7 Things We Learned From the Benghazi Whistleblower Hearing

“This is the first time in my career that a diplomat has more balls than someone in the military.”

 

Bryan Preston
PJ Tatler
PJ Media
5/8/2013

The Republicans mishandled the Benghazi whistleblowers’ hearing. What should have been stretched across several days to give the nation time to digest it all, was instead packed into a single day filled with an overwhelming amount of information. The media’s attention span is not that long. The verdict in the Jodi Arias trial came along in the afternoon and blew Benghazi off the networks, most of which didn’t want to cover it at all. Even Fox joined the drive-by media, taking Benghazi off the air in favor of the irrelevant Arias trial. Following the announcement of the Arias verdict, charges were read in the Cleveland kidnapping case. Those were aired live as well, relegating Benghazi again.

Nevertheless, for those who slogged through the entire day of hearings and ignored local crime stories, new information was there to be learned…

2. Ambassador Stevens’ reason for going to Benghazi has been cleared up. Hicks testified that Ambassador Stevens traveled to Benghazi to fulfill one of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s wishes. Despite the fact that security was worsening in Benghazi for months leading up to the 9-11 attack, Clinton wanted to make the post there permanent. Her State Department had denied repeated requests from the U.S. team in Libya to upgrade security there, but she wanted to use the permanent post as a symbol of goodwill. Stevens was committed to that goal and told Clinton he would “make it happen.” He was in Benghazi on 9-11 furthering Clinton’s goal. She had denied requests to beef up security at Benghazi and then blamed his death on a YouTube movie. Hicks’ testimony raises the question of Clinton’s competence and grasp on reality, strongly suggesting that she put political perceptions ahead of the facts on the ground in Benghazi…

6. Democrats were uninterested in getting at most of the facts, but were very interested in destroying Mark Thompson. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) set the tone for the Democrats’ angle on the hearings in his opening remarks. He used his opening to attack the committee chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa, and to pre-question the witnesses. Most of the Democrats who followed him failed to ask many questions of the witnesses. Instead, they delivered speeches or blamed budget cuts, an argument that has already been debunked by the State Department itself. One sadly hilarious moment came during Rep. William Clay’s questioning. The Missouri Democrat blamed the repeated denials to enhance security at Benghazi on budget cuts. Issa reminded him that the State Department has debunked that line, in the person of Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Charlene Lamb. She testified last fall that budget cuts had not impacted the decisions not to enhance security at Benghazi. Clay claimed not to remember Lamb’s testimony, then moved quickly to cite the ARB, which backed his side. His selective memory proved politically, if not factually, reliable.

Mark Thompson, member of the Foreign Emergency Support Team (FEST) testified that his section had been cut out of decision making during the attack. The Democrats consistently circled on him to try to get him to contradict himself or attack his boss, Daniel Benjamin, who has claimed FEST was included throughout the attack. They never really succeeded, and now Benjamin will be called to testify in a future hearing to clear up the dispute. The heads of the ARB, Ambassador Thomas Pickering and Admiral Michael Mullen, will now be called as well…

 

Read the whole thing at PJ Media.

 

 

Also by Bryan Preston, How Do We Make Sense of Obama’s, Clinton’s and Panetta’s Actions During the Benghazi Attack?

Benghazi was never about a movie. Ever.

On the day of the attack in Benghazi, the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt, had come under siege at the encouragement of al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood. While the riot in Cairo was being blamed on the Nakoula Nakoula YouTube movie in the media, the Cairo riot was never really about the movie. Ever.

The Innocence of Muslims movie, which the vast majority of the Cairo mob had never seen, was used by the riot’s leaders to stir up anger and bring out the crowd. But on September 10, 2012, we posted a note about Cairo and the riot that was to come. The real purpose of the Cairo riot, all along, was to pressure the Obama administration into releasing Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman, the mastermind of the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center in New York…

…The riot, which included jihadists scaling the wall of the U.S. embassy and replacing the American flag with their own, was geared to pressure Obama into releasing the blind sheikh — it was not a protest about a movie…

 

 

Related: Whistleblower: Hillary Was ‘The Only Person’ Who Could’ve Authorized More Benghazi Security

Benghazi whistleblower Eric Nordstrom said the Benghazi consulate was listed as “high threat” before the attacks and the only person who could add more security personnel to a facility that does not meet standards is the Secretary of State – Hillary Clinton – at the time.

 

 

Hillary aide upset Benghazi diplomat spoke with investigators

The highest ranking American diplomat in Libya who survived the attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans last year testified Wednesday that he was pressured not to meet with congressional investigators after the attack.

Gregory Hicks, a foreign service officer and former deputy chief of mission/chargé d’affairs in Libya, also testified that Cheryl Mills, a top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, became upset with him for cooperating with the investigators without having State Department lawyers present…

…I was instructed not to allow the RSO [Regional Security Officer], the acting deputy chief of mission and myself to be personally interviewed by Congressman Chaffetz…

 

 

Chaffetz: ‘Surreal’ to Hear Attempts to Obstruct Hicks from Speaking With Him 

…HANNITY: Congressman Chaffetz, you went to Benghazi. You met with Mr. Hicks. Apparently he was excoriated for daring to talk to you. It sounds to me like there was an attempt at obstruction. This was Hillary’s chief of staff, as I understand it?

CHAFFETZ: Well it’s a little bit surreal for me to hear this, but the reality is the first week of October, I did go to Libya. I didn’t go to Benghazi, but I was in Tripoli. I did meet with Mr. Hicks, and we heard testimony Mr. Hicks was coached ahead of time, did not allow me to speak to three individuals there, including Mr. Hicks, that the State Department had sent along a baby-sitter to listen and take notes of everything i did. That this person, that Mr. Hicks was chastised by Hillary Clinton’s Chief of Staff, that’s unprecedented.

HANNITY: I guess to cover their story or to merge their stories?

CHAFFETZ: I mean, the idea that a member of Congress trying to seek out the truth and they’re being told not to allow that member of Congress to have an individual conversation, that’s pretty stunning…

 

Watch video at the link.

 

 

Rep. Jim Jordan on Cheryl Mills’ Involvement in Benghazi

…Jordan questioned Deputy Chief to the U.S. Embassy in Libya Gregory Hicks about the involvement of Mills at the hearing, whom Hicks described as “upset” that a lawyer was not allowed to sit in on a classified Congressional briefing on the attacks, something that has never happened according to Jordan…

 

 

Krauthammer: Democrats Were ‘Frankly Embarrassing’ at Benghazi Hearing 

…“All they were doing is hurling political charges,” Krauthammer said. “Here were State Department officials, career officials who don’t have any ax to grind, who don’t have any political motive here, giving facts and the Democrats essentially ignored them and said, ‘It’s an attack on Hillary.’ Well, this didn’t start today with Hillary as the lead candidate in the next election … So to pretend this is all about Hillary and her presidential campaign as Democrats are doing is preposterous.”…

 

 

Update: Gowdy: Benghazi Testimony Will Implicate “The One Who Is Not The Current President, But Her Husband Was”

 

 

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