Whistleblowers Gregory Hicks, a foreign service officer and former deputy chief of mission in Libya; and Eric Nordstrom, a diplomatic security officer and former State Department regional security officer in Libya; appeared before a hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Wednesday to discuss the Benghazi attacks on a U.S. consulate last September.
Hicks became the top-ranking diplomat in Libya after the death of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, and told the House committee Wednesday how he learned of the events on September 11, 2012. TheBlaze reports:
When it began, he received a call from Stevens in Benghazi telling him, “Greg, we’re under attack.”
Stevens subsequently went missing, and Hicks described how he tried to get help to evacuate his colleagues. Hicks estimated there were as many as 60 attackers in the compound at one time.
Hicks spoke with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton around 2 a.m. local time to give her an update. At 3 a.m., he received a call from the Libyan prime minister informing him that Stevens was dead.
“I think it’s the saddest phone call I’ve ever received in my life,” he said.
During the hearing South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy read aloud a previously unreleased email sent by a State Department official identifying a terrorist group as the perpetrators of the Benghazi attack.
“Some of these emails, even though they are not been classified, have not been released,” Gowdy explained. “Including the one I am about to read from.”
“I spoke to the Libyan ambassador and emphasized the importance of Libyan leaders continuing to make strong statements,” the email read. “When he said his government expected that former Ghadafi regime elements carried out the attacks, I told him that the group that conducted the attacks, Ansar al-Sharia, is affiliated with Islamic terrorists.”
On TheBlaze TV Wednesday Andrew Wilkow was joined by North Carolina Rep. Patrick McHenry and Lt. General Jerry Boykin to discuss their reaction to the hearings on "Wilkow!," and Oklahoma Republican and House Oversight Committee member James Lankford joined the "Real News" panel to examine the whistleblowers' testimony.
Reactions to the hearing on 'Wilkow!:'
And 'Real News:'
Later on during 'Real News' DCI's Stephen Yates joined the program to discuss what legacy the Benghazi attack will have for the administration both in the way Obama will be viewed in times of crisis, and what anti-American and extremist sentiments have been allowed to develop in the region thanks to decisions made by this White House. Have we learned how to improve the security of our diplomats abroad moving forward?