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Tag Archives: Mark Thompson
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:
[youtube=http://youtu.be/wNkAcPx0sYo] Continue reading
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.[youtube=http://youtu.be/c3lvvj9ntGY]
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.”
This administration left them there to die while they fought over talking points to keep up appearances that ‘Al Qaeda is dead’. Read the whole thing.
Flashback: Obama has touted Al Qaeda is dead 32 times since Benghazi Continue reading
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: Continue reading