Gregory Hicks, deputy chief of mission for the U.S. in Libya, is already upsetting the Obama administration’s narrative about the terrorist attacks against the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.
Excerpts of Hicks’ testimony regarding the military response to the attacks were released Monday by the Oversight and Government Reform Committee and on Sunday’s "Face the Nation" with Bob Schieffer.
Who: Gregory Hicks, deputy chief of mission for the U.S. in Libya
Background: A 22-year Foreign Service diplomat and the highest-ranking U.S. official in Libya after the Sept. 11 attacks
On the attacks -
“I thought it was a terrorist attack from the get-go. I think everybody in the mission thought it was a terrorist attack from the beginning.” – Hicks’ testimony featured on "Face the Nation," Sunday, May 5
Lack of air support after the attacks began in Benghazi -
"Q: Was there ever any thought at that time of the night to have an F‑16, you know, fly over?
Hicks: I called — when we knew that — I talked with the defense attache, Lieutenant Colonel Keith Phillips, and I asked him, 'Is there anything coming?' And he said that the nearest fighter planes were Aviano, that he had been told that it would take 2 to 3 hours to get them airborne, but that there were no tanker assets near enough to support a flight from Aviano."
- Oversight and Government Reform Committee interview of Gregory Hicks, April 4
On the second team of U.S. Special Forces soldiers who were ordered to stand down -
"Hicks: The Libyan military agreed to fly their C‑130 to Benghazi and carry additional personnel to Benghazi as reinforcements. Because we at that time — at that time, the third attack, the mortar attack at 5:15, had not yet occurred, if I remember correctly.
"Hicks: So Lieutenant Colonel Gibson, who is the SOCAFRICA commander, his team, you know, they were on their way to the vehicles to go to the airport to get on the C‑130 when he got a phone call from SOCAFRICA which said, you can’t go now, you don’t have authority to go now. And so they missed the flight.
"Hicks: They were told not to board the flight, so they missed it. So, anyway, and yeah. I still remember Colonel Gibson, he said, 'I have never been so embarrassed in my life that a State Department officer has bigger balls than somebody in the military.' A nice compliment.
"Q: What was the rationale that you were given that they couldn’t go, ultimately?
"Hicks: I guess they just didn’t have the right authority from the right level.”
- April 11 Oversight and Government Reform Committee interview of Gregory Hicks
On the Susan Rice Sunday show talking points -
“I’ve never been as embarrassed in my life, in my career, as on that day." – Hicks’ testimony featured on "Face the Nation," Sunday, May 5
“Chris’ last report, if you want to say his final report – is, ‘Greg, we are under attack.’ ” – Hicks’ testimony featured on "Face the Nation," Sunday, May 5
Why Hicks is important:
“I think he was being suppressed a little bit and we need to hear from him." – Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, on "Fox News Sunday"
“CIA knew it was a terrorist attack, the deputy chief of mission, Gregory Hicks, knew it was a terrorist attack, the ambassador, before he died, one of the last words he ever said is, 'We’re under attack.' ” – House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif.