Republican expects more Benghazi whistle-blowers

The U.S. Consulate in Benghazi is seen in flames during a protest by an armed group said to have been protesting a film being produced in the United States  Credit: Reuters
The U.S. Consulate in Benghazi is seen in flames during a protest by an armed group said to have been upset over a film being produced in the United States about Islam.
Credit: Reuters

A top Republican on Sunday said he expected more witnesses to step forward with information about last year’s deadly attack on a U.S. mission in Benghazi and how President Barack Obama’s administration responded to the unfolding events.

“I do think we’re going to see more whistle-blowers. I certainly know my committee has been contacted,” Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said in an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”

Last week, Republican charges that the White House covered up details of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack gathered more steam after former U.S. diplomat Greg Hicks told lawmakers he believed more could have been done to stop the assault by suspected Islamist militants.

Hicks, the second in command at the U.S. Embassy in Libya at the time, expressed his frustration in an emotionally charged congressional hearing that a U.S. military jet and special forces were not sent to help in Benghazi.

A report by ABC News provided additional momentum to the highly partisan flap over whether the administration tried to avoid casting the attack as terrorism at a time when the presidential election was less than two months away.

ABC released 12 versions of the administration’s “talking points” on Benghazi that appeared to show how various agencies — particularly the State Department and the CIA — shaped what became the Obama administration’s initial playbook for explaining how four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed in the attack.

The report showed the final talking points went through a series of revisions that scrubbed references to previous terror warnings, including one regarding the potential threat from al Qaeda in Benghazi and eastern Libya.

“I would call it a cover-up in the extent that there was willful removal of information,” Senator John McCain, an Arizona Republican, said on ABC’s “This Week”.

McCain called for a select congressional committee with a mandate to interview “everybody,” including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has already testified before Congress on the matter and accepted responsibility for the tragedy.

But McCain’s call was brushed off by fellow Republican Representative Darrell Issa, who chairs the House of Representatives Oversight and Government committee that heard from Hicks last week.

“You know, let’s not blow things out of proportion. This is a failure, it needs to be investigated. Our committee can investigate,” Issa said.

Issa said he would be sending a request on Monday to privately depose two former U.S. officials that headed the Accountability Review Board, which investigated the Benghazi attacks and issued a scathing report on December 18 that criticized security at the mission and leadership “deficiencies”.

Issa said he wanted to hear from Thomas Pickering, a former U.S. ambassador in the Middle East, Russia and India, and retired Admiral Michael Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, privately “so we can get the facts in a nonpartisan way.”

Senator Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat, told ABC News there was no basis to Republican charges of a cover up.

The Obama administration has provided over 25,000 pieces of documentation to Congress, which has already held 11 hearings on the matter, Reed said.

Meanwhile, Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, a Republican who served in Obama’s Democratic administration, told CBS’ “Face the Nation” it would have been “very difficult, if not impossible” to rescue the U.S. embassy officials and said he would have not have approved such an operation.

“To send some small number of special forces or other troops in without knowing what the environment is, without knowing what the threat is, without having any intelligence in terms of what is actually going on the ground, I think would have been very dangerous,” Gates said.

“It’s sort of a cartoonish impression of military capabilities and military forces” to think the United States could have mounted a rescue, Gates said.

It would have been risky just to send in a military jet to try to scare off the insurgents, “given the number of surface-to-air missiles” on the loose in Libya, he said.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Monday is the deadline to register for Pennsylvania…

If residents want to vote in the May primary, which includes a vote for a new City Council member, today is the deadline to register.

National

Miss America thinks school should reconsider discipline of…

A Pa. student was suspended for asking Miss America to prom.

Local

Aria Health Torresdale workers caught selling prescription drugs

Two Aria Health at Torresdale employees were fired amid accusations they sold prescription drugs out of the Northeast Philadelphia campus.

National

Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter died Sunday from prostate cancer…

Former U.S. professional boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, who spent 19 years in prison for murder and then was released after it was determined he did not get a fair trial,…

Television

‘Mad Men’ recap: Season 7, Episode 2, ‘A…

Peggy and Lou are horrible, Bert's racist, Don is honest(ish) and Roger and Pete are frustrated. "A Day's Work" not quite worthy of "This Will Be Our Year."

Television

'Game of Thrones' recap: Season 4, Episode 3,…

The problem with the devil you know is that ignoring them doesn’t mean they simply lie in wait. It allows them time to do things…

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

NHL

Ray Emery steps up in Flyers’ Game 2…

Sure, he allowed two goals in the Rangers’ first four shots Sunday afternoon, but it’s about how you start, not how you finish.

NHL

Flyers come from behind, even series with Rangers

The Flyers overcame a two-goal deficit to get a much-needed win at Madison Square Garden Sunday.

MLB

Phillies get set for four against the Dodgers

The Phillies will face tough starting pitching out west against the Dodgers this week.

MLB

Phillies notebook: Cole Hamels returns this week

The Phillies should receive a big boost when Cole Hamels returns during the Dodgers series.

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.