Lawmakers pressed for answers on Capitol Hill today over the attack in Benghazi, Libya last year that claimed the lives of several Americans.
A House committee spent about six hours examining the attack at the United States consulate. Three self-described whistleblowers said that mistakes made by State Department Officials cost American lives.
The main witness was Gregory Hicks. Hicks was the second highest ranking diplomat in Libya at the time of the attacks. He took over for Christopher Stevens after he was killed.
Republicans pressed Hicks about the night of the incident and the days after. One of the biggest revelations is that the attacks were not borne from a video discrediting Islam but instead an elaborate plan to storm the consulate. The explanation debunked testimony from UN Ambassador Susan Rice who verified the video sparked the protests.
Hicks’ testimony fueled further speculation that the words terrorism were removed from the description of the incident because it was a presidential election year. The Benghazi Libya attacks took place 8 weeks before the voters headed to the polls to select the president for the next four years.
But this week’s hearing may also have implications for the 2016 presidential election.
Hillary Clinton who is riding a wave of popularity especially among Democrats is expected to be the clear front-runner to succeed Barack Obama if Democrats lead the electorate. But US objectives so far have amounted to failure in Libya.
Republicans are already describing her as a state official who neglected her main responsibility to protect government employees.
In what’s amounting to be a big headache for the White House, House Speaker John Boehner is now calling for all emails pertaining to communications between State Department officials to be turned over. Other Republicans urged more whistleblowers to come forward and speak out.
- Benghazi, again, again, again. Republicans running new hearing on Wednesday (dailykos.com)
- Operation Smear Benghazi Whistleblowers (conservativeread.com)
- Benghazi: Democratic Party lawmakers slamming Obama administration (ConservativeActionAlerts.com)
- Whistleblower: Troops Could Have Been in Benghazi in Time (freebeacon.com)