This week's hearings in the House of Representatives on the September 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi brought the issue into clearer focus with the credible testimony of top State Department officials who were on the ground in Libya.
Deputy Chief of Mission Greg Hicks testified that Ambassador Stevens went to Benghazi at the behest of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton despite the warnings of poor security and requests for additional help that were rejected.
Hicks also revealed that he spoke with Secretary Clinton during the attacks and said that at no time did a protest over a You Tube video factor in the attacks. From a new report by Stephen Hayes in the Weekly Standard:
“The YouTube video was a nonevent in Libya,” said Gregory Hicks, a 22-year veteran diplomat and deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in Tripoli at the time of the attacks, in testimony before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on May 8. “The only report that our mission made through every channel was that there had been an attack on a consulate . . . no protest.”Later, when Hicks learned that UN Ambassador Susan Rice had repeatedly blamed a You Tube video for the attacks "I was stunned. My jaw dropped. And I was embarrassed," Hicks said. When Hicks contacted a higher up in Washington to ask why this false information was put out the response indicated "it was very clear from the tone that I should not proceed with any further [questions],” he told lawmakers."
When Congressman Chafetz (R-UT) visited Libya to investigate the attacks, Hicks was told not to meet with him. When he did so without State Department minders present he was given a direct rebuke from Hillary Clinton's Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills (Bill Clinton's impeachment lawyer) who Hicks said was "very upset" that he had done so. Hicks would later be demoted.
Obama Administration Knew Terrorists Were to Blame on Sept. 12
Also from Wednesday's hearing we learn of a secret State Department email from September 12, the day after the attack, reveals State officials knew it was a terrorist attack from an Al Queda related group. This fits with the original talking points supplied by the CIA which were later changed. The Obama Administration has refused to release that and other emails relating to how the story changed. House Speaker John Boehner has demanded these be made public.
For Obama and Dems Benghazi, Like Everything Else, is All Politics, All the Time!
On Friday, ABC News' Jonathon Karl describes how the Benghazi talking points went through 12 revisions and were "scrubbed of terror reference." Stephen Hayes, who was first with this story revises it today in greater detail. General David Petraeus "expressed frustration at the new, scrubbed talking points, noting that they had been stripped of much of the content his agency had provided."
Both news stories run directly counter to the long held assertion by White House Spokesman Jay Carney that the talking points were almost exclusively the product of the Intelligence Community.Writing for National Journal Ron Fournier discussed this aspect of the scandal in an article titled "Scrubbing the Truth from Benghazi," with the subhead "Caught playing politics with tragedy..."
“These changes don’t resolve all of my issues or those of my building’s leadership.” With that sentence, one in a series of emails and draft “talking points” leaked to Jonathan Karl of ABC News, the Obama administration was caught playing politics with Benghazi.We know that the final version of the phony talking points was developed at a White House meeting on Saturday, September 15. Stephen Hayes reports that there is an email, with the name of the sender redacted, which introduces the "Movie Protests" theme which eventually became the big lie spread by the Administration on repeated occasions including to the family members of slain State Department employees.
Credibility: The White House has long maintained that the talking points were drafted almost exclusively by the CIA, a claim that gave cover to both President Obama and his potential successor, Clinton. “Those talking points originated from the intelligence community,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said in November, adding that the only editing by the White House or the State Department was to change the word "consulate" to "diplomatic facility." Nuland’s emails prove him wrong.
There is a paper trail and we know the people involved. How much longer will it take to get to the truth?
Meanwhile, Democrats are attacking (1,2) the process people involved while seeking to turn the entire hunt for the truth into a circus to discredit the damaging testimony. Their media allies are speaking with the mantra that this is a "political," "partisan," "witch hunt." Strange but we never heard them describe the Valerie Plame/Joe Wilson affair in such terms.
But Democrat critics are right on one point. This is a partisan, political event. One that started the very day Democrats in the Obama Administration deliberately lied to the American people for political purposes and continue to defend the liars today for the same political reasons!