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Sun May 5, 2013, 08:39 PM

Three more officials to testify over Benghazi attacks

Source: CBS

As the deputy chief of mission for the U.S. in Libya, Gregory Hicks was on the ground at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli on September 11, 2012, when terrorists launched two attacks on American compounds in Benghazi.

Hicks and two other government officials have been named as witnesses for a Congressional hearing Wednesday before the House Oversight Committee. The others are: Eric Nordstrom, the former lead security official for the State Department in Libya, and Mark Thompson, the acting deputy assistant secretary for counterterrorism at the State Department. Other so-called "whistleblowers" from federal agencies, including the CIA, have provided information to Congressional investigators, but are said to be unwilling - so far - to speak publicly because they aren't authorized by their agencies to do so. Some claim fear of retaliation.

It's been a remarkably long period of silence from the dozens of American survivors and eyewitnesses who were in Libya the night of the attacks. It's not publicly known what testimony the witnesses will give at this week's hearing, but in a series of interviews and communications, CBS News has obtained information about some of areas of knowledge the witnesses can address.

Hicks was number two to Ambassador Christopher Stevens, who was killed in the attacks. With Stevens in Benghazi on September 11, Hicks was the top Foreign Service official at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli. When the first U.S. compound in Benghazi fell under attack, Hicks reportedly took the frantic call.

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57582948/three-more-officials-to-testify-over-benghazi-attacks/



Fox News first reported their names yesterday, and this is the first non right wing source I could find about this story. See also Bloomberg News "U.S. Official Saw Benghazi Attack as Not Spontaneous" quoting Hicks: I thought it was a terrorist attack from the get-go. I never reported a demonstration; I reported an attack on the consulate.

However, some claims made by anonymous sources to Fox have been called into question such as the claim that special forces could've swooped in.

CBS Evening News report about Hicks's claim:



Rep. Darrell Issa on Face the Nation responds:



Issa also called Susan Rice's talking points a "political decision"...never mind how CIA documents supported Susan Rice's description of Benghazi attacks...

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Arrow 39 replies Author Time Post
Reply Three more officials to testify over Benghazi attacks (Original post)
alp227 May 2013 OP
Iliyah May 2013 #1
pinto May 2013 #5
kitt6 May 2013 #17
Beacool May 2013 #11
kitt6 May 2013 #18
Beacool May 2013 #20
TwilightGardener May 2013 #2
humbled_opinion May 2013 #13
TwilightGardener May 2013 #19
humbled_opinion May 2013 #22
kelliekat44 May 2013 #14
pinto May 2013 #3
timdog44 May 2013 #8
humbled_opinion May 2013 #9
timdog44 May 2013 #4
karynnj May 2013 #6
Grassy Knoll May 2013 #16
humbled_opinion May 2013 #7
stupidicus May 2013 #10
humbled_opinion May 2013 #15
stupidicus May 2013 #31
Gregorian May 2013 #12
MjolnirTime May 2013 #21
egold2604 May 2013 #23
Thinkingabout May 2013 #24
quadrature May 2013 #25
Thinkingabout May 2013 #36
quadrature May 2013 #37
defacto7 May 2013 #26
MFM008 May 2013 #27
winter is coming May 2013 #28
karynnj May 2013 #29
marshall May 2013 #32
karynnj May 2013 #34
marshall May 2013 #35
Thinkingabout May 2013 #38
B2G May 2013 #30
.99center May 2013 #39
Sunlei May 2013 #33

Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun May 5, 2013, 08:51 PM

1. GOPers main goal is to

discredit Hillary C. since she is the favorite in 2016 with a strong possibility in winning as well, and embarrass Pres O. Now this has become in my opinion a witch hunt which will back fire on the GOP. Also, if armed "citizens" start flaunting their guns such as on July 4th into an "against the law to carry a loaded gun" D.C. gopers might as well kiss 2014 goodbye.

Issa is a joke and he needs to go.

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Response to Iliyah (Reply #1)

Sun May 5, 2013, 09:05 PM

5. Issa's no joke. He has a large, well funded base in So Cal. He's dangerous.

Witch hunts, slander, dismantling government programs and obstructionism is his agenda.

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Response to pinto (Reply #5)

Sun May 5, 2013, 10:02 PM

17. Issa is dangerous only

 

because no one is being arrested for anything. Too many chief's and no Indians.

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Response to Iliyah (Reply #1)

Sun May 5, 2013, 09:35 PM

11. I think that's precisely what they are attempting to do.

They want to besmirch the person who they fear the most if she runs in 2016. If they get to embarrass Obama in the process, then even better.

