Official: We knew Benghazi was a terrorist attack "from the get-go" – CBS News

Michelle **Written by Doug Powers

The coming week promises to be an interesting one:

Their identities have been a well-guarded secret, known only to their high-powered lawyers and a handful of House lawmakers and staff. But now Fox News has learned the names of the self-described Benghazi “whistleblowers” who are set to testify before a widely anticipated congressional hearing on Wednesday.

Appearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will be three career State Department officials: Gregory N. Hicks, the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Libya at the time of the Benghazi terrorist attacks; Mark I. Thompson, a former Marine and now the deputy coordinator for Operations in the agency’s Counterterrorism Bureau; and Eric Nordstrom, a diplomatic security officer who was the regional security officer in Libya, the top security officer in the country in the months leading up to the attacks.

U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. outpost in Benghazi, Libya.

Hicks was at the time of the highest-ranking American diplomat in the country.

Nordstrom previously testified before the oversight committee, which is chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., in October 2012. At that time, Nordstrom made headlines by detailing for lawmakers the series of requests that he, Ambassador Stevens, and others made for enhanced security at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, most of which were rejected by State Department superiors.

A subsequent CBS News report corroborated Nordstrom’s testimony.

It’s apparent that when word of the Benghazi attack started coming in, the administration immediately acted on instinct — which unfortunately first and foremost was to figure out how to take political advantage from the situation (tactical advice Rahm Emanuel offered years ago) instead of confront the attack and publicly admit a fact that flew in the face of a particular motive the administration was working to establish. The talking points were continually tweaked even though officials were told it was a terrorist attack “from the get go” — that according to the testimony of Greg Hicks, deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Libya at the time of the Benghazi attack:

See Congressman Darryl Issa on Face the Nation HERE

Greg Hicks: “The net impact of what’s transpired is the spokesperson of the most powerful country in the world has basically said that the president of Libya is either a liar or doesn’t know what he is talking about. The impact of that is immeasurable. Magariaf has just lost face in front of not only his own people but the world. My jaw hit the floor as I watched this. I’ve never been as embarrassed in my life — in my career — as on that day. I never reported a demonstration. I reported an attack on the consulate. Chris’s [Ambassador Stevens] last report, if you want to say his final report, is ‘Greg, we are under attack.’ It is jaw dropping to me how that [blaming a video] came to be.”

Hicks also says he told investigators that no one from the Obama administration contacted him before Susan Rice’s appearance on just about every Sunday morning show in the free world where she spread the “spontaneous protest caused by anger over a video” falsehood five days after the attack.

The administration’s two most baffling defenses so far have been that the attack happened “a long time ago,” and besides, “what difference does it make?”

**Written by Doug Powers

CBS NEWS Sunday Morning Coverage: Official: We knew Benghazi was a terrorist attack "from the get-go"

Update 11:30 a.m. ET – 5.5.3013

CBS News: "Everybody in the mission" in Benghazi, Libya, thought the attack on a U.S. consulate there last Sept. 11 was an act of terror "from the get-go," according to excerpts of an interview investigators conducted with the No. 2 official in Libya at the time, obtained by CBS News’ "Face the Nation."

"I think everybody in the mission thought it was a terrorist attack from the beginning," Greg Hicks, a 22-year foreign service diplomat who was the highest-ranking U.S. official in Libya after the strike, told investigators under authority of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Hicks, the former U.S. Embassy Tripoli deputy chief of mission, was not in Benghazi at the time of the attack, which killed Chris Stevens – then the U.S. ambassador to Libya – and three other Americans.

When he appears this week before the committee, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., Hicks is expected to offer testimony at odds with what some American officials were saying in public – and on "Face the Nation" – just five days after the attack. Benghazi whistleblowers have rallied attention to discrepancies among the administration’s reaction to the attack, which The Weekly Standard suggests was frayed by ever-evolving talking points that sought to remove references to al Qaeda.

On Sept. 16, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice hit the media circuit, appearing on all five Sunday talk shows to dispel the notion that the strike was a premeditated terrorist act and to perpetuate the case that it began "spontaneously" out of protests in Egypt. Rice’s spot on "Face the Nation" that day was preceded by the new President of Libya Mohammed al-Magariaf, who said his government had "no doubt that this was preplanned, predetermined."

"For there to have been a demonstration on Chris Stevens’s front door and him not to have reported it is unbelievable," he said. "I never reported a demonstration; I reported an attack on the consulate. Chris – Chris’s last report, if you want to say his final report – is, ‘Greg, we are under attack.’

"…I’ve never been as embarrassed in my life, in my career, as on that day," Hicks continued in his interview with investigators. "The net impact of what has transpired is, [Rice,] the spokesperson of the most powerful country in the world, has basically said that the president of Libya is either a liar of doesn’t know what he’s talking about. ….My jaw hit the floor as I watched this."

Though the White House has said it was in contact with officials in Libya the night of the attack, Hicks said in the days following, he was never consulted about the talking points. One day after Rice’s Sunday show blitz, Hicks said he called Beth Jones, acting assistant secretary for near eastern affairs at the State Department, and asked, "Why did Amb. Rice say that?" The tone of her answer – "I don’t know," he said – indicated that "I perhaps asked a question that I should not have asked."

