The names have been revealed on the Benghazi witnesses are prepared to testify on what they know about the events of the 9/11/12 terrorist attack against the American embassy personnel in Beghazi, Libya, despite threats from the Obama administration in the attempt to intimidate them to stay quiet.
Appearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will be three career State Department officials: Gregory N. Hicks, the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Libya at the time of the Benghazi terrorist attacks; Mark I. Thompson, a former Marine and now the deputy coordinator for Operations in the agency’s Counterterrorism Bureau; and Eric Nordstrom, a diplomatic security officer who was the regional security officer in Libya, the top security officer in the country in the months leading up to the attacks.
Only two of the upcoming witnesses consider themselves whistle-blowers and the third, Eric Nordstrom, has testified previously before the oversight committee, which is chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., in October 2012, angrily stating "For me the Taliban is on the inside of the [State Department] building."
The credentials of the other two are impressive as well:
Hicks is a veteran Foreign Service officer whose overseas postings have also included Afghanistan, Syria, and Yemen.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican and committee member, said Hicks was in Tripoli at 9:40 p.m. local time when he received one of Stevens’ earliest phone calls amid the crisis.
“We’re under attack! We’re under attack!” the ambassador reportedly shouted into his cellphone at Hicks.
Chaffetz, who subsequently debriefed Hicks, also said the deputy “immediately called into Washington to trigger all the mechanisms” for an inter-agency response.
“The real-life trauma that [Hicks] went through,” Chaffetz recalled to Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren, “I mean, I really felt it in his voice. It was hard to listen to. He’s gone through a lot, but he did a great job.”
According to the State Department website, Thompson “advises senior leadership on operational counterterrorism matters, and ensures that the United States can rapidly respond to global terrorism crises.”
According to Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz, after these three men testify, others will come forward to talk.
“Others are out there and will testify,” Chaffetz said. He also suggested Thompson has been “suppressed” but did not say how.
President Obama and the State Department have denied knowledge of such actions.
“I’m not familiar with this notion that anybody has been blocked,” the president said last week.
It is a good bet that Thompson will be asked to state for the public record, exactly how he was "suppressed."
Perhaps Thompson answer will jar Obama's memory.
The Benghazi hearings are slated to be held starting May 8, 2013 and a statement was issued via the Oversight Committee website.
WASHINGTON – House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa today announced three witnesses who will appear at a full committee hearing, “Benghazi: Exposing Failure and Recognizing Courage,” on Wednesday, May 8, 2013, at 11:30 AM in 2154 Rayburn House Office Building.
“I applaud these individuals for answering our call to testify in front of the Committee. They have critical information about what occurred before, during, and after the Benghazi terrorist attacks that differs on key points from what Administration officials – including those on the Accountability Review Board – have portrayed,” said Issa. “Our committee has been contacted by numerous other individuals who have direct knowledge of the Benghazi terrorist attack, but are not yet prepared to testify. In many cases their principal reticence of appearing in public is their concern of retaliation at the hands of their respective employers. While we may yet add additional witnesses, this panel will certainly answer some questions and leave us with many new ones.”
Mr. Mark Thompson
Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Counterterrorism
US Department of State
Mr. Gregory Hicks
Foreign Service Officer and former Deputy Chief of Mission/Chargé d’Affairs in Libya
US Department of State
Mr. Eric Nordstrom
Diplomatic Security Officer and former Regional Security Officer in Libya
US Department of State
In October 2012, the Oversight Committee held the first hearing on the Benghazi attacks, which exposed denials of security requests and forced the Administration to acknowledge that the attacks were not sparked by a protest of a YouTube video, contrary to claims made by Obama Administration officials.
*** NOTE: Press seating will be reserved, but limited. Please arrive early (hearing room will open to press at 10:30 AM) to guarantee a seat. An overflow area will be available. ***
Wednesday, May 8th, 2013
“Benghazi: Exposing Failure and Recognizing Courage”
Full Committee, Chairman Darrell Issa, (R-CA)
11:30 a.m. in 2154 Rayburn House Office Building and streaming live at oversight.house.gov.
Due to the expected explosive nature of the testimony, it is no wonder the spin from the White House has already begun with White House spokesman Jay Carney's assertion that "Benghazi happened a long time ago."
[Update] Official: We knew Benghazi was a terrorist attack "from the get-go"
[Update #2- 5/6/13] Followup WuA- White House Benghazi Spin Completely Unravels Ahead Of May 8 Hearings