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

ASEAN Ministers Set to Push for South China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Puerto Rico Defaults on $58M Debt Payment

Payment was due Saturday, default is first in country's 117 years as a United States possession More

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs