Friday, May 10, 2013



WASHINGTON — The US diplomat who was second in command in Libya during the fatal attack on the Benghazi consulate fought back tears yesterday when he told lawmakers about his colleagues’ final moments — and said he was “stunned” by administration claims it was sparked by a spontaneous protest.

Gregory Hicks, the first person to testify to Congress who was on the ground in Libya during the fateful night of the Sept. 11, 2012 siege, told a House committee that he was incredulous just five days later when UN Ambassador Susan Rice said on Sunday talk shows that the assault was not a terrorist attack.

“My jaw dropped,” Hicks said. “I was embarrassed.”

Hicks riveted the audience in a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing room as he recalled the night.

“Shortly after we arrived at the annex, the mortars came in,” Hicks said. “The first was long. It landed actually among the Libyans that escorted our people. They took casualties for us that night.”

“The next three landed on the roof, killing Glen [Doherty] and Tyrone [Woods],” Hicks said, referring to the security operators who died in the attack. “They didn’t know whether any more mortars were going to come in, the accuracy was terribly precise.”

A career State Department diplomat, Hicks also told the panel yesterday that he was warned by upper agency officials not to talk to a congressman investigating the consulate assault — fueling GOP charges that politics were behind the administration’s response.

The order came after he began questioning Obama administration claims that the incident was not a terrorist attack, he said. Hicks got a call from Beth Jones, an acting assistant secretary to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to stop questioning Washington’s stance that the attack was spurred by a protest, he said.

“I asked her why the ambassador said there was a demonstration when the embassy reported there was an attack,” Hicks said. “The sense I got is that I needed to stop my line of questioning.”

Hicks received another call from Clinton’s counselor and chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, angry that he met with Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah). Mills asked for a full report.

“She was very upset with me,” said Hicks, who said he was eventually demoted after the controversy.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) called Hicks’ testimony evidence that Clinton was involved in trying to suppress information.

“This goes right to the person next to Secretary Clinton,” Jordan said.

Former State Department spokesman Philippe Reines yesterday called the allegation untrue.
“Nobody was told to keep Chaffetz from speaking with anyone,” Reines told NBC News.

 “That’s completely at odds with the cooperative approach the department has taken with Congress.”

Hicks was one of the last people Ambassador Christopher Stevens, who was killed, talked to in a call reporting the attack. Hicks somberly recalled learning about Stevens’ death.

“It was the saddest phone call I’ve ever received in my life,” Hicks said, pausing to hold back his emotions.

Hicks joined Mark Thompson, acting deputy assistant secretary of state for counterterrorism, in telling lawmakers that efforts to get military help to the consulate were rebuffed. Special forces in Tripoli wanting to help were furious, Hicks said.

Democrats ripped into the witnesses, accusing committee Republicans of conducting a “highly partisan” political attack on the Obama administration.

“There is no place or no time that the American military wouldn’t be there to protect American lives if they possibly could get there,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) said.

Eric Nordstrom, the third whistle-blower to testify, was the diplomatic security officer and former regional security office in Libya. He blamed the administration for ignoring calls for more security in the country.

“It matters to the American public for whom we served and most importantly, it matters to the friends and family of Ambassador Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, Tyrone Wood, who were murdered on Sept. 11,” Nordstrom said.



Here we go. The House Oversight Committee hearings on Benghazi begin today, and do you know what we’re going to learn? We’re going to learn that 0bama and Hillary Clinton were informed almost immediately that the attack on the Benghazi consulate was being waged by Islamic jihadists connected to al Qaeda. Then we’re going to learn that 0bama and Hillary immediately went into protective mode … protecting 0bama’s reelection efforts and Hillary’s chances for 2016. 

0bama had a narrative to protect. His diplomatic efforts in the Middle East had brought about a new era of cooperation and peace, right? Al Qaeda was on the run and all but decimated, right? 

Hillary? She had incompetence to cover up. Almost immediately she came to understand that this consulate had requested additional security and protection, and that her chain of command had said no. Now she had four dead Americans, including one dead Ambassador to deal with. The 3:00 am phone call came, and her phone was turned off.

There was one current and one future presidency to be saved here, so a narrative had to be developed and presented to the American people that would clear 0bama and Hillary of any culpability. So not only did they come up with this phony YouTube video lie, they actually used the police power of the Executive branch of government to take an American citizen, an unknown video producer from California, and jam him in jail on spurious (at best) charges in order to support their phony and entirely contrived YouTube video narrative.

Now, as the hearings begin, we have luminaries such as Senator Lindsey Graham, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton and my friend Mike Huckabee all predicting, to one degree or another, dreadful times ahead for 0bama. The predictions range from a Watergate-style scandal to outright impeachment.

Forget it. Ain’t going to happen. You’re dreaming.

Only a minority of Americans give a flying widget about any 0bama cover-up of the Benghazi matter. They are more likely to buy into White House Spokesman Jay Carney’s “That was a long time ago” narrative, or Hillary’s “What difference does it make” rant than they are to actually care about a deliberate, lying cover-up of the reasons behind the death of four Americans.

Watergate? Gimme a big league break here. There’s a HUGE difference between 0bama’s problems with Benghazi and Nixon’s Watergate mess. When the Watergate scandal broke we had a New York and D.C. press corps with a burning desire to destroy Richard Nixon. With 0bama and the Benghazi scandal we have the very same press corps ready to do anything it can reasonably expect to get away with to protect their God-like hero and preserve his presidency. “But people died in Benghazi!” you say? And you think that’s enough to stop the 0bama hero-worship among the Fourth Estate?

But what about the American people? Really? Think about that for a few moments. Now … you’re not telling me that the same people who put this colossal failure back into the White House for four more years is going to get worked up over Benghazi, are you? 

Let me tell you what the American people are concerned with right now – and we’re talking about those who aren’t gunched up with 24/7 discussions about college football recruiting and gay NBA players. In a nutshell (and thank goodness for the few exceptions we DO have) the majority of the American people are more worried right now about acquiring and keeping their monthly checks from the government than they are about 0bama’s lies or foreign policy failures. They think a Benghazi is a small yappy dog.

These people are more concerned about next Winter’s home heating assistance checks than they are about dead ambassadors. They’re worrying about getting more federal dollars for child care to help them take care of the next tricycle motor they’re fixin’ to download without the benefit of a husband. They’re wondering who is going to pay their medical bills, and how they can get their hands on one of those great Section 8 housing vouchers. Some are looking to upgrade their 0bamaPhones.

How many people do we have on Social Security disability right now? The figure is nearing 12 million Americans. These 12 million are principally worried about how to keep those checks coming, while another 12 million (at least) are wondering how to get on this bandwagon as well. After all, their backs hurt and you surely can’t expect them to get out there and work for a living, can you? (Apologies to those of you with actual disabilities, but we could probably cram every one of you into a Jai Alai Fronton somewhere in Miami if we had to.)

Then there’s millions more who’s main concern is making sure their unemployment benefits don’t run out (Me? Get a job?) and others who are waiting for 0bama to make their boss pay them more than they’re actually worth on their jobs. 

Benghazi 0bama’s Watergate? For that to happen you need concerned citizens who actually care and a media that will do it’s job objectively. Both ingredients are in short supply.

It’s going to be a great show, to be sure. But in the end it adds up to nothing.