Over the weekend, Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Darrell Issa announced the names of Benghazi whistleblowers who will testify Wednesday about the deadly 9/11 terrorist attack before a congressional hearing on Capitol Hill. As a reminder, the White House told the country the attack in Benghazi, which left four Americans dead including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, was simply a protest that spun out of control. According to whistleblower and State Department veteran Gregory Hicks, who will testify Wednesday, his "jaw hit the floor" when he heard this explanation being used by UN Ambassador Susan Rice on multiple Sunday news shows, the White House and the State Department after the attack. Hicks has told congressional investigators that everyone at the State Department knew this was a terrorist attack from the very beginning yet the State Department, with White House approval, repeatedly changed talking points to avoid classifying it as a terrorist attack for the American people. Further, Hicks said he never reported a demonstration but that he reported an attack. Not to mention, the White House and State Department threw the President of Libya under the bus with their excuses and lies in the process.
Acting Ambassador Hicks watched the Sunday shows and said he found this contradiction shocking. "The net impact of what has 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's talking about," he accused. Hicks added, "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."
Hicks believes the stunning failure of diplomacy on the Sunday news shows explains why it took the FBI three weeks to gain access to the Benghazi site. The U.S. had effectively humiliated the Libyan President on national TV. That decision, he believed, probably compromised our ability to investigate and track down those responsible.
According to Hicks, no one from the State Department contacted him about what Amb. Rice would be saying in advance. The next morning he called Beth Jones, Acting Assistant Secretary for Near East Affaris, and asked her why Amb. Rice had made the statements she had. Jones responded, "I don't know."
In the words of Hillary Clinton, "What difference does it make?" The answer: a ton of difference. Clinton's testimony is about to get a major test on Wednesday as whistleblowers put their careers and families on the line to tell the truth in the face of retaliation and threats.
Victoria Toensing, a former Justice Department official and Republican counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee, is now representing one of the State Department employees. She told Fox News her client and some of the others, who consider themselves whistle-blowers, have been threatened by unnamed Obama administration officials.
“I'm not talking generally, I'm talking specifically about Benghazi – that people have been threatened,” Toensing said in an interview Monday. “And not just the State Department. People have been threatened at the CIA.”
“It's frightening, and they're doing some very despicable threats to people,” she said. “Not ‘we're going to kill you,’ or not ‘we're going to prosecute you tomorrow,’ but they're taking career people and making them well aware that their careers will be over [if they cooperate with congressional investigators].”
And Barack Obama? Well, he'll probably just respond to testimony by saying "Benghazi happened a long time ago."