#BENGHAZI: Some Whistleblowers Revealed

FOX news is reporting that some of the whistleblower witness names have been revealed:

Appearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will be three career State Department officials: Gregory N. Hicks, the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Libya at the time of the Benghazi terrorist attacks; Mark I. Thompson, a former Marine and now the deputy coordinator for Operations in the agency’s Counterterrorism Bureau; and Eric Nordstrom, a diplomatic security officer who was the regional security officer in Libya, the top security officer in the country in the months leading up to the attacks.

Liberty Speaks put together a list of potential names last month after Darrell Issa fired his warning shot for various agencies to ‘lawyer up’.  Our list is based on the staff list in Tripoli from 9/12/12 and from the various cables made public.

Hicks is on the list of staff for Tripoli, Thompson and Nordstrom are not. Also, neither Nordstrom nor Hicks appears in either the alphabetical bio listing or ‘other bio‘ listings at the State Department site. Not surprising on Nordstrom, but isn’t Hicks supposed to be a diplomat? I can’t find Hicks by title either. More on Hicks low visibility at the State Department below.

Here is what we have so far, updates likely to follow:

Gregory N. Hicks

The FOX article say that, “Hicks was at the time of the highest-ranking American diplomat in the country. His designation is “deputy chief of mission” at the embassy in Libya.  As noted above, Hicks is not listed on the State Department website as of the posting of this article, yet two entries there reference him.

1. Public Schedule for October 25, 2012:

ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR CONFLICT AND STABILIZATION OPERATIONS RICK BARTON

9:00 a.m. Assistant Secretary Barton meets with Deputy Chief of Mission for Embassy Tripoli Greg Hicks, at the Department of State.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)

2. From August 12, 2012 from the Tripoli Embassy site:

Completion of Public Service Announcement (PSA) Training by MEPI Grantees – Remarks by Deputy Chief of Mission Greg Hick

While the State Department lacked a bio, we found one elsewhere:
State Vice President: Gregory N. Hicks FO-01 Economic Officer

In the course of a 22-year career at the Department of State, Greg Hicks has served in six overseas assignments in Libya, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, and The Gambia. He was Deputy Chief of Mission of U.S. Embassy Tripoli during the September 11, 2012 tragedy in Benghazi. During three tours in Washington, Greg served as Deputy Director of the Office of Investment Affairs in the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, as Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of State for Economic, Energy, and Agricultural Affairs, as a trade policy negotiator for the Office of the United States Trade Representative, and as Country Officer for Vietnam, Oman, and Yemen. Greg played key roles in the negotiation of Vietnam’s WTO accession, the Bahrain Free Trade Agreement, the Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement, and Oman’s WTO accession, as well as the 1999-2000 renegotiation of U.S. military base access in Oman. In Bahrain, he facilitated the formation of the first, legally-authorized American Chamber of Commerce in an Arab Gulf country. Most recently, Greg was instrumental in guiding the development of an effective multilateral policy response to the resurgent international economic challenge from state-owned enterprises. In the course of his career, Greg has received six Meritorious Service Increases, four individual Superior Honor Awards, three individual Meritorious Honor Awards, and was runner-up for the Department-wide Annual Human Rights Award. 

As DCM in Tripoli and Acting DCM in Manama, he chaired the Emergency Action Committee and was an EAC member in Manama and Sanaa, where he was also a school board member. He has chaired EER Review Committees, Awards Committees, and served on ICASS Boards and Housing Boards.

Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Greg earned Master’s Degrees from the University of Michigan in Applied Economics and Modern Near Eastern and North African Studies. He graduated from Bethany College with a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies. He has worked as a bookstore manager, journalist, insurance salesman, and construction materials salesman.

Greg has been married to his wife, Janne, for 29 years. She is a human resources manager for USAID contractor John Snow, Inc. In Manama, Janne served two years as Community Liaison Officer, winning runner-up honors for CLO of the Year. In Damascus, she managed the employee association commissary and was nominated for Commissary Manager of the Year. They have three children – Shannon, Alan, and Wendy – who attended American and British international schools and the DOD school in Manama. Shannon graduated in May 2012 from Stony Brook University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Astronomy and Physics. Alan is a junior double-majoring in Physics and Mathematics at Purdue University. Wendy is a seventh-grader at Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax, Virginia.

 

Mark I. Thompson

State Dept Bio.

Thompson advises on counter-terrorism and rapid response, specifically from his bio something called the Foreign Emergency Support Team (FEST).

 

Eric Nordstrom

Nordstrom has testified before. He previously stated that the requests to extend the stay of a team already deployed was rejected by the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Bureau. Nordstrom also said that two requests made by him for more security were ignored. Beyond that, the FOX article has more than we do on him:

Nordstrom previously testified before the oversight committee, which is chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., in October 2012. Of the three witnesses, he is the only one who does not consider himself a whistleblower. At last fall’s hearing, however, Nordstrom made headlines by detailing for lawmakers the series of requests that he, Ambassador Stevens, and others had made for enhanced security at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi in the period preceding the attacks, requests mostly rejected by State Department superiors.

Some of Nordstrom’s prior testimony:

More at the Oversight committee page: The Security Failures of Benghazi

Nordstrom’s prepared statement.

About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a freelance journalist and is currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_
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