News / USA

US Diplomatic Security Back in Focus at Benghazi Hearing

Libyan military guards check one of the U.S. Consulate's burnt out buildings during a visit by Libyan President Mohammed el-Megarif, not shown, to the U.S. Consulate, Sept 14, 2012.
Libyan military guards check one of the U.S. Consulate's burnt out buildings during a visit by Libyan President Mohammed el-Megarif, not shown, to the U.S. Consulate, Sept 14, 2012.
Reuters
A former U.S. diplomat in Libya who says more could have been done to protect Americans at the U.S. mission in Benghazi when it was attacked last September will be a featured witness on Wednesday during a congressional hearing.

Gregory Hicks, deputy chief of mission in Libya at the time of the attack, will be one of three witnesses at the hearing before the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight & Government Reform.

Who is Testifying at the Benghazi Hearing?

  • Gregory Hicks, deputy chief of mission in Libya at the time of the 2012 attack
  • Mark Thompson, acting deputy assistant secretary for counterterrorism at the State Department
  • Eric Nordstrom, former regional security officer in Libya
The other two witnesses are Mark Thompson, the acting deputy assistant secretary for counterterrorism at the State Department, and Eric Nordstrom, a former regional security officer in Libya.

Hicks has questioned why the U.S. military did not send a plane into Libyan airspace as a show of force and why four American special operations soldiers were not permitted to go  to Benghazi, U.S. Representative Darrell Issa, the Republican chairman of the committee, said on CNN.

Four Americans including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens were killed on Sept. 11, 2012, in the attack on a lightly defended U.S. diplomatic mission and a more fortified CIA compound in the eastern Libyan city.

The assault was a headache for Obama as he campaigned for re-election. Many Republicans continue to assail the Democratic president over security lapses, as well as the administration's early conflicting accounts of what happened in Benghazi.

Democrats acknowledged the attacks reflected security problems, but said they were part of a history of such violence as well as the instability since the Arab Spring of popular revolutions began in 2011.

Congressional committees already have held a series of hearings into what happened in Benghazi.

In January, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton defended her handling of the attack before Senate and House committees and was angered at Republican accusations that the administration had misled the country over whether the attacks stemmed from a protest.

Issa denied that Wednesday's hearing is an effort by Republicans - who hold a majority in the House - to discredit the Democratic administration.

"Why aren't the Democrats just as upset that we didn't do all we could do to save American lives?'' he asked on CNN.

An official inquiry into the incident released in December concluded that "leadership and management failures'' in two State Department bureaus led to a security posture "inadequate for Benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place.''

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

Ali Regained Title in Historic Fight 40 Years Ago

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid