Benghazi: New Revelations and Questions from the Congressional Hearing

I survived more than four hours of watching and listening to a Congressional hearing on Benghazi on C-Span3 today

Talk about living by faith!

Whistleblowers prepare to testify to Congress about Benghazi on May 8, 2013.

I sensed the hearing could be pivotal in our getting answers to the many questions about what happened in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, when Ambassador Stephens and three other Americans were killed in a terrorist attack on our consulate.

So I watched and listened. And tweeted. You can explore my live-tweeting journey here.

Who testified?

Whistleblowers.

Three men had come forward to offer testimony  of what happened in Benghazi. They claimed they had been either ignored by the Administration officials or mistreated for challenging the official version of the events as put forward by Susan Rice and the President five days after the events. As you may recall, the White House blamed the attack on a You Tube video ( the maker of which is still in jail, by the way, though not one attacker on the consulate has been arrested).

I posted in October about questions that demanded answers then. They still do today.

Via The International Business Times, the men were:

 Two of the three State Department officials — Mark Thompson, acting deputy assistant secretary for counterterrorism, and Gregory Hicks, a 22-year foreign service officer veteran and former deputy chief of mission in Libya –  are expected to testify that the consulate requested a military presence and that consular officials feared for their security but were rebuffed.

Also scheduled to testify is Eric Nordstrom, a diplomatic security officer and former regional security officer for Libya.

What Did They Say?

Deputy Chief Hicks gave a riveting first-hand account of what happened in Libya that night — the very first of its kind to be made public. For those Democrat representatives who claimed the committee was just rehashing old stories, they clearly were not listening. This was the first time such a story has been heard. It was heart-felt. It was tear-inducing. You really should listen and/or watch regardless of your political persuasion. If you are an American — or human — it’s worth the time.

I’ll sum up what I thought were the big reveals about their testimony:

  • Ambassador Stephens spoke with Deputy Hicks while the attack was unfolding. Stephens said they were under attack. No mention was made of a video. No mention was made of a protest. No protocols for protests were initiated, only those to be used when under attack.
  • Ambassador Stephens was actually taken to a hospital that was run by the very terrorist group that attacked the consulate. No wonder he did not survive.
  • No one on the ground in Libya that night or throughout the nearly ten-hour ordeal ever mentioned a video or protest as being remotely related to the attack. Deputy Hicks was shocked when he first heard Rice mention it when she claimed it was responsible for inducing the attacks.
  • President Obama, Sec. Clinton, and many others praised Hicks for valiant leadership that night. But after he challenged Rice’s version of events, everything changed. Suddenly his “management style” came into question. He strongly sensed that no dissent was welcome. He soon found himself, in his words, unemployed. He was then demoted to the desk job he holds now, a significant reduction in status. (By the way, I think we have whistleblower laws in place for just such situations.)
  • The White House claims of a video being responsible directly contradicted the President of Libya’s immediate claim that it was an attack by Islamist terrorists (a claim that proved correct). As a result of the embarrassing contradiction, the FBI was delayed from securing the crime scene for 17 days, during which time the scene was compromised repeatedly.
  • Hicks was instructed by Clinton right-hand aid Cheryl Mills not to speak to the Congressional investigator in an interview without the State attorney present. Such instructions had never happened to him before. At one incident, the attorney was kept out of a meeting because he/she did not have security clearance. According to Hicks,  Cheryl Mills was “furious” that his handler had been excluded.  Watch the video of his account here. By way of explanation from Allahpundit at HotAir:

Cheryl Mills is no run-of-the-mill State Department apparatchik, even among the top tier. She’s been one of the Clintons’ right-hand men for decades. She worked in Bill’s White House legal office, then as counsel to Hillary’s presidential campaign, then became chief of staff at State when Hillary was appointed secretary. If she’s the right-hand man, what other conclusion is there than that Hillary’s the one who wanted Hicks to keep his mouth shut when meeting with Chaffetz?

  • The inter-agency counter-terrorism team (FEST) was never activated that night even though they exist for just such purposes as a rapid-response to help inform key decision makers. Instead, 23 -year Marine vet Mark Thompson, the Acting Deputy Assistant Sec. of State for Operations — Counter-terrorism Bureau, was told that a decision had been made early in the process. His team was “not on the menu of options.”
  • All three men agreed that the security in place was grossly inadequate. Nordstrom was the former Libyan Regional Security Officer until July 2012. He claimed to have requested additional security to meet the minimum security requirements. Based on the security in place in Benghazi, no one should have been permitted to be there from the State Department. Based on Nordstrom’s experience and testimony, the only person with the authority by law to authorize putting people in such situations without minimum security is the Secretary of State. I guess that might explain “what difference it would make.”
  • Col. Gibson was preparing to travel via plane to Benghazi from Tripoli with three other specially trained soldiers to reinforce the team under attack in Benghazi. According to Ambassador Hicks (acting ambassador at the time after Ambassador Stephen’s death) someone told Gibson via phone to not go to Benghazi.  Gibson was furious and said, “For once a diplomat (Hicks) has more b***s than someone in the military.”

There was more, of course, over five hours or so, but those were the key highlights.

Questions to Be Answered

The testimony raised new questions that still demand answers. A House select committee should be named to further investigate the issues raised by these whistleblowers (Aren’t they victims now?) Some of the questions that come to my mind  follow:

  • Who exactly gave the order for Lt. Gibson’s team to stand down. And why? Was it to minimize political fallout over a situation deemed already lost? Call Lt. Gibson to testify and you’ll get closer to the answer.
  • Who exactly decided not to activate the counter-terrorism response team that exists for precisely such purposes. And why?
  • Where did the intel come from for the White House’s blaming a You Tube video and claiming a spontaneous protest when there clearly was NO evidence of them on the ground in Libya that night. Nor was it even mentioned. Who decided to sell that story and why?
  • Who was the State Department attorney sent to monitor Hicks and his team? He/she should testify, of course, and tell exactly what were the instructions under which they were functioning?
  • Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s closest assistant, should be called to explain her actions and why Hicks was demoted after earning the praises of both Clinton and Obama.
  • Beth Jones should be called to testify also as to why she worked to remove Hicks after he challenged Rice’s version of events.
  • I would like to see Under-Secretary Kennedy called to testify, as well. It was he who had said that everyone on the ground in Libya then would have said a protest/video was responsible. Except for Deputy Hicks. Who was the lead person actually on the ground in Libya at the time. When asked directly if the Review board report seemed to let anyone off the hook, Hicks said “Yes, sir” then identified Kennedy as the one most responsible.
  • Nordstrom also named Kennedy as the place where decisions seem to get made of this nature, possibly without ever getting to the Secretary’s attention. If I were Kennedy, I’d be worried that I had patsy written all over me. Unless I had actually screwed things up on my own. In which case I’d still be worried, but for different reasons.

Well, that’s my recap. I suggest you scroll through my Twitter feed here for a quick recap.

And this account is me trying to be unbiased. I hold out very little hope that any of this, no matter how damning, will matter at all anymore.

But for me, truth still matters. I’m hoping there’s still a few good men and women left in our nation who agree.

One last thought — When I posted in October, I said that I thought this had the potential to be bigger than Watergate. Nothing I heard today changed that opinion. If anything, I have become more confident of it. The decisions made surrounding the attack on our consulate do, in fact, have the potential to bring down this Presidency. I’m sure of it.

Whether they will or not?  I have no idea. We’re not exactly in Kansas anymore.

About Bill Blankschaen

Bill Blankschaen is a writer, speaker, author, content and messaging consultant, and general Kingdom catalyst. As the founder of FaithWalkers, he equips Christians to think, live, and lead with abundant faith.

His writing has been featured with Michael Hyatt, Ron Edmondson, Skip Prichard, Jeff Goins, Blueprint for Life, Catalyst Leaders, Faith Village, and many others.

Bill is a blessed husband and the father of six children. He serves as VP of Content & Operations for Polymath Innovations in partnership with Patheos Labs. He is the Junior Scholar of Cultural Theology and Director of Development for the Center for Cultural Leadership. He works with Equip Leadership, Inc. (founded by John C. Maxwell) and ministry leaders around the Pacific Rim to better equip ministry leaders there to lead with passion and greater influence.

  • http://www.facebook.com/djenick Doug Enick

    Thank you. This is a very helpful summary.

