Committee Member In Benghazi Hearing Talks About ‘Courage’ Of Whistle-blowers On “Your Afternoon Drive Home”
On Wednesday, three whistle-blowers came forth to testify before Congress, to shed some light on the tragic incident that happened at Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012, and to address the alleged "cover up" that has taken place since then.
Rep. Blake Farenthold of Texas serves on the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that questioned these three individuals - Greg Hicks, deputy chief of mission in Libya; Eric Nordstrom, the former regional security officer in Libya; and Mark Thompson, who was with the Foreign Emergency Support Team. In his interview on "Your Afternoon Drive Home," he discussed the 'courage' of the "whistle-blowers," what roles President Obama, then-Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice played in this tragedy and, going forward, our presence around the world.
When Congressman Farenthold was asked what was going through his mind as the hearings began, he talked about the 'courage' of the whistleblowers. "My biggest concern was for the two new whistle-blower witnesses who put their career on the line to do the right thing and tell Congress what happened," says Rep. Farenthold. "I wondered if I was privy to information like that if I would have the courage to come forward and do the right thing."
Congressman Farenthold also went on to point out that Hicks had been demoted because he was questioning what was going on. "He really put his career in jeopardy. He went from being second-in-command in Libya...to a desk job." Hicks now works as a State foreign affairs officer for government affairs.
Rep. Farenthold also addressed Ambassador Rice's role in originally attributing the Benghazi attack to a Youtube video, 'talking points' that were apparently handed down to her to give to the Sunday talk shows.
The witnesses made crystal clear that never did anyone in Libya report back to Washington that there was any sort of demonstration associated with a Youtube video. This was 100% an attack that happened on 9-11. How Ambassador Rice ended up on those Sunday talk shows saying 'Oh, this was a spontaneous reaction to a film' is really troubling. Why were they not telling the truth?
Congressman Farenthold also talked about how "we really didn't see any military response." He pointed out how special forces on the ground in Tripoli who had transportation but "were ordered by their superiors to stand down and not go protect our people." Rep. Farenthold also pointed out how Thompson's group was ordered to stand down as well. Rep. Farenthold says the men and women in Thompson's group were ready to go, according to Thompson, because "they didn't sign up to sit around do nothing when Americans are in jeopardy."
Congressman Farenthold also addressed Hilary Clinton's role in this tragedy. "I'm not as concerned about what happened with Clinton unless she was one of the ones involved in ordering the military to stand down," says Rep. Farenthold. "I want to know who is responsible for that." But he did take issue with Clinton's "What does it matter?" statement that has been played over and over again since she went before Congress. "It certainly matters to the families of...the people that were killed," says Congresman Farenthold. "And it mattered to the Libyan people who, in a new democracy, whose president was embarrassed by being contradicted by Susan Rice. It matters on a whole lot of levels. The fact that she was so dismissive of it is very troubling to me."
Much discussion has been had about what blame the Obama administration holds in this incident. Rep. Farenthold addressed that issue:
In a Republican adminstration, I think you would hear 'the buck stops here.' But I'm not sure you're going to get the same out of President Obama and Hilary Clinton.
So, what has Congressman Farenthold drawn from this whole ordeal?
The only conclusion I can draw, on a personal level, is that we were deliberately misled for political purposes. Whether we're going to get another whistle-blower from inside the intelligence community, or the DOD or the White House to come out and say 'Yeah, this was for political purposes,' I doubt that will happen. I hope it does. But what other explanation could there be for not telling the truth that it was a terrorist attack?
To listen to the complete interview, CLICK BELOW: