the Congress. Congress must show some leadership and provide answers to the public as to what actually occurred in Benghazi. Americans have a right to demand a full accounting on this issue."

Last summer, The Cable reported that the group’s founder, retired Navy SEAL Larry Bailey, believes President Barack Obama is a socialist, was raised by communists, and wasn’t born in the United States. He also believes that the president is not actually the son of Barack Obama, Sr, favoring the conspiracy theory that the president is actually the love child of Ann Dunham and writer Frank Marshall Davis.

"I have to admit that I’m a Birther," Bailey said in an interview at the time. "If there were a jury of 12 good men and women and the evidence were placed before them, there would be absolutely no question Barack Obama was not born where he said he was and is not who he says he is."

The group has a Facebook page with more than 147,000 likes.

Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at josh.rogin@foreignpolicy.com.

Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.

A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.

Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin

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