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by
Bryan Preston

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May 8, 2013 - 2:58 pm
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The Republicans mishandled the Benghazi whistleblowers’ hearing. What should have been stretched across several days to give the nation time to digest it all, was instead packed into a single day filled with an overwhelming amount of information. The media’s attention span is not that long. The verdict in the Jodi Arias trial came along in the afternoon and blew Benghazi off the networks, most of which didn’t want to cover it at all. Even Fox joined the drive-by media, taking Benghazi off the air in favor of the irrelevant Arias trial. Following the announcement of the Arias verdict, charges were read in the Cleveland kidnapping case. Those were aired live as well, relegating Benghazi again.

Nevertheless, for those who slogged through the entire day of hearings and ignored local crime stories, new information was there to be learned.

1. There were multiple stand-down orders, not just one. Special operations forces were told, twice, by their chain of command not to board aircraft to Benghazi to rescue the Americans then under attack. The U.S. deputy diplomat, Greg Hicks, testified that the military commander, Lt. Col. Gibson, had his team ready to go twice. They were on the runway about to board a flight to Benghazi in the middle of the attack. They were ordered to stand down and remain in Tripoli to receive wounded who would be coming out of Benghazi. One of the orders came in the middle of the attack, the other came toward the end after Hicks’ team had traveled from Tripoli to Benghazi. The fact that Hicks’ team was able get to Benghazi before the end of the assault strongly suggests that the special operations team could have made a real difference.

At the same time, the State Department’s commander on the scene, Hicks, ordered his personnel into Benghazi and went there himself. Hicks testified that Gibson never told him who issued the stand-down orders. He commented that Gibson told him that the military stand-down was a shock: “This is the first time in my career that a diplomat has more balls than someone in the military.”

Hicks also testified that the U.S. government never even requested military overflight to support the Americans in Benghazi. The U.S. had an unarmed drone overhead and could have gotten permission to fly fighters over the scene, at least, but never asked.

2. Ambassador Stevens’ reason for going to Benghazi has been cleared up. Hicks testified that Ambassador Stevens traveled to Benghazi to fulfill one of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s wishes. Despite the fact that security was worsening in Benghazi for months leading up to the 9-11 attack, Clinton wanted to make the post there permanent. Her State Department had denied repeated requests from the U.S. team in Libya to upgrade security there, but she wanted to use the permanent post as a symbol of goodwill. Stevens was committed to that goal and told Clinton he would “make it happen.” He was in Benghazi on 9-11 furthering Clinton’s goal. She had denied requests to beef up security at Benghazi and then blamed his death on a YouTube movie. Hicks’ testimony raises the question of Clinton’s competence and grasp on reality, strongly suggesting that she put political perceptions ahead of the facts on the ground in Benghazi.

3. Clinton was briefed at 2 am on the night of the attack, was never told that a movie had anything to do with the attack by those on the ground in Libya, yet blamed the movie anyway. Hicks also testified that he was shocked when Ambassador Susan Rice blamed a YouTube movie for inspiring the 9-11 attack. He testified that he had briefed Secretary Clinton directly via phone at 2 a.m. and told her that Benghazi was a terrorist attack. He never mentioned a YouTube video, which he never once believed had anything to do with the attack. But Clinton shocked him by blaming the movie on Sept 12. She would blame it, again, while standing before the coffins of the slain Americans, on Sept. 14. During the attack, Clinton told Hicks that no help would be on the way to relieve the Americans under sustained assault.

