Under the leadership of Speaker John Boehner, the House of Representatives voted to establish a Select Committee to probe the terrorist attacks on the American Embassy in Benghazi, Libya that resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and U.S. Foreign Service Management Service Officer Sean Smith, according to ABC News on Thursday.
The vote to establish the Select Committee was 232 to 186. Most of the Democratic Congressional Delegation members voted against the establishment of the Select Committee; however, seven Democrats did vote in favor of it. There was not one dissenting vote within the ranks of the Republicans.
The Select Committee will have Watergate style subpoena powers, as well as the power to review relevant documents and interview witnesses. While Speaker Boehner supported the vote to establish the committee on the basis of the need to have "transparency and accountability in government, others see it as a ploy to create a feeling of ominous doom over the Democratic Party just in time for the 2014 midterm elections. The casting of a semblance of doom and gloom concerning an incumbent Democratic administration could fire up the conservative base of the Republican Party and make the Republican Party more palatable to Tea Party members and other fringe Republicans who otherwise may sit out the midterm elections or vote for fringe candidates.
In his statement of support for the establishment of the committee, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor portrayed the committee as an entity that will uncover information that to date the White House has been "hiding." Cantor stated:
“Unfortunately, the White House has engaged in a pattern of obstruction – consistently ignoring subpoenas, redacting relevant information and stonewalling investigators. This obfuscation and refusal to come clean to Congress has left us as well as the people of this country wondering what else is the White House hiding?”
Other observers, including Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, feel that there is nothing remaining to be uncovered because the Benghazi matter has been investigated numerous times already revealed no wrong doing on the part of the Administration. Clinton made statements to that effect on Wednesday in an interview with ABC's Robin Roberts.
Most observers on the Democrat side of the aisle view this latest action by Republicans in the House as demagoguery or insincere; in other words, a means of swaying public opinion to attain personal, political objectives. Look for this to become embroiled as the midterm election draw near and the polls reveal close races.