Circumstantial evidence?

Guest CommentarySeptember 3, 2013 

I'm in total agreement with Mr. Cavanaugh's comment in his Aug. 22 column, in that there is not a shred of direct evidence against the Obama administration on Benghazi. I will take a leap of faith here and assume, when he mentions "actual" evidence, he is referring to "direct" evidence (as referred to in the legal field).

I can understand why Mr. Cavanaugh might feel that the Benghazi investigation is irrelevant at this point, but perhaps the very fact of the many delays in this case, has created a string of circumstantial evidence.

Space is limited here and does not allow for all the circumstances, delays and roadblocks in the investigation, but let's consider just a few:

It took months for the investigative committee to get the requested documents needed to conduct the investigation — then they did not receive all of the documentation they requested.

The Secretary of State was called to testify, the week of Dec.15, 2012, but due to health issues, her testimony was not heard until Jan. 23, 2013.

At the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, Senator Ron Johnson asked the secretary why the administration stated the attack was a protest gone wild over a video, when it was, in fact, a planned terrorist attack. The secretary's response, was, in part: "…….what difference does that make now?"

Could not answering the question directly, the lack of respect, and lack of cooperation, on the secretary's part, have triggered need for further probing, and be construed as mounting circumstantial evidence?

Three major witnesses, Hicks, Nordstrom and Thompson didn't come forward and testify until May of 2013, six months after the incident.

Reports indicate there have been repeated requests to the Obama Administration to make survivors available — but to date, the survivors of the attack have not been located or come forward to give testimony. Reports indicate that there were "dozens" of CIA operatives on the ground in Benghazi on 9-11 when the consulate came under attack, but the agency remains silent on their mission.

Congressman Trey Gowdy of South Carolina stated the Obama administration is hiding the survivors, dispersing them around the country, and changing their names. Does this create the appearance and perhaps the reality of a cover-up? Isn't this "obstruction" and wouldn't it warrant further investigation and wouldn't this be construed as circumstantial evidence?

The United States Department of Justice filed the first criminal charges in the Benghazi attack against Ahmed Abu Khattalah, leader of a Libyan militia on Aug. 16, 2013. The charges were sealed and their exact nature wasn't clear, nor was the number of suspects named in the case. The Justice Department declined to comment on specific charges. Might that have opened up cause for further investigation?

It is reported that CBS News has filed multiple Freedom of Information requests for Benghazi related material, but none has been provided. Judicial Watch, a watchdog group, is suing the U.S.

government in an attempt to receive some of the denied information. Wouldn't this give testimony to the fact that further investigation is warranted; and by its very nature, it is further circumstantial evidence?

I can understand Mr. Cavanuagh's frustration — but our Ambassador was tortured in a horrific manner, and he and three other Americans were murdered, while others were severely wounded — and isn't seeking the truth, seeking justice what we Americans are about? If there is no direct, hard evidence in this case, then perhaps in the minds and hearts of the American people there is clear circumstantial evidence. And isn't it the job of Congress to seek justice and truth when they are charged to do so by the American people, the people they represent?

Shouldn't we support Congress in carrying out the job for which they are charged? Can we agree that whether there are no further charges brought about in this case, or if additional charges are brought, "the people" can be secure in knowing that Congress did the right thing and was thorough in the investigation?

Wouldn't those who believe that the Obama administration is innocent of any wrongdoing in the Benghazi case, welcome a thorough investigation?

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