  • http://www.BillintheBlank.com/ Bill Blankschaen

    You’re welcome. It remains to be seen how helpful the hearing will prove to be.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com/ Steve Martin

    Could you imagine the outcry and 24 hr a day news coverage if it were a Republican administration that had changed these facts and made up these stories?

    But the cheerleaders in the media are doing their best to downplay it as much as possible. Except for a few.

    • http://www.BillintheBlank.com/ Bill Blankschaen

      You may be right. I’ve tried to steer clear of any party reference. A simple respect for the truth should move us to want to get it right. I’d hope.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1418569472 Phillip Lozano

        Your hyperbolic claim, used early and often, that “When I posted in October, I said that I thought this had the potential to be bigger than Watergate. Nothing I heard today changed that opinion” puts the lie to your protest on non-partisanship, frankly.

        • http://www.BillintheBlank.com/ Bill Blankschaen

          So because I think an incident will lead to a significant scandal, that necessarily makes me partisan? I respectfully disagree. And it seems more left-leaning news sources are sharing that opinion with every passing day.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1418569472 Phillip Lozano

            You claim to take a non-partisan stance, yet you continually haul out the partisan tropes – such as “left-leaning news sources” – to support your claim of non-partisanship.

          • http://twitter.com/kangy1116 Jennifer

            While Bill is clearly partisan in the sense that he openly supports the Republican Party ( and this definitely colours the tone of his posts! ), I suspect that he would be equally as upset if a Republican administration was involved in this mess, and in that sense this issue has less to do with a particular party than it does with a deep concern for the moral direction of the USA.

            It’s too bad that this issue has become so politicized. Those on the left start pointing the “but Bush was WORSE” finger instead of insisting that the people they elected be held to the highest standard of personal and public action and morality. And those on the right are all too often guilty of jumping with righteous rage and no suspended judgement at any hint of scandal. Ideally we could take our political blinders off. Maybe there will be a scandal to rival watergate and, if so, let’s deal with it. If not, let’s at least send the message that we take truth seriously and hold our politicians to a very high standard.

          • http://www.BillintheBlank.com/ Bill Blankschaen

            Slight correction. I support the Republican party to the extent that they support the ideas that I think most Biblical and wise. In other words, most but certainly not all of the time.

          • http://twitter.com/kangy1116 Jennifer

            I stand corrected. It would have been much more accurate to state “Bill supports God” and just left it at that :)

          • http://www.BillintheBlank.com/ Bill Blankschaen

            Not that He needs it….

  • rvs

    Thanks for keeping us posted on this.

  • Jerry Lynch

    This is you trying to be “unbiased”? “One last thought — When I posted in October, I said that I thought this had the potential to be bigger than Watergate. Nothing I heard today changed that opinion. If anything, I have become more confident of it. The decisions made surrounding the attack on our consulate do, in fact, have the potential to bring down this Presidency. I’M SURE OF IT” [emphasis mine].

    Wouldn’t “unbiased” mean waiting for the answer to those questions before assuring everyone who is reading this that the president is guilty. Wouldn’t those “few good men and women left in our nation” want to be fair and impartial, instead biased and divisive? Yes, we need answers to these questions, but you have given a verdict without those answers: is that the American or Christian way? Without facts in evidence, this is jjust more Right Wing bashing of the president. (Obama is buying up all the ammo to circumvent our Second Amendment right; Obama invented the story of the Newtown massacre or ordered it; Obama is covering for a Saudi terrorist in the Boston massacre; Obama is looking to crash the Stock market {happenstance had this last accusation come out on a record-breaking day}: all these wacky conspiracy theories being treated by mainstream Republicans as legitimate and needing answers. Or it is a coverup.)

