Editor’s note: This letter from U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts to President Barack Obama was written last week.
Dear Mr. President:
During these final days of this coming election, I have been conducting town hall meetings in Kansas.
I am fully aware this letter comes in the midst of 24-7 political tumult. However, I am compelled to share with you my strongest possible concern and recommendation regarding an issue that I know you recognize as being paramount and about which you care deeply.
I am also writing this letter as the most senior Marine in the United States Congress, as a former member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and as a former chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
Since the attack of Sept. 11 in Benghazi, the great majority of people in attendance in our town hall meetings — regardless of political party — believe there are more questions than answers. They also believe both you and your administration have not been square with them.
There has been an outpouring of disbelief from folks about the initial explanation from you and your administration that the deaths of our fellow Americans came as a result of some obscure video rather than a pre-planned, carefully orchestrated terrorist attack. Mr. President, folks are just not buying it!
Facts are stubborn things, and as more relevant facts are becoming public, it should come as no great shock to anyone that this issue has been “politicized.” It has been ever since the first explanation was orchestrated from your administration.
However, I want to stress and emphasize there is an issue of much greater importance. The major media have not comprehensively reported on this unraveling issue, so many Americans may not be aware of what has and is taking place.
But, you can be sure every single member of our United States military services now knows that the sacred bond of never leaving a comrade in distress or danger may be worthless as of the date of this disgrace. We cannot allow this to happen. We cannot let this issue fester and infect the bond of taking care of our own. As one veteran stated so well in one of our town hall meetings:
“When I signed up I knew I would likely be put in harm’s way. But I also knew someone would have my back. I just don’t know if that is true today.”
Mr. President, it is my belief that until you, as Commander in Chief, publicly and in detail inform the American public of what happened and why, that bond, which has existed as long as the United States of America has fielded armies, is breaking. We must know why American assets at the scene or close by were not utilized to save American lives acting in the line of duty.
That is why I feel compelled to sincerely ask you to make time in your schedule to publicly explain in detail the unfortunate attack which occurred Sept. 11 in Benghazi.
This request for you to set the record straight and restore the bond of “sacrifice for each other” to our fighting forces is made with the deepest concern and utmost sincerity. I truly believe the future morale and effectiveness of our military services may be at stake.
This is a burden that you or any future Commander in Chief should not have to bear.
U.S. Senator, Kansas