Benghazi-Gate is back in the headlines.
The House Oversight Committee is hearing today from three whistleblowers testifying against the Obama administration’s account of the September attacks that killed four Americans.
CBS reports that Mark Thompson, the acting deputy assistant secretary of state for counterterrorism, Greg Hicks, former deputy chief of mission in Libya, and Eric Nordstrom, former regional security officer in Libya, are all slated to testify.
From CBS News:
House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., told CBS News on Monday that the administration’s ever-evolving statements were likely perpetrated by political concerns, three weeks out of a major election. Or, he suggested, “it could be a general want to believe that we’re closer to an end of the war on terror than right in the middle of it.”
Issa said he expects this week to find someone from Clinton’s circle – if not the former secretary of state herself – at the heart of covering tracks after any missteps by the administration.
“The question is, where’s the accountability for lying to the American people?” Issa asked. “The American people were lied to.”
Here’s a recap of contradictions that have come to light thus far:
Hicks reportedly said that “everybody in the mission” believed it was an act of terror “from the get-go.” This information is contrary to what Susan Rice said on the Sunday news shows, where she called the strikes “spontaneous” and not a premeditated terrorist act.
From Fox News:
[Hicks] described how, as diplomatic officials were trying to find out what happened to Stevens, they were receiving phone calls from supposed tipsters saying they knew where the ambassador was and urging Americans to come get him.
“We suspected that we were being baited into a trap,” Hicks said, adding that he did not want to send anybody into what he suspected was an “ambush.”
Getting choked up, Hicks described how the Libyan prime minister later called him to tell him Stevens was in fact dead. “I think it’s the saddest phone call I’ve ever had in my life,” he said.
Commenting on Rice’s TV appearance, Hicks said, “I’ve never been as embarrassed in my life, in my career, as on that day.” He added that he was never consulted about the administration’s talking points prior to their release.
Fox reports that “Mark Thompson, a former Marine, said he was rebuffed by the White House when he asked for a specialized team—known as a FEST team—to be deployed. This is a unit made of special operations personnel, diplomatic security, intelligence and other officers.”
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