Proponents of conspiracy theories about what the Obama administration is hiding about the 2012 attack on an American outpost in Benghazi have a new target in their sights: Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH).
“I don’t think at this point in time that it’s necessary,” Boehner told Fox News in May about the desire from some in his party to form a “special committee” in the House of Representatives to investigate the the attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission that killed four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. That denial has true believers in President Obama’s malfeasance the night of the crisis — whatever that may be — turning on Boehner, despite the Speaker having reportedly made clear that he believes the Benghazi issue is a winner for the GOP.
The advocacy group Special Operations Speaks (SOS) recently announced that it is circulating a petition and would be placing billboards in Boehner’s congressional district calling out the Speaker for turning his back on the cause. “ONE MAN stands between the American people and the Watergate-style Select Committee needed to get to the truth and deliver justice. It’s not Barack Obama. It’s not Eric Holder. It’s not John Kerry either,” the email announces, “House Speaker John Boehner is the ONE MAN blocking a real investigation of Benghazi.”
“Boehner’s stonewalling is helping Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, and the rest of Obama’s corrupt administration get away with the deadliest scandal in American history,” the email goes on to read, referencing the various debunked theories about the supposed cover-up. According to SOS, by not taking action on forming a special committee, Boehner “continues to help hide the truth by denying a vote to form a Select Committee.”
Boehner is also receiving push back from rank-and-file members on his unwillingness to treat Benghazi as a Watergate-level scandal. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), the leading advocate for the creation of a special committee, filed a bill to do just that, signing up 163 co-sponsors onto H.Res. 36. Boehner has refused to allow that bill to hit the floor, however, leaving it for now in the House Rules Committee. In response, Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) in late July filed what’s known as a discharge petition to help get the bill out of committee and up for a vote, which SOS’s billboard urges Boehner’s constituents to call him in support of.
Stockton, Wolf, and Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX) all took part in an unveiling of a 60-foot long petition — at a press conference sponsored by SOS — calling on Boehner to act swiftly on the discharge petition, an event that Fox News heavily promoted. Fox News contributor and former Congressman Allen West (R-FL) has also weighed in on the matter, accusing Boehner and other Republicans of complicity in the alleged “cover-up” for not supporting the special committee. The Speaker’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the discharge petition and the billboards going up in Ohio.
The irony of the situation is that Boehner as recently as May had been described as being “obsessed” with Benghazi. Working closely with House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and other relevant committee chairs, Boehner has allowed for hearing after hearing into the incident, hoping to expose some form of Obama administration cover-up. To date, these fishing expeditions have come up empty, something that has not discouraged the conspiracy theorists.
Despite the current infighting over the issue, ordinary Americans still show no real urge to buy into the witch-hunt that the Republicans are trying to sell. House GOP aides have also grown weary of the attention many members are still according the incident. Despite that, the Republican National Committee continues to insist there’s a there there, releasing a new video attacking former Secretary of State — and possible 2016 presidential contender — Hillary Clinton for her role the night of the attack.