During her confirmation hearing before a Senate panel yesterday, Senator Ron Johnson asked Victoria Nuland, who has been nominated by President Obama as chief US envoy for Europe, about the status of the Benghazi survivors.
While most of the coverage has focused on Nuland’s role in the infamous talking points that wrongly stated that the terror attack that resulted in the murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens, computer expert Sean Smith and former Navy Seals Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty was due to a spontaneous protest arising from a YouTube video; less attention has been focused on Johnson’s question about the Benghazi survivors.
“Unfortunately, there are an awful lot of questions that still remain about what happened following Benghazi, and quite honestly, before it. For example, we still have not been given the names or access to the survivors…”
The Benghazi survivors would have much insight to give about the events on the ground on Sept. 11, but not one journalist has spoken to any of them. It is not even known how many there are. At this late date, it is shocking that the names of the Benghazi survivors are still not known.
Click on the list to see what various government officials have said about the Benghazi survivors.
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Congressman Jason Chaffetz
In December, Rep. Jason Chaffetz said,
“My understanding is that we still have some people in the hospital. I’d like to visit with them and wish them nothing but the best but the State Department has seen it unfit for me to know who those people are—or even how many there are.”
In March, Chaffetz charged that the Obama Administration actually changed the name of one of the Benghazi Survivors. He said that the paperwork that documents the interviews of the survivors has not been shared, they have not been given access to the accountability review board members, the State Department continues to withhold the names of the survivors, and further lamented that
“They (the State Department) are totally disregarding the history of the House of Representatives in the United States Congress…”
The most disturbing piece of information, however, was that Chaffetz managed to speak with one of the fathers of the survivors (Perhaps it was Diplomatic Security special agent David Ubben), but he said that the father told him:
“Yes, this person is at the Bethesda Naval Hospital, but you will not be able to find him because the State Department changed his name on all his records.”
Clearly, the State Department is not big on transparency. Chaffetz stated that this action was “totally contrary to what the President has said.”
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
In January, Hillary Clinton testified that there were 25-30 survivors of the attack, which prompted the question: How does the Secretary of State not have a direct answer to such a basic question?
In response to whether Clinton spoke to the survivors, Clinton said,
“…I still have a DS agent at Walter Reed seriously injured. Getting them into Frankfurt Ramstein to get taken care of, the FBI going over to immediately start talking to them—We did not think it was appropriate for us to talk to them before the FBI conducted their interviews.”
Secretary of State John Kerry
Secretary of State John Kerry, much like former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, seems to be at a loss when anyone asks them the simplest questions about the Benghazi survivors.
In March, Kerry was asked by Fox News correspondent James Rosen why nobody has “heard from” the Benghazi survivors. Kerry stumbled through the answer, saying
“Well, I – I mean, I can’t tell you the answer to that,”
and went on to say that he visited one of the survivors at the Bethesda hospital in Maryland, and also spoke with his wife.
Rosen pressed John Kerry on the issue by asking, “Will we hear from them?” Kerry responded:
“I can’t tell you – I don’t know what the circumstances are of any requests to talk to them or not.”
In April, Kerry was asked about the status of the Benghazi survivors again by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
“We have made request after request…just to get the list of the names of the people who were evacuated from Benghazi and we haven’t even gotten that…”
John Kerry responded by saying in part,
“I can promise you that if you’re not getting something that you have evidence of or you think you ought to be getting, we’ll work with you. And I will appoint somebody to work directly with you starting tomorrow, with you, Mr. Chairman, to have a review of anything you don’t think you’ve gotten that you’re supposed to get…we got a lot more important things to move on to and get done.”
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney
During a White House press briefing in March, Jay Carney stated:
“The White House is certainly not preventing anybody from having any access to the survivors of the Benghazi attack,”
after he was asked pointedly during a press conference by Fox News correspondent James Rosen whether the “various lawmakers who have been seeking access to the Benghazi survivors should in fact have that access.” The answer is surprising, considering the various statements made to the contrary by several lawmakers.
“Cooperation with and briefing of members of Congress continues in the investigation, as appropriate, and has been in keeping with the incredible amount of cooperation we have provided to Congress, and all of their inquiries with regard to the Benghazi matter.”
Not so much.
Senator Lindsey Graham
Senator Lindsey Graham revealed that he actually has spoken with “some of the survivors,” as he told FOX News anchor Bret Baier, “Their story is chilling.” He continued to accuse the Obama Administration of “hiding” the survivors. He said,
“The bottom line is, they feel that they cannot come forward. They’ve been told to be quiet, and at the end of the day, we can’t let this administration or any other administration get away with hiding from the American people and the Congress; people who were there in real-time to tell the story.”