Whistleblower: Benghazi a Terror Attack from 'Get-Go'

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Last September's deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, is back in the spotlight this week on Capitol Hill.
    
Three State Department officials will testify that the White House misled the country on what happened at the U.S. diplomatic mission. One of them is Gregory Hicks.

He was deputy chief of mission for the U.S. in Libya. He is expected to testify before Congress that he knew immediately the Sept. 11 attack wasn't in response to a protest.

According to interview transcripts, Hicks said, "I thought it was a terrorist attack from the get-go. I think everybody in the mission thought it was a terrorist attack from the beginning."

U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens died in the attack along with three other Americans.

Yet five days after the attack, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice went on multiple Sunday shows blaming the incident on an anti-Muslim video that appeared on the Internet. She insisted the attack was spontaneous.

Some Republicans say the administration's response was calculated coming on the heels of a presidential election less than two months away.

"Clearly there was a political decision to say something different than what was reasonable to say," Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said.

Hicks will also testify that a small team of U.S Special Forces were ready to fly a rescue mission to Benghazi but where ordered to stand down. This directly contradicts the White House which said all available resources were explored to respond to the attacks.

This past weekend, several Democrats said Rice's comments about the attack were wrong and that references to "Islamic extremists" and al Qaeda were "scrubbed" from her "talking points."

Some Republicans accuse the Obama Administration of trying to downplay the threat posed by terrorists.

"There's sort of a tendency to underplay what is in fact I think a growing and pretty dangerous and to some extent a different kind of threat than what we were facing, you know three or four years ago," former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said.

Hicks has told investigators that Ambassador Rice's response may have hampered efforts to capture those responsible for the Benghazi attacks saying, "I firmly believe that the reason it took us so long to get the FBI to Benghazi is because of those Sunday talk shows."
 
Hicks and the State Department employees will speak publicly for the first time Wednesday when they appear before Congress.

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