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Top Rated Comments   
If Obama and Hillary had actually wanted Americans killed at Benghazi, what would they have done differently?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Item 2 appears to hold some serious political downside for Hillary as it is almost solely her judgment that is in question. Establishing the Benghazi post was her project, and she decided the lower level of security based on her assertion that projecting goodwill would trump actual known security risks. She demonstrated willful blindness to facts on the ground, it appears, prior to 9/11/12.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Things like this make me wonder if the Republican party actually exists or if it's just an elaborate smoke & mirrors job by the Democrats. Honestly, how can a political party be this incompetent for this long?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (60)
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The Muslim Brotherhood doesn't have to invade the US. We can kill ourselves off without much help from any outside force, But I am wondering how the brotherhood will treat all the welfare recipients in so many of our inner cities and in some of our less prosperous areas. I don't think they feel the same about political correctness
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Blaming the attack on a YouTube video and not on Islamic terrorists may have less to do with the president's re-election and more to do with simply this administration's constant fear of putting the blame on anything that implicates Islam in anything relating to terror. The video was handy in that a) it puts the blame on a thing, a video, b) it shunts the blame to an American thing, since it was produced by an American and c) in the first stages of reporting the producer was sometimes described as an Israeli, thus definitely moving it even further away from Muslims. The same today is true with the Boston massacre terrorists: They are "Chechin" terrorists, not Islamic terrorists. In the end, it's not so much about protecting the president's re-election, but coddling of Islamists, lest, I imagine, we Americans run wild and burn mosques and start profiling Musllims while foolishly putting the blame where it belongs. JTA
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Bryan, about the ‘stand down’ order(s).  You wrote:

“One of the orders came in the middle of the attack, the other came toward the end after Hicks’ team had traveled from Tripoli to Benghazi.”

And you linked to a Fox News transcript of Greg Hicks’s testimony.  I have now read and re-read and re-read that testimony, and I cannot find even a hint of the second (Tripoli to Benghazi) order. Will you or a reader here please clarify for me where exactly in the transcript that second order is cited?

Or did Fox News’s infamous scrubber scrub that part of the transcript like it scrubbed an entire article about the Saudi national at the Boston massacre? Nowhere in the transcript of HIcks’s testimony is the phrase ‘Stand down’ quoted. Peripheral language is employed that SUGGESTS the first order, but I cannot find even peripheral language that could remotely suggest the second order you cited.

Thanks very much.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
On issue five, Jay Carney was very candid in this interview about why the Innocence of Muslims was initially blamed: http://digdeeper1.blogspot.com/2013/05/jay-carney-answers-questions-about.html
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
ALL Democrats share blood guilt for this incident.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Clinton and Obama have gotten away with negligent homicide, this is already forgotten by the MSM and the low information voters. Don't believe me? When was the last time you have heard anything about "Fast and Furious"? The only thing that is important to these sleaze bags is their agenda.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Please keep in mind we are dealing with people that have ZERO honor , integrity , moral standards and have NO principles when it comes to protecting their agenda and actors involved in it . There is only ONE man with the authority to give a stand down order , Barrack Hussein Obama !
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment

People should not have to depend upon congressional hearings to keep informed. I like to be able to reread parts of testimony. I hope the GOP will use some of the Democrat's statements in campaign ads. So what if there is some degree of politics in it. I think the whole operation in Libya was political.,....if not why the concealment. The future of this nation should not be in the hands of people who have to rely upon such subterfuge.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'm sick of hearing "they were ordered to stand down."
Who gave the order? I WANT A FREAKING NAME.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Maj. Eaton: We have top men working on it now.

Indiana Jones: Who?

Maj. Eaton: Top... men.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
As the crated arc is being pushed in a gargantuan government to be stored and not researched nor looked upon by human eyes ever again.

Great stuff!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I think I've been in that warehouse. It did not even have decent lights. We had to open a door to the outside to see what we were doing, examining some F-111 parts.

Then again, it looked a lot like the basement of the Pentagon, which is even darker.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It might be a good idea to call Cheryl Mills and Beth Jones too. It would be nice to receive some corroborative testimony from Colonel Gibson. And where are the whistle-blowers from the CIA and DoD? And how about calling Mike Morrell and Tom Donilon who were at the deputies meeting? Perhaps, the survivors could be identified and could testify as well. Anybody heard from Petraeus lately. I think he's in California, give him a call. This thing is not over by a long shot.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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