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

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid