U.S. Special Operations forces in Libya were on the way to the airport to board a Libyan government plane to Benghazi but were told "you can't go now; you don't have authority to go now." That's the stunning testimony of Gregory Hicks, the top ranking American diplomat in Libya after Ambassador Christopher Stevens was killed in a terrorist attack at the Benghazi Consulate on September 11, 2013.
Hicks was in Tripoli when the attack commenced. He has told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that after word arrived from the Libyan Prime Minister that Ambassador Stevens had perished, a U.S. Special Operations team was ready to fly to Benghazi before the second attack occurred but received a call from Special Operations Command Africa to stand down.
Hicks and two other State Department officials – "whistleblowers" – are scheduled to testify to the Oversight Committee on Wednesday, May 8.
Hicks testimony completely contradicts the Obama Administration's claim that, "At every level in the chain of command, from the senior officers in Libya to the most senior officials in Washington, everyone was fully engaged in trying to provide whatever help they could…There were no orders to anybody to stand down in providing support."
Hicks also believes lives could have been saved at Benghazi had the administration dispatched just one aircraft from the naval base at Souda Bay in Crete about an hour away. "I believe that if we had been able to scramble a fighter or aircraft or two over Benghazi as quickly as possible after the attack commenced, I believe there would not have been a mortar attack on the annex in the morning because I believe the Libyans would have split," Hicks said.
More of Hicks testimony account is available here published by The Hill.