Bombshells abound. Darrell Issa hit Face The Nation with Bob Schieffer this weekend with a look at some of the testimony to be given by three witnesses on Benghazi.
Video via NRO:
Key Articles and Reactions:
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.
“Greg, we are under attack,” Ambassador Stevens told Hicks on the phone. Those were the last words he heard from Stevens.
According to Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who appeared Sunday on “Face the Nation,” Hicks recently testified privately to the House Oversight Committee: “I never reported a demonstration. I reported an attack on the consulate…I thought it was a terrorist attack from the get-go. I think everyone in the mission thought it was a terrorist attack from the beginning.”
There’s more, there were calls for help and for reinforcements from the ground and they were told ‘no‘:
Throughout the night, sources say Americans on the ground in Libya at times felt helpless and abandoned.
“We relied on Washington for dispassionate assessment,” one eyewitness told CBS News. “Instead, they [Washington officials] were asking us what help we needed. We answered: ‘Send reinforcements!’ “
But they were told immediate help wasn’t available.
Embassy personnel say they repeatedly asked the Defense Attache on site in Tripoli for military assistance.
“Isn’t there anything available?” one Embassy official says he asked. “But the answer was ‘no.’”
“What about Aviano?” the official pressed, referencing the NATO air base with US assets in northeastern Italy. “No,” was the answer.
Two of the four Americans killed that night died hours after the first attack began.
Plus, assistance and input by the experts who should have been involved was blocked by senior officials of the Obama administration:
Another witness for Wednesday’s hearing, Mark Thompson, is a counterterrorism expert. He’s likely to address another sore spot surrounding the night of the attacks: the fact that the Obama Administration did not convene its top interagency counterterrorism resource, the Counterterrorism Security Group (CSG). According to Rep. Issa, Thompson will testify that he was locked out of the process “even though he was the individual who was supposed to react to these kinds of things.”
Counterterrorism sources and internal emails reviewed by CBS News express frustration that key responders were ready to deploy, but were not called upon to help in the attack. National Security Council Spokesman Tommy Vietor told CBS News the CSG was not needed.
“From the moment the president was briefed on the Benghazi attack, the response effort was handled by the most senior national security officials in governments. Members of the CSG were of course involved in these meetings and discussions to support their bosses,” said Vietor.
“The CSG is the one group that’s supposed to know what resources every agency has. They know of multiple options and have the ability to coordinate counterterrorism assets across all the agencies,” a high-ranking government official told CBS News. “They were not allowed to do their job. They were not called upon.”
Absent coordination from Counterterrorism Security Group, a senior U.S. counterterrorism official says the response to the crisis became more confused. “The response process was isolated at the most senior level,” says an official referring to top officials in the executive branch. “My fellow counterterrorism professionals and I (were) not consulted.”
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More reactions and details from FOX:
Thompson considers himself a whistle-blower whose account was suppressed by the official investigative panel that Clinton convened to review the episode, the Accountability Review Board (ARB). Thompson’s lawyer, Joseph diGenova, a former U.S. attorney, has further alleged that his client has been subjected to threats and intimidation by as-yet-unnamed superiors at State, in advance of his cooperation with Congress.
Sources close to the congressional investigation who have been briefed on what Thompson will testify tell Fox News the veteran counterterrorism official concluded on Sept. 11 that Clinton and Kennedy tried to cut the counterterrorism bureau out of the loop as they and other Obama administration officials weighed how to respond to — and characterize — the Benghazi attacks.
“You should have seen what (Clinton) tried to do to us that night,” the second official in State’s counterterrorism bureau told colleagues back in October. Those comments would appear to be corroborated by Thompson’s forthcoming testimony.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki called the counterterrorism officials’ allegation “100 percent false.” A spokesman for Clinton said tersely that the charge is not true.
“The net impact of what has transpired is the spokesperson of the most powerful country in the world has basically said that the President of Libya is either a liar or doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” he accused. Hicks added, “My jaw hit the floor as I watched this…I’ve never been as embarrassed in my life, in my career as on that day.”
No matter what happens with Darrell Issa’s congressional committee meetings this week, we are witnessing the beginning of the end of the Obama administration, and the cause is Benghazi. It’s impossible to overestimate the blowback that has been gathering steam for the past seven months, now about to erupt with full force. Few reputations will emerge unscathed, Obama’s presidency will be crippled, Hillary Clinton‘s 2016 candidacy will be destroyed — and perhaps some new heroes will be born.
One thing is for certain right now, it looks like Hillary lied to Congress and it does make a difference:
“So Lieutenant Colonel Gibson, who is the SOCAFRICA commander, his team, you know, they were on their way to the vehicles to go to the airport to get on the C‑130 when he got a phone call from SOCAFRICA which said, ‘you can’t go now, you don’t have authority to go now,’’ Hicks recalled. “And so they missed the flight.”
Pushed to clarify whether they second rescue missed flight because they were told not to take it, Hicks responded: “They were told not to board the flight, so they missed it.”
Who told them not to go???
Sharyl Attkisson on Twitter confirms. Part one and two; read from bottom of image up.:
More tweets from Attkisson here on the calls for help being rejected.
Attkissons’s full report: Diplomat: U.S. Special Forces told “you can’t go” to Benghazi during attacks
Recent Posts by LL1885 on Benghazi:
Archived articles on Benghazi from LL1885 here.