Via the Flaming skull at AoSHQ,
In a conference call with reporters Tuesday, two senior State Department officials gave a detailed accounting of the events that lead to the death of Amb. Chris Stevens and three other Americans. The officials said that prior to the massive attack on the Benghazi compound by dozens of militants carrying heavy weaponry, there was no unrest outside the walls of the compound and no protest that anyone inside the compound was aware of. In fact, Stevens hosted a series of meetings on the compound throughout the day, ending with a meeting with a Turkish diplomat that began at 7:30 in the evening, and all was quiet in the area.
It’s likely the regime wanted to avoid awkward questions like this….
But asked about the administration’s initial – and since retracted – explanation linking the violence to protests over an anti-Muslim video circulating on the Internet, one official said, “That was not our conclusion.” He called it a question for “others” to answer, without specifying.
When asked about the initial but retracted explanation, “others” simply responded, “We’ve always been at war with Eastasia.”
“Others” can also be seen in this Heritage video by Ben Howe saying things initially that later had to be retracted.
The congressional hearing called by Chairman Darrell Issa to look into the Sept. 11 attack has turned into a partisan slugfest with each party reportedly accusing the other of “bad faith.”
Issa’s panel will hear testimony from three State Department officials involved with security procedure at U.S. diplomatic facilities, including Under Secretary for Management Patrick Kennedy.
Lt. Colonel Andrew Wood of the Utah National Guard will also testify. Wood told ABC News that Stevens wanted a team of 16 Special Forces soldiers to stay with him in Libya past the scheduled end of their deployment date in August, but that the request was turned down by the State Deptartment. State has said it never received a request to extend that deadline and had other security teams in place to protect Stevens and other U.S. diplomats.
State Department officials held a classified briefing for House staffers from five committees on Tuesday regarding the Benghazi attack, according to congressional sources. The staffers came from the Appropriations, Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, Intelligence and Judiciary committees.
Issa’s committee was initially left off the invite list for the briefing, the congressional sources said.
But Issa did attend the session after speaking with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday and being told he could participate. Issa sharply questioned the State Department officials during the closed-door session, Hill sources said.
“Chairman Issa spoke on the phone with Secretary Clinton yesterday. Secretary Clinton told Chairman Issa about the briefing State officials would be giving today and said he was welcome to attend,” said Frederick Hill, Issa’s spokesman.
Issa and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), an OGR member, said in an Oct. 2 letter that U.S. officials in Libya made “repeated requests for increased security in Benghazi” but were “denied these resources by officials in Washington.”
Now that it’s clear that the regime was engaging in a cover-up, a new American Crossroads ad asks, “what did the President know – and when did he know it?”:
The hearing on the security failures in Benghazi will begin at 12:00 est, and streamed live, here.