Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) appeared on CBS’ Face The Nation andrevealed new information about the Obama administration’s description attack in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012. The information makes it clear that the Obama administration’s first claim about the attacks were not a mistake, but intentional. Benghazi whistleblower Greg Hicks even stated that Ambassador Chris Stevens knew it had nothing to do with a protest over a video and Hicks says that some of the last words he uttered were “we’re under attack.”
Issa was first asked by host Bob Schieffer would the administration put out a storyline that was so different from what US officials in Libya knew immediately?
“We can’t find a classified reason for it, we can’t find a diplomatic reason for it,” Issa answered. “Understand that Gregory Hicks, who became the charge, became the acting Ambassador, witnessed our relationship with Libya on this show go the wrong way. Because on this show, Susan Rice says, it was a protest. Well the President, the elected President saying, no it’s a terrorist attack. You can’t insult a foreign leader in a greater way than happened literally here, just those few days later.”
Issa agreed with Schieffer that he thought part of the State Department had turned down requests for more security, but said it was more than that. He said, “There was this normalization, sort of a mentality, where you had to pretend like things were safe. The war on terror was over 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.”
I think it’s more to the fact that Barack Obama would not call it a terror attack because he is doing all he can to protect his Muslim brothers. He knew exactly what this was.
Congressman Issa was asked about reporting from the Weekly Standard and the fact that the CIA and Greg Hicks, one of the Benghazi whistleblowers who took over as Charge d’Affairs in Libya after the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens, both knew immediately that it was an attack, not a protest.
“We know one thing, that the talking points were right and then the talking points were wrong,” Issa explained. “CIA knew it was a terrorist attack, the Deputy Chief of Mission, Gregory Hicks, knew it was a terrorist attack, the Ambassador, before he died, one of the last words he ever said is, we’re under attack.”
Hicks didn’t appear on the show but his reactions were featured based on interviews that were conducted with Issa’s committeeappear on the show but whose reactions were featured based on transcripts of interviews with Issa’s committee. He said Ambassador Susan Rice was openly lying when she claimed the attacks on Benghazi were the result of a protest.
“The net impact of what has 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’s 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 last report, if you want to say his final report, is, ‘Greg, we are under attack.’ … It is jaw-dropping that – to me that – how that came to be.”
Rice’s lies were confirmed months ago to several US senators.
Issa explained how this betrayal by the Obama administration of the President of Libya made it difficult to get FBI agents into the scene to investigate.
“Well clearly, there was a political decision to say something different than what was reasonable to say,” he said. “One of the tragedies of this is it took three weeks to get our FBI in. Well, when you tell the President of Libya, who by the way went to Benghazi at personal risk, did that broadcast from Benghazi, as a courageous act-if you tell him he’s wrong, that it’s not terrorism, what a surprise that you have a hard time getting FBI to the crime scene. If anything, we may have compromised our ability to know what really happened there as far as catching the culprits, because more weeks went by with no FBI on the ground.”
Acting Ambassador Hick said that no one from the State Department contacted him in advance to discuss what Rice was going to say. If they had, Hicks said he would have corrected them.
Hicks had also testified that he had called Beth Jones, the Acting Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs at the state department, the morning after these Sunday shows and he asked her why the ambassador was saying the things she was. “I don’t know,” was the reply. Hicks believed that his comments were “unwelcome” by Jones.
Issa said that not only did Hicks testify that he believed his comments were unwelcome, but the California congressman went on to point out the obvious. “One of the amazing things is, here you have the person on the ground who probably, of anyone in Tripoli knows more about what was going on, he’s never seen the classified ARB report. They have not let him see it. So when he says that that is a flawed report, he says so with the same information we have publicly.”
The Weekly Standard reported on Friday:
“The talking points were first distributed to officials in the interagency vetting process at 6:52 p.m. on Friday. Less than an hour later, at 7:39 p.m., an individual identified in the House report only as a “senior State Department official” responded to raise “serious concerns” about the draft. That official, whom The Weekly Standard has confirmed was State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland, worried that members of Congress would use the talking points to criticize the State Department for “not paying attention to Agency warnings.”