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Response to Beacool (Reply #11)

Sun May 5, 2013, 10:17 PM

18. True.

 

But they never mention job creation or what they were hired to do! Just turn on the radio. Now, go do it; and what do you hear? Anti-everything. Except for more war more tax cuts for the wealthy and to justify their slaughter. Not only am I reevaluating capitalism; I re evaluating where in the hell Americans came from?? Any and all of them!

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Response to kitt6 (Reply #18)

Sun May 5, 2013, 10:21 PM

20. Yeah, depressing times.

The Republican party has been taken over by the crazies (also known as the Tea Party members). The average Republicans in Congress can't control them, ask Boehner.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun May 5, 2013, 08:54 PM

2. I can't figure out why angry mob vs. terrorist attack is such a big deal.

One isn't any more damaging politically than the other, but R's seem to think so. They're acting like it's a big gotcha-moment to get these people to talk, and calling them "whistleblowers" as if there was a coverup instead of uncertainty and confusion.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #2)

Sun May 5, 2013, 09:42 PM

13. The way I understand it

from the baggers at my job is that they are trying to prove there was collusion between State and CIA to change talking points to reflect a narrative that Al-Qaeda was not involved i.e. spontaneous reaction to video... The reason was because Obama had told the nation that Al-Qaeda was in retreat and didn't want to deal with Al-Qaeda terror attack on 9/11/12 two monts before election.... The way the rightwingers explain it to me is that they feel the testimony of these Whistleblowers is going to prove that there is a massive cover-up underway coordinated between White House and State Dept and CIA and that the internal investigation that was just finished by the State Dept is full of inaccurate information which will be debunked by these whistleblowers... All that said the goal of the GOP will be to call for a special prosecutor to get everyone under oath and start detroying Obama's credibility....

I doubt they will be successful but I have to deal with this stuff on a regular basis at my job so I will be in hell until this is all over with...

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Response to humbled_opinion (Reply #13)

Sun May 5, 2013, 10:18 PM

19. How would anyone know it was AQ right off the bat? And why would such an attack

be considered politically damaging, considering that it took place in a hinky part of the world (where AQ types operate) and not here? It just doesn't make sense for them to go to any lengths to cover this up, it's just one of those shitty attacks that happen sometimes. Now, I imagine the CIA didn't want any attention drawn to its activities in the region and probably tried to control the info given after the attack, but that's a different kettle of fish and not political.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #19)

Sun May 5, 2013, 10:55 PM

22. Like I said before the goal

is a special prosecutor....

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #2)

Sun May 5, 2013, 09:43 PM

14. The GOP doesn't really give a damn..just want to smear the President. move on. nt

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun May 5, 2013, 09:02 PM

3. Agree that Benghazi attack should be reviewed, but House Oversight Committee = Repub hit squad.

That's not reasonable oversight. It's an opportunistic political drive by.

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Response to pinto (Reply #3)

Sun May 5, 2013, 09:34 PM

8. Obviously a hit squad.

Anything to muddy the waters and distract from important things. House Oversight Committee. Bullshit artists, not to put a black name on artists.

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Response to pinto (Reply #3)

Sun May 5, 2013, 09:35 PM

9. The wingnuts at my job are saying

This testimony is going to bring about a call for a special prosecuter......

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun May 5, 2013, 09:03 PM

4. A government official in

Tripoli testifying about events in Benghazi is like some one giving testimony on someone in Toledo, Ohio while they lived in Chicago, Illinois. No way.

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Response to timdog44 (Reply #4)


Response to timdog44 (Reply #4)

Sun May 5, 2013, 09:58 PM

16. Yep, the whistleblower was...

12 hours away, Cons are stupid that way.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun May 5, 2013, 09:31 PM

7. The RW is going "All In" on this....

They seriously feel threatened by a Hillary run in "16" and they want to try and taint her and to them they get a two fer because they get to try and hammer away at Obama's credibility. Besides the sheer hypocrisay, it always amazes me how many nitwits believe this conspiracy crap.

At my job the righties are all in their glory claiming how this is Obama's downfall that this whistleblower testimony from career agents is going to be damning, how it is going to show how the admin tried to supress information prior to the election purely for political gain, lies, and deceit, oh my, and there is going to be a call for special counsel... blah, blah, blah....

I got told today... "Remember how you were all over us about Bush admin in the Plame game, well this is going to be Plame on steriods, somebody is goin down, down, down, so you better write your favorite Prez a support letter, cause he gonna need it.... "

I wish I had enough vacation time to at least miss this week when these supposed "whistleblowers testify", Oh well I will just have to ride it out I guess.


