Witness names released for Benghazi hearing
May 4th, 2013
05:42 PM ET
9 years ago

Witness names released for Benghazi hearing

(CNN) - A senior Republican has released names of witnesses for a Wednesday congressional hearing on the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, including two characterized by Republicans as whistleblowers.

Rep. Darrel Issa, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, praised the State Department officials agreeing to testify.

“They have critical information about what occurred before, during, and after the Benghazi terrorist attacks that differs on key points” from what Obama administration officials have conveyed so far, Issa said in a statement on Saturday.

“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,” Issa said.

The witnesses include Mark Thompson, the acting deputy assistant secretary for counterterrorism; Gregory Hicks, a foreign service officer and former deputy chief of mission/chargé d’affairs in Libya; and Eric Nordstrom, diplomatic security officer and former regional security officer in Libya.

A GOP source said Thompson and Hicks are whistleblowers although Issa did not refer to them as such. Nordstrom has testified previously before Congress about the attack last September 11 that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

Earlier this week, reports surfaced that at least four State Department and CIA employees were being intimidated and blocked from cooperating with Congress in its ongoing examination of Benghazi.

An attorney for one of the State Department officials, who was not identified, said the officials considered themselves whistleblowers and felt threatened with career damage if they appeared before Congress.

President Barack Obama said at a news conference earlier this week that he was unaware of that assertion.

The Obama administration has come under fire from Republicans over questions about inadequate security in Benghazi leading up to the attack as well as its early account that it was a spontaneous act rather than a planned terror attack.

On Tuesday, Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and John McCain of Arizona reiterated their call for the Senate to establish a special committee to investigate the administration's handling of the attack.

Under federal law, employees identified as "whistleblowers" are protected from repercussions by their employer for giving damaging testimony about a government agency to Congress or an inspector general, an independent investigator within an agency.

CNN’s Elise Labott, Dana Bash and Shirley Henry contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2013 • Darrell Issa
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. hammer

    Obama will be saved by the media.

    May 4, 2013 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  2. don in albuquerque

    Yep, and whistleblowers, and yourself can be prosecuted also for knowingly providing false information. Another waste of tax dollars to get the Black Guy. What filth. Why not investigate W? Now theres an idea whose time has come.

    May 4, 2013 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  3. Tom

    Sounds like Issa got some "instruction" from Karl Rove.

    May 4, 2013 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  4. Randy, San Francisco

    Expect Republicans and Tea Party politicians to politicize the tragic Behghazi terrorist attack through the 2016 elections.

    May 4, 2013 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain

    Darryl Issa, the convicted felon who made a lot of noise about Fast and Furious, but never called witnesses from the ATF field office?

    While Issa is flapping his lips, please explain why President Obama – in a very tight presidential race – would EVER want Americans abroad to be harmed?


    May 4, 2013 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  6. Gurgyl

    This idiot needs to stop with Benghazi idiocy.

    May 4, 2013 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  7. Zerubbabel

    Another Issa wild goose chase wasting time and money. If only he could have been as vigilant when 3,000 innocent Americans died or where the WMD's are. It is tragic with any loss of life, but these individuals knew the danger of their job and death was a distinct possibility. Truthfully this is about Hilary in 2016. They know that they do not have a candidate that can match her.

    May 4, 2013 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  8. Carljr

    I am not American and not white. I have followed this story closely. Benghazi stories are totally buried by most of the media. This is not good for your great democracy. I have a lot of American friends and it really is sad that the media has decided to influence politics to this extent. They are also down playing the debt as a story and that could be disaster.

    May 4, 2013 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  9. g

    maybe they should just bring every american home from the whole middle east.then there will be no more benghazi

    May 4, 2013 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  10. Pete

    Darrell Issa is doing his damnest to bring down Hillary and Pres.Obama at any cost isn't he..Issa who's committe cut defense by over 400 billion thus cutting from the security that embassies required,can you say to Issa guilty as charged!!But as usual he'll try his damnest to kill the Clinton name and also maybe impeach Pres.Obama if he could and boy would that look good on Issas resume republicans!!Reagan,Bush and others get away with thousands murdered,illegal arms deals and ole Pres.Bill gets impeached for a little hoo hoo on his he he,what BS from the real problem and that's the hypocritical sanctumonious ones the obstructionistic republicans the party that is systematically destroying America and can you say traitors ta boot!!