    It seems that you consider yourself (and all conservatives and Repubicans?) as amongst the “few good men and women left in this nation”: so why condemn the president as having committed impeachable offenses without the answers?
    As a fellow Christian, I find your public prejudice on poitical issues reprehensible. Saying, “I’m sure of it” is gossip and slander, even if you turn out to be right later. What you leave with people who may trust you and thus take your word as truth is that even if it turns out the president is “cleared” of any wrong-doing in this affair, it must be just another sinister successful coverup and not true innocence. How can so easily, jubilanty it appears, pronounce his certain guillt?
    I agree with you that all these questions need a hearing and honest answers. I agree there seems to be far more to this story than we presently know. I agree that what we learned thus far from the administration appears not to square with recent information. But I do not agree with proclaiming the president’s certain guilt before all the facts are in and properly weighed. When someone is caught with the “smoking gun” it may seem silly to say “alleged,” yet that is not only the law of the land, it is more so the Christian thing to do. “Judge not…”

    • http://www.BillintheBlank.com/ Bill Blankschaen

      Sorry, Jerry. I should have been clearer that my account was an attempt to be unbiased. My opinion, on the other hand, about where it is heading is obviously biased by definition. Saying I am sure that the events surrounding it have the potential to bring down a Presidency is hardly an un-Christian statement.

      • Jerry Lynch

        If you had said “have the potential” instead of stating with absolute certainty (“I’m sure of it”) he will be impeached it would show a bias but not be necessarily scandalous; however, that is not the case here. You have rendered a verdict before all the facts are in (that anyone with “a simple respect for truth should move us to want to get it right) and evaluated. That is wrong by any standard. If you are so certain the president will be impeached, what, exactly, will it be for? What is his egregious act or actions that would warrant it? As you are certain of his impeachment, then state what he did to deserve it.

        • Jerry Lynch

          Oh, I forget to ask that you please be specific about his impeachable offense.
          Seven weeks into office (3/09), without specifics, there was talk of impeachment and it has been continual since then. (Wonder why?) Every issue that he falls to the left of what the right wants, impeachment is mentioned. I feel that you may have been convinced he is going to be impeached because this has been the Reuplican agenda for so long.

          • Jerry Lynch

            The major goal of these proceedings spearheaded by Republicans is to impeach Hillary before she is elected. Every Right Wing talkinghead has mentioned that this “scandal” will hurt Hillary’s chances in 2016. Considering the breadth, depth, and height of this type of commentary, there can be little doubt the main objective is to ruin her possible run.

          • http://www.BillintheBlank.com/ Bill Blankschaen

            All I can do is laugh at your paranoid assumptions. Politely, mind you. But still laugh. In love, of course.

          • Jerry Lynch

            Lol, no response to what you clearly stated, the backwalking so popular with the Right: “If you quote me, you are lying.” Sorely disappointed. Sidestepping my direct questions of you actually shocked me; I thought better of you. Putting the paranoia on me, which may have some merit and I regret going down that path, does not acquit you of what you said.

            If your piece, blog, article, thinly disguised political attack was simply and honestly a search for truth, any opinion would contradict that stated quest. But you went well-beyond that: you found Obama guilty. “I’m sure of it.” Contradicting your own words: “A simple respect for the truth should move us to want to get it right. I’d hope.” Preconceived guilt is not looking to get it right.
            “A few good men and women left in this nation”: obviously intended to men you and tour ilk. Does good mean to pre-judge? Does good mean to impugn a person’s character without solid evidence? Do these “few” good people care about truth or only about political advantage?
            Bill, you dismiss me, and in doing so–laughingly, lovingly–mock yourself. You may feel secure in your highly Conservative audience, but I remain your brother. Treating me as you did with your response was to marginalize my comments. Good for you. Christ is more important, and you appear to have forgotten him.

          • http://twitter.com/kangy1116 Jennifer

            As Republicans are already using this “scandal” in their fundraising efforts and attack ads are now appearing re: Hillary Clinton one is left wondering!

            I’m not saying it is the case. But if this turns out NOT to be something along the lines of Watergate I think that the political backlash will be huge.

          • http://www.BillintheBlank.com/ Bill Blankschaen

            I am assuming that this impeaching question is the one you said I was sidestepping? I never said the President should be impeached or that he would be impeached so I can’t answer for what others may or may not have said. I am sure that it has the potential to bring down the Administration. That could mean irreparably damaging it’s impact, rendering it irrelevant in the second term or that key figures resign or face charges of same kind. I doubt it would ever be permitted to lead to an impeachment – by either side of the aisle. That may be bad or good, but it is the political reality. If there is some other question I missed that you think I am side-stepping, please point it out.

