Gregory Hicks, the deputy chief of mission for the U.S. in Libya and the highest ranking official in the country at the time of the Benghazi attacks, testified before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday that Lt. Col. Gibson was “furious” after receiving a stand down order on the night of Sept. 11, 2012.
Hicks quoted Gibson as saying, “This is the first time in my career that a diplomat has more balls than somebody in the military.”
But who exactly is Lt. Col. Gibson, and is he the key to figuring out who specifically gave the stand down order on that fateful night? That’s what a lot of people will likely want to find out in the coming days.
Here’s what we do know: Lt. Col. Gibson was a Special Operations Command (SOC) Africa commander when the U.S. compound was assaulted. As far as we can tell, he hasn’t spoken publicly about the Benghazi. Further, a basic Google search on the Lieutenant Colonel yields surprisingly little information.
Hicks testified on Wednesday that he believes the stand down order came from either AFRICOMM or SOCAFRICA. However, he did not have any specific details on who ordered that the command be executed.
When the command eventually came down and Special Forces were told they were not authorized to board a plane to Benghazi, Hicks said Gibson and other officials were “furious.” This was after it was determined that a second team needed to be sent from Tripoli to secure the airport for the withdrawal of personnel in Benghazi.
“People in Benghazi had been fighting all night. They were tired. They were exhausted. We wanted to make sure the airport was secure for their withdrawal. As he and his three personnel were getting in the cars, he stopped, they called them off. He said that he had not been authorized to go,” Hicks testified.
“Lt. Col. Gibson was furious. I had told him to go bring our people home. That’s what he wanted to do,” he added.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who traveled to Benghazi after the attack to investigate, got emotional during the Wednesday hearing after Hicks explained that Special Forces were prevented from responding to the terror attack as Americans were under siege. The attack claimed the lives of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, State Department official Sean Smith and former Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods.
TheBlaze has reached out to military experts in an attempt to learn more about Lt. Col. Gibson. This story will be updated as new information becomes available.
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