GOP lawmaker blasts diplomats' group for resisting Benghazi probe

The House Republican leading the charge on Benghazi is raising the pressure on the association representing State Department personnel to get behind his efforts.

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), in a letter to American Foreign Service Association President Robert Silverman obtained by The Hill, said it was “troubling” that the association had not endorsed his call for a special panel on the attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

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Some 177 Republicans have co-sponsored Wolf's bill to create a select committee to look into the attack on the U.S. mission that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans on Sept. 11, 2012.

Wolf points out in his letter that the select committee has been endorsed by the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, which represents the State Department's diplomatic security officers, as well as the American Legion and “hundreds” of Special Operations veterans.

“Seeking to represent their respective communities these organizations are rightly demanding answers and embracing a process which will yield those answers,” Wolf wrote. “In that vein, I cannot understand why the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), which 'seeks to be an effective voice and strong advocate for the Foreign Service,” has not endorsed this legislation and actively pressed for its passage.”

“Candidly,” he added, “if I were a dues' paying member of AFSA I would have serious questions about what was motivating this decision.”

The AFSA did not respond to a request for comment.

Republicans have rekindled their criticism of the Obama administration's handling of the attack and its aftermath ahead of the 2014 midterms. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who faces a tough reelection and three Republican challengers, announced this week that he would hold up all of Obama's nominees until the Americans who survived the attack are made available to lawmakers.

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Rep. Wolf's letter to Robert Silverman