    May 4, 2013 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  11. c dickenson

    It's time we get clarity on the chronology of events that happened that dreadful night and let the American people decide. We the American people will judge in the end....the ultimate judge is God. The politicians will distort and hide but it will catch up to them....it always does.

    May 4, 2013 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  12. Thomas

    Rep. Darrel Issa, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, praised the State Department officials agreeing to testify. “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.

    Darrell Issa [R, CA-49] for the 112th Congress ... who voted for the Iraq War debacle under the false pretense that Iraq had WMDs. Forget the made up lies about WMD's in Iraq, just to score no-bid contracts for his friends.

    jWhen will Darrell do an investigation on when Bush knew there was no WMD in Iraq?

    Darrel Issa / Ted Cruz 2016
    Richard Nixon – Joseph McCarthy

    May 4, 2013 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  13. Debbie

    This makes me laugh. Not the seriousness of the story but who is leading it...Issa. A car thief as a youth (and not just once.) What is the credibility of a thief? Zero.

    May 4, 2013 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  14. duh

    How does a President get impeached over something so trivial as Watergate but not something like this?

    May 4, 2013 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  15. gary

    Thanks for covering the story.

    May 4, 2013 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  16. Larry L

    Getting to work this new conspiracy will help House Republicans get over their case of the blues caused by the positive economic outlook with reduced unemployment and a record in the Dow. The Fox News drones will repeat the dishonest and distorted speculation by Issa and the other Tea Party trash as if it was true.

    May 4, 2013 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  17. Larry L

    Rep. Issa and Sen. Lindsey Graham make a living out of ridiculous assertions, distortions of reality, and bold-faced lies. They will both get flushed in the next election as Americans tire of obstructionism, politically-motivated conspiracies, and politicians who never actually do anything but complain about the other side's programs. What have they done to actually help America?

    May 4, 2013 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  18. gizmo1125

    The truth will eventually come to light. Obama and his co horts told lies and have covered up the truth and have threaten people who want to tell the truth. All because he wanted to win an election. No one has never been held accountable for the four Americans who were killed in Benghazi. Ambassador Stevens was dragged through the streets and died a horrible death. It should not matter if you are on the D or the R side. What matters is the truth and finding justice for the families of the four men who were killed.

    May 4, 2013 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  19. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Has Issa been indicted yet?

    May 4, 2013 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  20. buongiorno

    be careful playing cat and mouse game you might step on the trap

    May 4, 2013 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  21. FLvoter

    I just love how you hide this article, I had to search Benghazi to find it.

    May 4, 2013 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  22. MediaVP

    Why is this not front page news? Are media darlings Barack and Hillary immune to any negative news?

    May 4, 2013 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  23. Name Uche Agonsi

    If these guys have the said 'critical information' on what happened in Benghazi before , during & after the attack, they must be the terrorists themselves & should be arrested instead. Why are these Repubs brakes on moving wheels. They can even evoke the spirit of Bin Laden to get to Obama.....& for McCain, he is just the red pepper (chillies) that is not good for whistling in Igbo( Nigeria language ).

    May 4, 2013 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  24. rs

    So, when are the wet pant Republicans going to investigate the dozen embassy and consulate attacks that resulted in 55 deaths during the Bush years? A rhetorical question- because the GOP is the party of rank hypocrites.

    May 4, 2013 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  25. Loyalright

    It appears that obama is unaware of a lot of things lately. There will be a lot of information released in these hearings. I hope they become public so all Americans can see the cover-up that has been taken place every since 9-11-12.

    May 4, 2013 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
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