          • Jerry Lynch

            “One last thought — When I posted in October, I said that I thought this had the potential to be bigger than Watergate. Nothing I heard today changed that opinion. If anything, I have become more confident of it. The decisions made surrounding the attack on our consulate do, in fact, have the potential TO BRING DOWN THIS PRESIDENCY. I’M SURE OF IT.”

            “I never said the President should be impeached or that he would be impeached so I can’t answer for what others may or may not have said.”

  • http://twitter.com/kangy1116 Jennifer

    Hi Bill,
    Can you point me in the direction of transcripts of this testimony? I have questions about the accusation that Ambassador Stevens was taken to a terrorist run hospital and want to know a) exactly what was said by the whistleblowers about the hospital and B) (if possible) on what basis this claim was made. This “new reveal” clashes with what I am aware of about this hospital and with reports in recent news (January or February of this year?) about the ongoing initiatives that Chris Stevens was a part of between the Benghazi Medical Center and Mass. General Hospital in Boston.

    • http://twitter.com/kangy1116 Jennifer

      Ok. It bugged me enough that I’ve looked it up. Good ol’ Fox News to the rescue.

      “We don’t know initially which hospital it is, but we — through David’s reports we learned that it is in a hospital which is controlled by Ansar Sharia, the group that Twitter feeds had identified as leading the attack on the consulate.” (Hicks)

      Can I just point out that Ansar Sharia and other militant groups are STILL guarding hospitals and other infrastructure in Lybia? “Militant Group” does not equal “extremist terrorist” any more than “Police officer” equals “idiot in uniform that has run amuck on power”. Lybia has just had a revolution, people! They have overthrown a really, really evil dictator that kept them crushed for 42 years. The new government did not spring forth 100% able to form a perfect police force. Would you like all Christians to be judged by the actions by the actions of the Westboro Baptist Church? Why not?

      I agree that it looks like some extremist members of this group were involved in the attack. I can certainly appreciate that Hicks and other Americans were proceeding with great caution where the Ansar Sharia group was concerned.

      But I am angry about this. I am angry that you, Bill, and the American media have slammed the doctors at the Benghazi Medical Centre based on that sentence by Hicks. You have accused them of being a party to Ambassador Stevens death (“no wonder he did not survive”). Is this your idea of justice? I say this particularly in light of other testimony given by Hicks – and that you listened to – that he was told one breath of the cyanide gas Ambassador Stevens was exposed to would be deadly. Do you have some other proof that these doctors did less than they could to save Cris Stevens.

      Here are some other first hand accounts from Americans AT THE SCENE who were in Benghazi to meet with Chris Stevens regarding work at the Benghazi Medical Center.

      Ethan Chorin – in Lybia to meet with Ambassador Stevens and to discuss plans for a new division of emergency medical services at Benghazi Medical Center – the hospital Chris Stevens was taken to and where it is alleged he was raped and killed. And I must say I do find it strange that he was allowed to attend meetings in a hospital known to be run by terrorists?!?
      “The morning after the attack on the consulate, my colleagues and I returned to the medical center, where we witnessed an outpouring of sadness and, as one physician put it, shame. The emergency room staff members who worked to save Mr. Stevens broke down in tears, as did the physician in charge. Some knew or had met Mr. Stevens; some had not. But all were aware that he had been a champion of Libya, and of Benghazi in particular”
      (From “What Lybia lost when Ambassador Stevens died”)

      And from Dr. Thomas Burke MD (and former military man with distinguished service). In Benghazi to meet at the Benghazi Medical Center with Ambassador Stevens to help with collaboration between Mass. General Hospital in Boston and the BMC.
      (Mass General Physician Reports from Benghazi, Libya)

      “Just a few minutes ago I sat with Dr. Naseralla Elsaadi, a gentle and endlessly patient 42-year old surgeon. Tears quietly ran down his cheeks. Ambassador Stevens was supposed to have been sitting with us. Naseralla is chief of the patchwork ER and has been up all night caring for the sick and injured and has 25 patients to still round on. He said, “It is fine to write about me and use my name because I am from the most powerful tribe in Eastern Libya. They will protect me.” He handed me four pages stapled together, the first being the medical note on the attempt to save the ambassador’s life, and the latter three sheets, copies of the ambassador’s flat line heart rhythm. I put my hand on Naseralla’s shoulder and he reached up, taking my hand in his.”

