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Benghazi ‘whistleblowers’ to testify at congressional hearing Wednesday; Previous testimony released

By Doug Powers  •  May 5, 2013 01:42 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

The coming week promises to be an interesting one:

Their identities have been a well-guarded secret, known only to their high-powered lawyers and a handful of House lawmakers and staff. But now Fox News has learned the names of the self-described Benghazi “whistleblowers” who are set to testify before a widely anticipated congressional hearing on Wednesday.

Appearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will be three career State Department officials: 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.

U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. outpost in Benghazi, Libya.

Hicks was at the time of the highest-ranking American diplomat in the country.

Nordstrom previously testified before the oversight committee, which is chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., in October 2012. At that time, Nordstrom made headlines by detailing for lawmakers the series of requests that he, Ambassador Stevens, and others made for enhanced security at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, most of which were rejected by State Department superiors.

A subsequent CBS News report corroborated Nordstrom’s testimony.

It’s apparent that when word of the Benghazi attack started coming in, the administration immediately acted on instinct — which unfortunately first and foremost was to figure out how to take political advantage from the situation (tactical advice Rahm Emanuel offered years ago) instead of confront the attack and publicly admit a fact that flew in the face of a particular motive the administration was working to establish. The talking points were continually tweaked even though officials were told it was a terrorist attack “from the get go” — that according to the testimony of Greg Hicks, deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Libya at the time of the Benghazi attack:

Greg Hicks: “The net impact of what’s transpired is the spokesperson of the most powerful country in the world has basically said that the president of Libya is either a liar or doesn’t know what he is talking about. The impact of that is immeasurable. Magariaf has just lost face in front of not only his own people but the world. My jaw hit the floor as I watched this. I’ve never been as embarrassed in my life — in my career — as on that day. I never reported a demonstration. I reported an attack on the consulate. Chris’s [Ambassador Stevens] last report, if you want to say his final report, is ‘Greg, we are under attack.’ It is jaw dropping to me how that [blaming a video] came to be.”

Hicks also says he told investigators that no one from the Obama administration contacted him before Susan Rice’s appearance on just about every Sunday morning show in the free world where she spread the “spontaneous protest caused by anger over a video” falsehood five days after the attack.

The administration’s two most baffling defenses so far have been that the attack happened “a long time ago,” and besides, “what difference does it make?”

Update: Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA): Talking points provided to Susan Rice “certainly weren’t accurate”:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWcAClQTQCQ&w=420&h=236]

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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