Despite the constant falsehoods told by Hillary Clinton, President Obama and members of his administration, the deputy of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens who was killed along with 3 others during an attack on our consulate in Benghazi Libya on September 11, 2012, has told congressional investigators that a Special Forces team prepared to fly from Tripoli to Benghazi during the 4 hour long attacks was told they could not go by U.S. Special Operations Command South Africa.
The startling testimony from Gregory Hicks is in stark contrast to assertions and repeated lies from the Obama administration, which said that nobody was ever told to stand down and that all available resources were used. Mr Hicks gave private testimony to congressional investigators at the end of April in advance of his upcoming appearance at a congressional hearing this coming Wednesday. I'm sure we will all want to watch those hearings as Obama's charade on Benghazi finally begins to unravel.
According to testimony excerpts released today, Hicks told investigators that SOCAFRICA commander Lt. Col. Gibson and his Special Forces team were getting prepared to board a C-130 from Tripoli for Benghazi prior to an attack on a second U.S. compound "when [Gibson] got a phone call from SOCAFRICA which said, 'you can't go now, you don't have the authority to go now.' And so they missed the flight ... They were told not to board the flight, so they missed it."
No assistance arrived from the U.S. military outside of Libya during the hours that Americans were under attack or trapped inside compounds by hostile forces armed with rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and machine guns. In part of Hicks testimony he told congressional investigators that if the United States had sent a military aircraft over Benghazi, it might have saved American lives and Benghazi episode might have turned out entirely different. The U.S. Souda Bay Naval Base is only a scant 1 hour's flight from the consulate in Benghazi.
Read a selection of the transcript of Gregory Hicks testimony below from CBS News:
Q: But do you think, you know, if an F-15, if the military had allowed a jet to go fly over, that it might have prevented [the second attack]?
A: Yeah, and if we had gotten clearance from the Libyan military for an American plane to fly over Libyan airspace. The Libyans that I talked to and the Libyans and other Americans who were involved in the war have told me also that Libyan revolutionaries were very cognizant of the impact that American and NATO airpower had with respect to their victory. They are under no illusions that American and NATO airpower won that war for them. And so, in my personal opinion, a fast-mover flying over Benghazi at some point, you know, as soon as possible might very well have prevented some of the bad things that happened that night.
Q : The theory being, the folks on the ground that are doing these -- committing these terrorist attacks look up, see a heavy duty airplane above, and decide to hightail it?
A: I believe that if -- I believe if we had been able to scramble a fighter or aircraft or two over Benghazi as quickly as possible after the attack commenced, I believe there would not have been a mortar attack on the annex in the morning because I believe the Libyans would have split. They would have been scared to death that we would have gotten a laser on them and killed them.
A: And for the second time that night [Before 5:15 AM attack], I asked the Defense Attache, is there anything coming, is there anything out there to help our people from, you know, big military? And the answer, again, was the same as before.
Q: And what was that answer?
A: The answer was, it's too far away, there are no tankers, there is nothing, there is nothing that could respond.
Q: So you had mentioned that the first team from Tripoli to Benghazi arrived at 1:15?
Q: And was there a second team that was organized? Could you tell us about the second team?
A: Right. The second team -- the Defense Attache worked assiduously all night long to try to get the Libyan military to respond in some way. Early in the morning -- sorry, after we were formally notified by the Prime Minister, who called me, that Chris had passed, the Libyan military agreed to fly their C-130 to Benghazi and carry additional personnel to Benghazi as reinforcements. Because we at that time -- at that time, the third attack, the mortar attack at 5:15, had not yet occurred, if I remember correctly.
Q: So what time did the second rescue team ??
A: Well, again, they flew -- I think that flight took off sometime between 6:00 and 6:30 a.m.
Q: At that point, you are the Chief of Mission?
A: Yeah, I'm Chief of Mission effective 3:00 a.m.
Q: Now, did any of the Special Forces folks, were they planning at any time to travel on that second aircraft?
A: On the second, on the C-130? Yes. We fully intended for those guys to go, because we had already essentially stripped ourselves of our security presence, or our security capability to the bare minimum ...
A: So Lieutenant Colonel Gibson, who is the SOCAFRICA commander, his team, you know, they were on their way to the vehicles to go to the airport to get on the C-130 when he got a phone call from SOCAFRICA which said, you can't go now, you don't have authority to go now. And so they missed the flight. And, of course, this meant that one of the ...
Q : They didn't miss the flight. They were told not to board the flight.
A: They were told not to board the flight, so they missed it. So, anyway, and yeah. I still remember Colonel Gibson, he said, "I have never been so embarrassed in my life that a State Department officer has bigger balls than somebody in the military." A nice compliment.