      An interview with Dr. Burke that took place 72 hours after the attack:
      http://boston.cbslocal.com/2012/09/17/nightside-dr-thomas-burke-joins-dan-rea-to-discuss-troubles-in-the-middle-east/

      In it he talks of being updated by a director of the hospital – a person he greatly admires – regarding casualties including Ambassador Stevens and with talks he had with doctors at the hospital. His timeline is consistent with testimony by a Hicks.

      Laila Bugaighis, M.D (obstetrics and gynecology), medical director, Benghazi Medical Centre:
      “We want reconciliation with the whole world, but we are not going to forgive terrorists who committed atrocities against us,” she said. Stevens, she said, “was one of us.”

      These doctors do not sound like evil terrorists. Something stinks. And it ain’t just Obama. And this might be partially why not everyone is jumping on the Impeach Obama bandwagon. We do not have the whole story.

      • http://www.BillintheBlank.com/ Bill Blankschaen

        Easy, Jen. First, I appreciate your research and will point to it in the post. My comment was a natural one upon learning that the attackers and the hospital were “controlled” (Hicks’ word) by the same group. That fact should be a cause for concern, some of which you assuage with your research, but not cause for casting blame — which I did not intend to do. It is unfortunate — maybe — but likely not relevant to the Ambassador’s tragic death. I stand corrected to the extent that I inserted my editorial comment at that point, based on the connection. I did not intend to detract from the key questions in this inquiry.

        For the record, I am not on any impeach Obama bandwagon. I do want the truth, even if that means that Speaker Boehner interfered in some fashion.

        • http://twitter.com/kangy1116 Jennifer

          My apologies, Bill. I get frustrated sometimes by the way the media seems to jump like hungry piranhas at any hint of terrorism and your comment about it being no wonder Chris Steven’s didn’t survive increased my frustration. Having recently read information about the goals of the doctors in Benghazi I was upset on their behalf. We are not going to be able to get to the truth without balanced reaction and reporting. The rush to be first to report and to grab the attention of the public is taking precedence over truth and accuracy.

          I am not claiming that the testimony was false or that nothing wrong happened. It is my opinion, however, that we don’t know and/or haven’t been told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

        • http://twitter.com/kangy1116 Jennifer

          Further indications that Hicks may have been mistaken or uninformed about the “terrorist” group involved at the hospital:

          http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/15/opinion/brazile-benghazi-truth/?hpt=hp_t4

  • http://www.facebook.com/allan.foster.370 Allan Foster

    What bothers me is they don’t want to mention the fact that Stephens was raped before he was killed. That would force them to recognize the viciousness of the situation. It should never be put aside as old news.

    • http://www.BillintheBlank.com/ Bill Blankschaen

      Allen, Can you give a source(s) for the rape account?

  • Livin

    I have no love for Obama(he is in corporations pockets just as much as other officials) but there are some things missing.
    Republicans while not as much to blame did shoot down extra funding for the state department which could have lead to better security.

    Twenty hours was supposedly needed to get jets to Libya. I think the readiness of the overseas bases(which should not even be there) needs to be looked at especially with all the money we are pumping them.

    I wish Republicans were as quick to call for impeachment when the lies that led to the Iraq war and thousands of dead Americans were unmasked. Or when Valerie Plame was disclosed as a CIA operative for political reasons.

    • http://www.BillintheBlank.com/ Bill Blankschaen

      Thanks for the comment. A few brief thoughts on your thoughts:
      1. Testimony by those involved have stated clearly that funding was not a factor in the decisions that were made regarding security. There was no shortage of money.
      2. Mu understadnign of the time needed to recah the site with fighter jets was about 2-3 hours, but tankers were not available to refuel the planes. The FEST team was in the US and thus quite ways away. However, they were able to fully communicate and begin the operation while airborne. I can get to the other side of the world via commercial aircraft in 20 hours so I’m hoping our military could since they are already over there. I think we share confusion on this one :)

      Please note that I have not called for impeachment. I think we would both agree that making Iraq about WND was a mistake. I thought so from the start because it had little to nothing to do with the reasons why we went in.