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Response to stupidicus (Reply #10)

Sun May 5, 2013, 09:50 PM

15. I guess it will depend on what these folks

state on the record and why weren't they interviewed by State Department during their review process, the goal of the GOP Is to get a special prosecutor so they can get Hilllary and others under oath their main goal is to show with testimony that the Administraiton new it was an Al-Qadea terrorist attack but kept up the taling point that it was a spontaneous reaction to a youtube video and that those decisions were made for political reasons to keep the narrative that Al-Qaeda was on the run prior to the election...

Anyway that's their goal, don't know if they will succeed but they are definately going to deploy scortched earth policies to get it...

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Response to humbled_opinion (Reply #15)

Mon May 6, 2013, 10:18 AM

31. perhaps

I'd be the last to contest any evil motives on their part.

After looking at it all, I don't think there is any "there" there. I think it's just being used as a pull toy to keep their rabid dogs (repub base) actively participating s to keep the faux outrage at least simmering. That way when whatever fresh meat arrives they can quickly be moved to the boiling point again.

This as much as -- and likely more than -- anything else has to stick like the proverbial bone in the collective rightwingnut throat -- a scandal-free black president.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun May 5, 2013, 09:38 PM

12. Where were these assholes when it came to Valerie Plame.

I'm sick of the bullshit.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun May 5, 2013, 10:40 PM

21. what a load of shit!

 

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun May 5, 2013, 11:25 PM

23. What about the Repukes cutting the budget for security

How come no one is mentioning that budget cuts for embassy security engineers by the Repukes. Inquiring minds want to know.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun May 5, 2013, 11:28 PM

24. I hope one of the first statements by Democrat is the funding was cut to the State Department.

This was voted by GOP House members. There shouldn't ld also be a statement by each of the committee members whether or not they attended the briefing, this should tell how interested they were in the events of Benghazi. There were 11 attacks on US facilities and 53 deaths during the Bush years, never heard them running at the mouth about those. Plain and simple, a political witch hunt.

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Response to Thinkingabout (Reply #24)

Mon May 6, 2013, 01:16 AM

25. so how much were the Martyrs being paid?

my understanding is,
the Feb 17 Martyrs Brigade
was providing security, and that
there was a payment dispute over
vehicle operations, that led to the breakdown.

if funding was the issue,
I would like to decide
that for myself.

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Response to quadrature (Reply #25)

Mon May 6, 2013, 05:44 PM

36. Are you saying there was security and an issue with their payment?

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Response to Thinkingabout (Reply #36)

Mon May 6, 2013, 05:59 PM

37. I am asking a question.

Vice President Biden says that there was
a funding issue.
I am just trying to
connect the dots.

hopefully, more info
is forthcoming.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Mon May 6, 2013, 01:51 AM

26. I wonder what the going rate is

to hire someone to read the required script before a congressional hearing? There certainly has been enough time to bake something up since they can't find anything factual. Must be a pretty penny!

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Mon May 6, 2013, 06:59 AM

27. I dont care

i do not care. I lived in Libya in the 60s and the best thing about it was the beach. They are just trying to make Hillary and Obama look bad and i am so over it.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Mon May 6, 2013, 08:10 AM

28. Benghazi is a nothingburger. I haven't heard anyone talk about it unless they've

got an I.V. hooked up to Fox News or hate radio.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Mon May 6, 2013, 09:51 AM

29. How can the Obama administration get back the PERCEPTION of transparency?

On the one hand, the right has been looking for non-existent scandals since Obama took office - and has never stopped because it turned out the facts did not fit their narrative. You can see this this on "fast and furious" - whose name alone simply need be repeated in the RW cannon of all things that Obama did that were unethical/un-American. To them, it doesn't matter that the program started under Bush, in an agency that had no Senate confirmed head - because the NRA has blocked ALL nominees under Bush and Obama.

Here, they have a tragedy where Americans died in a dangerous country. They have used this to try to do several things:

- to make the case that Democrats (not just Obama and Clinton) are bad at National Security

- to make the case that the Obama administration ignored the problem and withheld aid that could have helped because they were distracted by the election.

- the administration stonewalled giving out the details because of the election - and now, to preserve HRC's position.

The second point is both illogical and not true. The State Department professionals (and Clinton) were NOT involved in the election - so they were in no ways distracted. In addition, even if you accepted (which I don't) that they would sacrifice lives, politically it would have better to move heaven and earth to save these men. (remember Romney stating in the 47% tape that maybe they would get a "Iran hostage" type moment - ie a negative foreign policy story - at the right time? )

The first point reflects the ongoing fight between both sides to be seen as having the right policies and values to insure greater security to the American people. It is interesting that few top Democrats were willing to blame 911 on the Bush administration, but Republicans will hold lesser breaches in our security against Democrats. The Republicans argued that the Iraq war, which destabilized the region made us safer. At least until 2005, most Americans bought the "fight them there" garbage from the Republicans. The Middle and near east have been volatile for decades - and the volatility increased enormously thanks to both Bush Presidencies. Clearly they think they can get points here - and that goes beyond Obama and Clinton - to ALL Democrats.

