The names of the Benghazi whistleblowers who will testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday have been released, and these witnesses are an impressive group of career civil servants. According to a May 4 report on Fox News, there will be three career State Department officials testifying:
Gregory N. Hicks, the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Libya at the time of the Benghazi terrorist attacks; Mark I. Thompson, a former Marine and now the deputy coordinator for Operations in the agency’s Counterterrorism Bureau; and Eric Nordstrom, a diplomatic security officer who was the regional security officer in Libya, the top security officer in the country in the months leading up to the attacks.
Nordstrom previously testified in one of the earlier hearings about Benghazi, and he presented an angry account of the failure of the State Department to provide the necessary security that had been repeatedly requested.
It is also interesting to note that Hicks was the country’s highest-ranking diplomat at the time. He was in Tripoli at 9:40 p.m. local time and actually talked to Ambassador Christopher Stevens in the early stages of the attack. FoxNews details the phone call:
“We’re under attack! We’re under attack!” the ambassador reportedly shouted into his cell phone at Hicks.
Hicks immediately contacted Washington to signal what he sadly thought would be an inter-agency response.
This Benghazi hearing, although only scheduled to last for one day, is highly anticipated as providing long-awaited answers on the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Libya and subsequent handling of information. The hearing is being conducted under a title, “Benghazi: Exposing Failure and Recognizing Courage.”
It was originally reported that the group of four whistleblowers included one or more career employees from the CIA. There are a different set of whistleblower laws and legal concerns for CIA employees, and possibly those have not been worked out yet.
Washington husband and wife legal team, Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing, are representing at least two of the Benghazi whistleblower witnesses free of charge.There have been shocking accusations that these career officials have been threatened with their careers if they speak out on the Benghazi attacks.
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