Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Dear Director, About Benghazi

Director Robert S. Mueller III
Federal Bureau of Investigation
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20535

Dear Director Mueller:

It has now been six months since four brave Americans were killed in the attack on our diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya. I am writing to request a briefing on the status of the FBI’s investigation into this terrorist attack.

As you are well aware, retired Senator Joe Lieberman and I, in our former capacity as chairman and ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, conducted a three-month investigation into the attacks in Benghazi. We were not, however, able to have access to the interviews conducted by the FBI of survivors, nor to interview these personnel, due to the pending FBI investigation. While our report was as comprehensive as possible, access to these interviews would have benefited our report.

In the days following the Benghazi attack, the President repeatedly promised the American people that justice would be served. At a press statement in the Rose Garden on September 12, 2012, President Obama said, “make no mistake, we will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people,” and in later remarks, “make no mistake, justice will be done.” During a radio interview on October 26, he reiterated, “my biggest priority now is bringing those folks to justice, and I think the American people have seen that’s a commitment I’ll always keep.” Administration officials pointed to the FBI investigation as the means by which the attackers would be identified.

The Administration has not provided the U.S. Senate with an in-depth update on the current status of the FBI investigation. Therefore, I request such a briefing as well as the answers to the following questions:

· Are any of the suspects believed to be responsible for the deaths of these four Americans, including Ambassador Stevens, in U.S. or Libyan custody?

· How many suspects in the attacks are still at large?

· Is there any suspect in the custody of another government to whom the Federal Bureau of Investigation is seeking access or extradition? Has such access been granted?

· Are the Libyan government and other governments, whose cooperation is beneficial for the FBI’s investigation, fully cooperating?

· In your judgment, are the Libyan security agencies and legal system adequate and sufficiently mature to investigate and bring the individuals responsible for this act of terrorism to justice?

· Have any of the suspects believed to be responsible for the deaths been otherwise captured or held under the existing authority afforded to the American government in the war against al-Qaeda and its affiliates?

I look forward to your response as soon as possible.

Susan M. Collins
United States Senator

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