The YouTube video was a non-event in Libya.”
The hearing on Benghazi today shed a bit of light on what did and did not happen the night our mission in Libya was attacked by terrorists, killing four Americans. The proceedings opened up with Representative Cummings launching an attack on the witnesses before they had even uttered a word. It was incredibly distasteful and rather dumb. Watch Cummings for yourself:
Ironic that Cummings should mention Pickering and Mullens and want them recalled to testify. Both men were invited and both refused to testify at today’s hearings.
Representative Holmes-Norton didn’t do much better (via FOX):
At today’s Benghazi whistleblower hearing, Democrat Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.) pressed Mark Thompson, State Department Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Counterterrorism, on a recent report that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tried to cut counterterrorism officials out of the loop following the Sept. 2012 Benghazi attack based on political reasons. “I do not politicize my job, Madam. I have served under three presidents,” he said. Watch the video.
Similar maneuvers were made by every single Democrat on the committee. There was a lot of grandstanding, semantics, time-wasting, pointing fingers back to the debunked funding narrative and even a push that the video was indeed partially to blame. It was an obvious and pathetic closing of ranks to protect Hillary Clinton and ultimately, President Obama, that many saw coming.
The Oversight committee heard from three witnesses: Greg Hicks, Mark Thompson and Eric Nordstrom. A fourth witness has been prevented from testifying yet, as the Daily Caller explains:
Obama administration officials are finally letting the attorney for a Benghazi whistle-blower get a security clearance — but the clearance is at such a low level that it will probably slow the congressional probe of how the administration handled last year’s terrorist attack on the embassy in Benghazi, Libya.
Victoria Toensing represents an unnamed government official who can help explain the reaction of top government officials to the jihadi attack on the U.S diplomatic site in Benghazi and killed four Americans last Sept. 11.
The official may also be able to explain if officials rewrote intelligence reports and took other actions to minimize media coverage of the administration’s errors and the perceived role of Al Qaeda jihadis.
The witness has not yet been named.
The testimony today provided clarification on several points, a key one being that a YouTube video was never to blame for the attack. This video excuse has been broadly touted by the Obama administration on a variety of venues and was pushed by President Obama himself on multiple occasions.
Greg Hicks testified that upon seeing the statements made by Susan Rice on the Sunday shows regarding the YouTube video that, “My jaw dropped. I was stunned…I was embarrassed.” Hicks also testified that at no time before the Sunday shows did Susan Rice speak to him and that her statements embarrassed the Libyan government as well as compromising the crime scene investigation.
Greg Hicks was very clear about the video in his testimony and, at moments, emotion clearly was overwhelming. Hicks full recounting of what went on that night:
Key items that came out of today’s hearing:
Hicks spoke with Hillary Clinton twice the night of the attacks. Once at 2 am Libya time and again hours later in a video conference with other State department officials. This means Clinton was more than aware a video had nothing to do with the attacks. (link)
Ambassador Stevens body was taken to a hospital that was believed to be under the control of the very same group that attacked the mission. (link)
Hicks stated they received multiple calls from the hospital where Ambassador Stevens was allegedly taken to but they did not send personnel there as it was deemed a trap. (link)
Someone at AFRICOM ordered Lt. Colonel Gibson to stand down. Those orders handed down from AFRICOM have the implication that the President was aware and active in the events that evening, contrary to what Leon Panetta and the White House have asserted. Gibson was “furious”. (link)
Thompson testified he did not know why FEST was not allowed to go in or why they never received orders as such. Stand downs were issued twice. (link -1:54pm mark)
Nordstrom testified that Hillary Clinton was the only one who could have approved of more personnel in Libya. (link)
Nordstrom also confirmed that Hillary Clinton wished the Benghazi mission to become a full constituent outpost. It was revealed during testimony Clinton had plans to travel to Tripoli and make an announcement at a later date regarding Benghazi. This was part of Ambassadors Stevens reason for traveling there on September 11. Note: The facility didn’t meet specifications for security, yet requests for more were denied even though Clinton herself wanted this mission to become a full outpost. (link)
Hicks testified that no requests to fly over Libya that night were made other than the drone that was already overhead with permission. This solidifies that the attacks were indeed monitored by drone. (link)
Hicks stated that no one from the FBI interviewed him. (link)
Hicks testified that the State Department (Cheryl Mills) told him not to allow Rep. Chaffetz to interview him when the Representative made the trip to Libya. Representative Chaffetz asked the question and Hicks responded, “I was instructed not to allow the RSO.” RSO stands for Regional Security Officer. If true, that allegation means the State Department engaged in obstruction of justice. (link)
Future Hearings? Likely.
We learned quite a bit today, but still lacking many answers — no thanks to the most transparent administration in history. We also learned that altered talking points do make a difference. In a nutshell, it looks like Hillary Clinton lied quite a bit. Clinton wanted Benghazi to become a full outpost and wanted to announce it that Fall, yet she pulled security resources out of Benghazi and denied additional requests even after multiple attacks in the region occurred. It makes no sense. If this was to be a full outpost, why wasn’t security being added instead of taken away? This attention to Benghazi as a full constituent post also blows her testimony out of the water where she complains she doesn’t see every cable that comes to her — she was intimately involved in upgrading Benghazi. A question no one asked yesterday was if Stevens was there to upgrade the mission for Clinton, what was he meeting with the Turkish Ambassador at a facility that is sub-par in security and specs instead of the main embassy in Tripoli?
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) May 8, 2013
The main question still remains:
I want to know exactly who decided a YouTube video was to blame. #Benghazi
— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) May 8, 2013
I think Nakoula would like to know the answer to that too.
*This post has been updated since it was first published *
Prior Benghazi Posts – LL1885
Live Blog of Benghazi Hearing – Bryan Preston, PJ Media
Benghazi Confidential: Questions That Should Be Answered But Won’t Be. – Reason.com
The Regime’s Lies Unravel at the #Benghazi Hearing (Videos) – Nice Deb