State Dept. Kept Media From Speaking To Benghazi Attack Survivors
In testimony to the House Oversight Committee May 8 regarding the attacks against the U.S. consulate and CIA annex in Benghaz, former US deputy chief of mission in Libya Gregory Hicks included names of several other Americans, part of the U.S. mission in Libya, who were either in Benghazi or Tripoli during the terrorist assault that took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. These were:
Regional Security Officer (Benghazi) – Alec Henderson
Regional Security Officer (Tripoli) – John Martinec
Ambassador Stevens’ Agent in Charge – Scott Wickland
Political Section Chief – David McFarland
Embassy Tripoli Nurse – Jackie Levesque
Management Officer – Allen Greenfield
Lieutenant Colonel Phillips
Lieutenant Colonel Arnt
Lieutenant Colonel Gibson
Mark Si (Team Tripoli)
Hicks said to the House Oversight Committee:
Closed the day and I went back to my villa and was relaxing, watching a television show that I particularly like, and at 9:45 p.m.--and all times will be Libyan times, there’s a six-hour time difference--the RSO [Regional Security Officer], John Martinec, ran into my villa, yelling, Greg, Greg, the consulate’s under attack. And I stood up and reached for my phone because I had an inkling or a thought that perhaps the ambassador had tried to call me to relay the same message, and I found two missed calls on the phone, one from the ambassador’s phone, one from a phone number I didn’t recognize.
And I punched the phone number I didn’t recognize, and I got the ambassador on the other end, and he said, Greg, we’re under attack. And I was walking out of the villa on my way to the tactical operation center, because I knew we would all have to gather there to mobilize or try to mobilize a response. And it was also a bad cellphone night in Tripoli. Connections were weak. And I said OK, and the line cut. As I walked to the tactical operations center, I tried to reach back on both of the numbers, the unknown number and the ambassador’s personal number, and got no response.
When I got to the tactical operations center, I told people that the ambassador--that I’d just talked to the ambassador and what he said. At the time John Martinec was on the phone with Alec Henderson in Benghazi, the RSO there. And I asked one of our DS agents who--what number did I reach Ambassador Stevens on. And he said, oh, that’s Scott Wickland‘s telephone. Scott Wickland was Ambassador Stevens’ agent in charge, his personal escort for that night, and was with him in the villa during the attack.
So I asked--when John Martinec got off the telephone, I asked him what was going on, and he said that the consulate had been breached and there were at least 20 hostile individuals armed in the--in the compound at the time.
In January, Breitbart News e-mailed the State Department Public Affairs Office and requested to speak with Henderson. Within a few days, the Department called back and denied the request, saying desk officers were not allowed to speak to press.
Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA), Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, is reportedly looking to depose not only high-ranking officials but also more whistleblowers to appear on Capitol Hill in the near future to discuss what they know about the Benghazi attacks and the administration's handling of the situation before, during, after the incident.