  • http://twitter.com/Luterinho Martinho Luterinho
    • http://twitter.com/kangy1116 Jennifer

      If Pickering was indeed willing to testify and was not welcomed to do so than I think that is a source for concern. I read that he has claimed he could have answered a lot of the questions about sending reinforcements, etc. It is my understanding that the Republicans are calling for a private deposition from Pickering. If this is true (heck – who knows what to believe anymore?) I am left wondering why they don’t want him to be questioned publicly.

      • http://www.BillintheBlank.com/ Bill Blankschaen

        My understanding — per Dem. Rep. Cummings — is that Pickering was not willing to testify. Cummings made a statement today that he wants Pickering to testify but Pickering had to this point refused.

        • http://twitter.com/kangy1116 Jennifer

          Could you point me to the source that claims Cummings has stated that Pickering is not willing to testify? I read that Cummings was calling for Pickering’s testimony to be public rather than in private as planned by Issa.

          I believe it was Issa that claimed Pickering was not willing to testify. I saw clips of a televised interview with both Pickering and Issa. Issa claimed that Pickering refused to testify. pickerings denied that (“that’s not true”) and claimed that he had requested to testify but had been turned down. Issa claims that he would have been allowed to testify if he had gone through the proper channels.

          Regardless… I agree with Dem. Rep. Cummings that Pickering’s testimony should be public and not held behind closed doors.

          • http://www.BillintheBlank.com/ Bill Blankschaen

            You are right. Now I stand corrected — or at least clarified. Whether or not military jets could reach Benghazi should not be the issue. I am presuming based on what I know of it, that they likely could not. But that does not explain the two other stand-down orders, the knowingly lax security, or the other cover-up related issues that followed.

          • http://twitter.com/kangy1116 Jennifer

            A clarifying letter:

            http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2013/images/05/16/pickeringletter.pdf

            Maybe Pickering et. all can answer some of your questions regarding the stand down orders (though interesting that Robert Gates has claimed he would not have done anything differently).

            I remain suspicious that Issa wants Pickering to testify privately, first. Are they worried about what he will say?

  • Michael Ralston

    Benghazi was a massive security failure by the Obama admin – before, during and after the attack. The cause was Obama’s simple-minded view of Muslims. Obama believes that all problems in Muslim countries are caused by America and Israel acting badly, being the aggressor and siding with evil dictators. So Obama thinks he can fix this by (a) helping Muslims topple their dictators and then (b) leaving them the hell alone in peace. Consequently he thinks Muslims, being freedom loving people like everyone else, will live in peace.

    But alas, Obama does not understand Muslims at all. A sizeable portion of Muslim countries are fundamentalists, and they are driven by ideology and doctrine. Islamic doctrine is not compatible with democracy, freedom, human rights, etc. Islamic doctrine is straight out of Muhammad’s 7th Century jihadist playbook i.e. “kill the unbelievers wherever you find them”, “smite their necks”, “I have been made victorious by terror” etc.

    Bottom line, a sizeable portion of Muslims will always hate America and Israel simply because their doctrine calls them to fight unbelievers and Jews and Christians if they do not submit to Islamic rule. Therefore, non-Muslims are always at risk of harm in Muslim countries.

    So, simple-minded Obama, with his “liberate the oppressed” mentality, thought that Libyans would now love him. After all, he bombed Gaddafi out of the way. He was fighting on THEIR side. Surely they would now love him?

    And that’s why security was lax at Benghazi. That’s why the security team was actually jihadists (go figure). Because he thought Libyans now loved him. And that’s why he was hesitant to send in a response team, because he doesn’t want to look like big bad America interfering again.

    Has Obama learned anything from this at all? Nope. He’s gun-ho on Syria right now. He can’t wait to “liberate” them from their oppressor. The guy is a first-class moron (admittedly a common trait among politicians). Islam and the West are incompatible and we should leave each other the hell alone.

    • http://www.BillintheBlank.com/ Bill Blankschaen

      Thanks for your opinion, Michael. We shall see more soon as the gates seemed to have open ed on information.

  • Pingback: #Benghazi headdesk moment: Why the review board stopped questioning Clinton « Sister Toldjah Sister Toldjah


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X