A Coverup Laid Bare
Thanks to House Republicans, Americans finally got to hear from the State Department officials the Obama administration never wanted to testify. They are now called “whistleblowers,” but that’s only because their accounts of what really happened in Libya on Sept. 11, 2012, were buried by the administration, apparently in the furtherance of Democrats’ election-year imperatives.
Soon after the testimony, Democratic office-holders took to the airwaves and the internet to assure liberal loyalists that there was nothing really “new” here. Republicans, by contrast, trumpeted the accounts of Gregory Hicks, Eric Nordstrom, and Mark Thompson before the House Oversight Committee as proof that the administration never told the truth about Libya.
Interestingly, both sides are mostly right. Americans who have followed this incident closely didn’t learn much that they hadn’t already suspected about the sacking of the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, the murder of four Americans, and the administration’s extraordinary efforts to deflect any accountability for the tragedy by stonewalling, stalling, and issuing a series of misleading assertions about the sequence of events. Yet in hearing directly from Hicks, who was the deputy to slain ambassador Christopher Stevens, Americans can now put a face to that coverup.
Hicks, the second highest ranking State Department official in Libya when the consulate was attacked on the 11th anniversary of 9/11, confirmed the following facts under oath: There were no protests outside the U.S. compound; the anti-Islamic YouTube video denounced by the administration was a “non-event” in Libya and had nothing whatsoever to do with the assault that night; Hicks’ team knew almost immediately that the attack was carried out by terrorists; and all of this information was relayed to Washington in the hours and days afterward.
Hicks is a decorated, 22-year civil service veteran, so his testimony is not easily dismissed. More importantly, it throws into stark relief the actions and public statements of the administration in the aftermath of the attack.
Here is what we know:
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