Greg Hicks testifies before Congress on behalf of the Benghazi terrorist attack
On September 11th of last year, the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya was attacked by a terrorist group. Since the tragedy there have been many different versions of events. Some politicians have tried to capitalize on the terrorist attack. Others seek only the truth. I have closely followed the reports that have emerged through Congress since last year. I have attempted to share as adequate a picture of the timeline as possible, while maintaining a balanced and fair presentation of the facts.
I have always maintained that I am very hesitant to insinuate the Obama administration of a “cover-up.” Such an accusation is serious in nature. I have however, brought forward numerous questions that still almost 8 months later have yet to be announced. We do know from Congressional testimony from State Department officials that Ambassador Christopher Stevens was denied additional security in the weeks leading up to the attack.
Then-State Department official Charlene Lamb stated before Congress that the denial of additional security was not a result of budget cuts, as insinuated by some politicians. Lamb has since been demoted from her position. In fact, the officials who testified before Congress were all subsequently demoted in the months after the media’s attention on the subject had waned.
Probably the most infamous question that arose in the Congressional hearings was a question from former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton. Clinton bluntly asked “What difference, at this point, does it make?” in that she thinks the investigation for the most part is complete.
On Wednesday, Greg Hicks testified before Congress. Mr. Hicks was the deputy chief of mission in Libya who became the top U.S. diplomat after Ambassador Stevens died. Hicks says he was dumbfounded by U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice’s comments on the Sunday morning talk shows. He argued that her comments greatly angered the Libyan president, because it contradicted his Sept. 16th statement that the attack was premeditated in nature. “President Magariaf was insulted in front of his own people, in front of the world. His credibility was reduced,” Hicks said, adding that the president was apparently “still steamed” two weeks later.
He believes this led in delaying the FBI investigation. Hicks also said he thinks the “YouTube video” was a non-issue in Libya. As you might recall the administration first insinuated the video caused a “spontaneous” riot outside the embassy. Hicks maintains he was reprimanded for inquiring to his superiors on specific details of the attack. He alleges he was met with a “blistering critique” of his managerial skills and was thus demoted.
The Obama administration has adamantly denied many of the details in the latest testimony. The government released a “fact sheet” ahead of the hearing reiterating its talking points. The statement said the department has “demonstrated an unprecedented degree of cooperation with Congress” on Libya, and rejected claims that the military was in a position to help that night but was told to stand down. Citing its internal review, the statement noted the review “found no evidence of any undue delays in decision-making or denial of support from Washington or from the military combatant commanders.”
The fact remain that we are almost 8 months since the attack and yet we still do not have a clear explanation of what happened that night. The new details that have emerged certainly raise the question if there is more that we, the American public, have not been privy to. I, like many other Americans, would like a definitive timeline of events.
I think it is also important that we don’t forget the four Americans that perished that day. Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods died that day. Please don’t forget them. We often forget the victims of these tragedies. Oftentimes the controversy overshadows the tragedy. I hope for the sake of their families they get the information they have been seeking. Until then, the families and many American citizens will not be able to move on. The lack of adequate information is only stunting the grieving process.
What questions do you think have not been adequately answered?
What do you think of the media coverage?
Twitter: @adrakontaidis & @talkrealdebate