WHAT DID THEY SAY?
by Sharon Rondeau
(Jun. 26, 2013) — The House Armed Services Committee produced a “readout” of the classified hearing held on Wednesday with three military members with knowledge of the response or lack thereof to the terrorist attack on a U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012.
The one-paragraph press release reads:
WASHINGTON–Today, the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations received testimony in a classified briefing from three key figures involved in the response to the attack on Americans in Benghazi. General Carter Ham (ret), former Commander, AFRICOM; Lieutenant Colonel S.E. Gibson, former commander of the site security team at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli; and Rear Admiral Brian Losey, former commander, Special Operations Command Africa, all offered accounts of U.S. force posture and planning ahead of the attack, and actions taken during and after the attack. While the subcommittee will continue to carry out appropriate oversight, today’s witnesses did clarify several matters with respect to the events of September 11 and 12, 2012.
The Post & Email did not receive a response to its inquiry on Tuesday as to whether or not the above meeting was to take place. To our knowledge, Fox News and The Post & Email were the only news sources to report it as being on the committee’s schedule, and the hearing was not publicized on the committee’s official website.
Gen. Carter Ham (Ret.), whose unexpected retirement was announced on October 18 of last year, is said by military sources to have been given notice that he was “relieved of command” by Gen. David Rodriguez, his then-second-in-command, as a result of Ham’s disregarding of a “stand-down” order from the White House. According to retired military officers who spoke with The Post & Email, Obama issued an order to stop the contingency plans which were automatically set into motion after word of the Benghazi attack reached units in the region whose responsibility it would have been to respond.
The officers’ account agrees with another from The Washington Times published on October 28, 2012.
Rodriguez assumed command of AFRICOM upon Ham’s retirement in early April.
Adm. Brian Losey, who has since been promoted but was commander of SOCAFRICA when the compound was attacked, also testified, as did Lt. Col. Steve Gibson, who was under Losey’s command. Gibson was identified by State Department official Gregory Hicks, who became charge d’affaires in Libya upon the death of Amb. Christopher Stevens. Hicks was most likely the last person to speak with Stevens before he was killed.
Stevens and three other Americans lost their lives after approximately 100 Islamic militants doused the compound with diesel fuel, set it afire, and later threw mortars in a second attack. The U.S. military sent a drone which recorded the events in real time, which were watched by State Department, FBI, and White House personnel as they unfolded.
The White House will not say what Obama was doing that evening or which orders, if any, he issued. The next day, he flew to Las Vegas as scheduled for a campaign fundraiser.
On October 22, Rep. Buck McKeon, Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, asked four officers, including Ham, whether or not “information within the military revealing warnings about terrorist threats and the need to increase security that were ignored by the State Department or other civilians within the Obama administration.” According to the Washington Free Beacon, then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta prevented the officers’ responses from being delivered to McKeon.
One officer who received a request was Losey’s superior, Adm. William McRaven, who as Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command, reports directly to the president.
Ham, as head of AFRICOM, also reported directly to Obama.
Sen. John McCain, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, did not appear to believe Dempsey during his testimony to the committee on February 7 which alleged that the U.S. military “positioned our forces in a way that was informed by and consistent with available threat estimates,” and “Our military was appropriately responsive.”
Panetta testified that “an adequate warning” of the attacks having been lacking, there was not “enough time” to send in the military to assist, although an unmanned drone was sent within “17 minutes” of the attack.
There has been speculation that the Benghazi compound served no diplomatic use, but rather, was a location through which armaments flowed to the Syrian opposition forces indirectly to Turkey and other nations. The Obama regime has vowed to support the Syrian rebels without congressional approval, much to the dismay of some members of Congress.
On June 20, Rep. Walter B. Jones introduced a resolution stating that should Obama inject U.S. military forces into the Libyan civil war, it will be grounds for impeachment.
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.