The net impact of Rice’s statements, Hicks said, was "immeasurable." On top of his personal belief that "the reason it took us so long to get the FBI to Benghazi is because of those Sunday talk shows," he said, Magariaf lost face "in front of not only his own people, but the world" at a time of democratic transition in his country. He added, "I have heard from a friend who had dinner with President Magariaf in New York City that he was still angry at Amb. Rice well after the incident."

Appearing on "Face the Nation" to address Hicks’s remarks, chairman Issa agreed Sunday that the "fatal error" in a debacle that marked a "misinformation campaign at best, and a cover-up at worst," was tossing into the lurch the relationship between the United States and Libya.

"You can’t insult a foreign leader in a greater way than happened literally here, just those few days later," Issa said. "Ambassadors know that the one thing you can’t do is contradict your host, especially at a time when you need their cooperation. This was a fatal error to our relationship, at least for a period of time. And we can’t find the purpose. [Secretary of State Hillary Clinton] should have been among – above all else – the person who was on the same sheet of music with the Libyan government, and she wasn’t."

Issa said his committee’s hearing this week will try to get to the heart of why "the talking points were right, and then the talking points were wrong." Though he said it might be "in part" a cover-up effort in light of the State Department having turned down requests from diplomats on the ground for heightened security, "it does seem like it’s bigger than that."

"There was this normalization, sort of a mentality, where you had to pretend like things were safe; the war on terror was over," Issa said. "And that may have gone in a great way to getting people to say, ‘Well, we can’t call this a terrorist attack because then the war on terror is back alive.’

"Well… the war on terror is very much alive," he continued, "whether it’s Chechen nationals who come here, or whether it’s what’s going on in Syria – it’s al Qaeda around the world. And that’s the reality that, hopefully, State Department people will feel at least they are being properly protected after this attack."

© 2013 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved

Also See: The Benghazi Talking Points by Steve F. Hayes… some great background links there as well.

Darrell Issa says the Benghazi consulate sought more security but it was VOTED to cut the State Department’s embassy security budget instead.


Dem. Congressman: Susan Rice’s Benghazi Talking Points ‘Absolutely’ False

BBC News – US consulate in Benghazi ‘did not have enough security’

Issa: Administration Looks Guilty of Benghazi Cover-Up

DAMNING: The Complete Benghazi Timeline in Spreadsheet Format – SHARE AND MAKE IT GO VIRAL

The complete Benghazi timeline, now augmented with information culled by Stephen Hayes and the House Oversight Committee [PDF], leads me to four inescapable conclusions


Also read:

Benghazi Impeachment Suddenly Not So Far-Fetched

Will Congressional Committees Pull Together for One Benghazi Probe

Names of Benghazi Whistleblowers Revealed

Did Hillary commit perjury?… Looks like it: House GOP report: Hillary Clinton lied under oath about additional Benghazi security request


“What difference does it make?”

2016 – The Election of the First Female President of the United States?Hillary Doesn’t Deserve Our Admiration or Another Shot at the Presidency

Hillary Doesn’t Deserve Our Admiration or Another Shot at the Presidency

President Obama campaign manager says he would not run a Hillary Clinton 2016 Presidential campaign

Video: Benghazi 9.11 Official Movie Trailer

About Ask Marion

I am a babyboomer and empty nester who savors every moment of my past and believes that it is the responsibility of each of us in my generation and Americans in general to make sure that America is as good or even a better place for future generations as it was for us. So far... we haven't done very well!! Favorite Quotes: "The first 50 years are to build and acquire; the second 50 are to leave your legacy"; "Do something that scares you every day!"; "The journey in between what you once were and who you are becoming is where the dance of life really takes place". At age 62 I find myself fighting inoperable uterine Cancer and thanks to the man upstairs and the prayers from so many people including many of my readers from AskMarion and JustOneMorePet... I'm beating it. After losing our business because of the economy and factors related to the re-election of President Obama in 2012 followed by 16-mos of job hunting, my architect-trained husband is working as a trucker and has only been home approximately 5-days a month since I was diagnosed, which has made everything more difficult and often lonely... plus funds are tight. Our family medical deductible is 12K per year for two of us; thank you ObamaCare. But thanks to donations from so many of you, we are making ends meet as I go through treatment while taking care of my father-in-law who is suffering from late stage Alzheimer's and my mother-in-law who suffers from RA and onset dementia as well as hearing loss, for which there are no caretaker funds, as I continue the fight here online to inform and help restore our amazing country. And finally I need to thank a core group of family, friends, and readers... all at a distance, who check in with me regularly. Plus, I must thank my furkids who have not left my side through this fight. You can see them at JustOneMorePet.
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9 Responses to Official: We knew Benghazi was a terrorist attack "from the get-go" – CBS News

  1. Pingback: It’s a Wrap… Ask Marion – 05.05.13 | askmarion

  2. Shayn Roby says:

    Reblogged this on shaynroby and commented:
    Some of the liberal media (redundant) are finally coming around and acknowledging that something is just not quite right about Benghazi.

  3. Pingback: Official: We knew Benghazi was a terrorist attack “from the get-go” – CBS News | RubinoWorld

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