The third point may be the Republicans assuming that Democrats are acting as they would have acted. If you look back at the public responses, you could see that the first responses by Clinton and Obama were strong and heart felt expressions of sadness at the loss of life. They were exactly what any reasonable head of state would say given the deaths. This contrasted well with Romney's ill advised attempt to make this political. At that point, there was nothing that could be criticized.

Where there is a question is whether as September became October and then November, did political concerns drive the information put out on what happened or was the situation so murky that no definitive story was yet known. Part of the problem is that Romney was the first to conflate what happened in Egypt - riots caused by the film and the US Cario embassy's denunciation of it - and what was happened in Libya. In Republican minds, this allowed them to take comments from Obama and Clinton explaining the US freedom of speech and condemning the content of the film. The fact is that beyond Libya, the film was hurting the US image. I personally think it was imperative for them to speak against the ugly content of the movies. Not to do so after the movie became so prominent would have been a huge mistake. Neither Obama or Clinton said that it had anything to do with Libya when they made those condemnations. Where this became murkiest as regards to the Obama administration was with Rice's testimony - and they were based on CIA talking points. It might have been better if Clinton would have done those interviews answering honestly that they were still investigating which was what she was saying at that time. It made have been that her appearance would give this a much higher profile and politically that was the last thing wanted.

However, the conjecture of the right that "blaming a film" would have helped Obama is not very believable. How would that as the immediate motivation make the fact that the consulate was overtaken and the Ambassador (and others) killed less awful? Remember there was no call for clamping down on freedom of speech by anyone in Obama's administration - just the administration explaining that in the US the government did not have the right to approve content - and that the content disgusted them too. Also consider that the libertarian parts of the right would be the first to complain if ANY control was proposed.

In addition to public statements, the Obama administration responded by initiating the investigation into what happened and the investigation on what steps could be taken - in all volatile areas - to make diplomats safer. Clinton and several other people have testified and a huge amount of information was given to the House and Senate.

It likely would be useful for the State Department to request that all the people with FIRST HAND information be made available to Congress committees with oversight on this. ( I wonder if they could make the case that this should be the 2 foreign relations committees - not Issa's committee.) It might be good to have open hearings on this in the SFRC with the goal of showing that there is no coverup.

At this point, gaining a reputation for transparency might be difficult because for many on the right only if bombshells are found would they agree that everything is out - and there likely are no real bombshell stories.





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Response to karynnj (Reply #29)

Mon May 6, 2013, 11:47 AM

32. There is no such thing as transparency in government

That's the Catch-22--sometimes things have to be concealed. It may be for good reasons, and it may be for bad reasons. In this case, it was likely to protect American interests in the Middle East and possibly ongoing activities that are better left shielded from the public.

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Response to marshall (Reply #32)

Mon May 6, 2013, 01:44 PM

34. That's why I wrote PERCEPTION in capital letters

While some things should be shielded from the public, very little should be shielded from Congressional committees with the responsibility of oversight.

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Response to karynnj (Reply #34)

Mon May 6, 2013, 01:50 PM

35. Then perhaps illusion is a better word

We need to grab the argument and turn it around, either redefining terms or dropping outdated ones and branding the argument with new more relevant terminologies.

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Response to karynnj (Reply #29)

Mon May 6, 2013, 06:07 PM

38. K & R

Your post was most enlightening, I am sure there is some information which the public does not need to need know. I wondered if this might have been manufactured in some details by the GOP to turn the election, as for me it would not have. Romney sure jumped out with an early statement and a big gaffe during a debate.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Mon May 6, 2013, 10:12 AM

30. Those are some pretty heavy hitters n/t

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Response to B2G (Reply #30)

Mon May 6, 2013, 06:18 PM

39. Gregory Hicks, Eric Nordstrom, and Mark Thompson

Are household names. Just a matter of time before impeachment hearings start.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Mon May 6, 2013, 11:55 AM

33. they still never discovered who subtitled that stupid short film and sent it to the Iman.

2 days before 9-11, intended to enrage and have the internet Iman call for demonstrations at all US consulates.

Those global protests gave cover to attackers...who just happened to know exactly when the traveling consular was at an outer office.

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