Hillary Lies, Says Benghazi Station Chief Hicks
One wonders if Hillary Clinton will call Gregory Hicks a liar, just as she has called Benghazi parents Patricia Smith and Charles Woods liars for their testimony that she blamed the terrorist attack on an Internet video in front of their son’s caskets as their bodies were brought home.
Hicks, a 25-year Foreign Service Office and former chief of station in Libya at the time of the Benghazi attack, gave riveting and damning testimony before Congress on Hillary’s lies and criminal negligence in the matter. The last man to speak to Ambassador Christopher Stevens, he has exposed the video lie, documented how he told Hillary’s State Department what was happening in real time that fateful night, and how her State Department ignored warnings from Stevens and others about the gathering terrorist storm and the woeful lack of security.
Now retired, private citizen Hicks goes farther, telling Fox News that Hillary Clinton broke laws while condemning four Americans to death at the hands of terrorists:
Just as the Constitution makes national security the President’s highest priority, U.S. law mandates the secretary of state to develop and implement policies and programs "to provide for the security… of all United States personnel on official duty abroad.”
This includes not only the State Department employees, but also the CIA officers in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012. And the Benghazi record is clear: Secretary Clinton failed to provide adequate security for U.S. government personnel assigned to Benghazi and Tripoli.
The Benghazi Committee’s report graphically illustrates the magnitude of her failure. It states that during August 2012, the State Department reduced the number of U.S. security personnel assigned to the Embassy in Tripoli from 34 (1.5 security officers per diplomat) to 6 (1 security officer per 4.5 diplomats), despite a rapidly deteriorating security situation in both Tripoli and Benghazi. Thus, according to the Report, “there were no surplus security agents” to travel to Benghazi with Amb. Stevens “without leaving the Embassy in Tripoli at severe risk.”
Had Ambassador Stevens’ July 2012 request for 13 additional American security personnel (either military or State Department) been approved rather than rejected by Clinton appointee Under Secretary of State for Management Pat Kennedy, they would have traveled to Benghazi with the ambassador, and the Sept. 11 attack might have been thwarted.
Hicks also addressed the claim by Hillary that security at Benghazi was not her responsibility and that she had delegated that task to “experts”:
U.S. law also requires the secretary of state to ensure that all U.S. government personnel assigned to a diplomatic post abroad be located at one site. If not, the secretary -- and only the secretary -- with the concurrence of the agency head whose personnel will be located at a different location, must issue a waiver. The law, which states specifically that the waiver decision cannot be delegated, was passed after the 1998 bombing of two U.S. embassies in Africa, when deficient security was blamed for that debacle under Bill Clinton's presidency.
When asked about security at Benghazi on Sept. 11, Mrs. Clinton has repeatedly asserted her lack of responsibility. Initially, she said that she never read any of the reporting on security conditions or any of the requests for additional security, claiming that “she delegated security to the professionals.” More recently, she stated that “[I]t was not my ball to carry.” But the law says otherwise. Sound familiar?
It was Hillary’s responsibility to guarantee the security of U.S. diplomatic personnel abroad, a responsibility that cannot be delegated. She failed miserably on both counts and has lied about it ever since. Hillary Clinton that night knew that the video in question had nothing to do with Benghazi. Gregory Hicks told the truth before Congress and was rewarded with a demotion:
We have the testimony of Gregory Hicks, deputy chief of mission in Libya and a foreign service officer for 22 years. He was demoted to desk officer for telling the truth that those in Libya knew it was a terrorist attack from the "get-go," that there was no "protest" or mention of one from anyone on the ground, and that the infamous YouTube video was "a non-event" in Libya
Yet that is what she told the Benghazi parents on the tarmac. Hillary and her State Department has warning, including from Ambassador Stevens himself, that Benghazi was an insecure trap in the face of a growing terrorist threat. As Investor’s Business Daily editorialized on documents unearthed by Judicial Watch:
The documents describe Libya as hardly the poster child for the Arab Spring, and echo warnings sent to State by Stevens himself. He was aware of an attack on a convoy carrying the British ambassador to Libya and a June 2012 attack where an improvised explosive device blew a hole in the Benghazi consulate wall. Nowhere in the 486 pages is mention of or concern for the effects of a video.
On Aug. 8, 2012, Stevens sent a two-page cable to the State Department entitled "The Guns of August: Security in Eastern Libya" and noted a dangerous "security vacuum" in and around Benghazi, as well as the presence of terrorist training camps. He was ignored.
The documents reveal that, early on the day after the attack, the Pentagon received intelligence briefing slides detailing that the June 6, 2012, attack was tied to al-Qaida-linked terrorists seeking an Islamic state in Libya and who threatened to attack U.S. interests there. It also said the June 6 attack "came in response to the 5 June (2012) drone strike on senior al-Qaida leader Abu Yahya al-libi."
That Sept. 11 was a terrorist attack was known before, during and after it took place.
"I personally ... think the (U.S. Africa Command) very quickly got to the point that this was not a demonstration, this was a terrorist attack," Gen. Carter Ham, head of the Command, testified behind closed doors in June 2013 before the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.
And that, Ham said, was the "nature of the conversation" he had with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey moments before a 30-minute meeting with Obama prior to the president resting up for his fundraising Las Vegas trip.
Hillary Clinton ignore the pleas for added security at Benghazi, the terrorist threat that was building, and then let pleas for a rescue fall on deaf ears. Will she now add Gregory Hicks to her list of Benghazi “liars” that includes Patricia Smith and Charles Woods?
Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.