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. HLE

    Now....let's see how the media treats these people in comparison with how Joe Wilson was treated.

    May 4, 2013 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  2. Michael

    Keep beating that dead horse Republicans, maybe it will hide the fact that you do nothing to help this country for another week.

    Issa is one of the biggest slimebags in existence.

    May 4, 2013 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  3. NameT-hill says

    Senseless...What's this going to prove? Repugs will stop at nothing to undermind POTUS. As much as they try and come out with egg on their face...get a clue

    May 4, 2013 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  4. Matt

    Was this a full cover up or just politics? That is why there needs to be an investigation. As much as people don't like him/them Sen. McCain, Graham (and former Sen. Lieberman) were the mafia when it came to foreign policy for over a decade and they are not conspiracy theorists.

    Even after the fog of war was lifted and the truth was known, there was no acknowledgement by President Obama, correcting his earlier assertion that it was a spontaneous attack. Few in the press questioned it, McCain and Graham have had to resort to holding up confirmations for recognition to the problem. This was Obama's "wake up call" that Sec Clinton mentioned in 2008 and he failed and no one is holding him accountable like they deride President Bush on 9/11.

    May 5, 2013 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  5. Yanni

    Issa claimed that Sec. Hillary have personally signed the budget rejection letter for the US embassy in Libya security and accused her officially but he was proven totally wrong. However, there was no any measure taken by anyone to punish his irresponsible behavior. It is evident that Joseph McCarthy is alive in the name of Issa and cruz in the 21st century GOP.

    May 5, 2013 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  6. Anonymous

    This was buried on you web site, had to search to find it How is it that this is a back page story? That is pretty revealing!

    May 5, 2013 02:24 am at 2:24 am |
  7. austinkeith

    Anyone that still believes that Benghazi Gate was caused by a "spontaneous protest over a You Tube video" (Susan Rice) , just has to be one of Obozo's "low information" voters. The infamous White House talking point that Hillary Clinton refused to explain to the press herself, but had no problem sacrificing Ambassador Rice to political suicide, was just typical of what these incompetent leaders believed the American public would accept as the reason why 4 brave Americans were murdered in Benghazi while our military units in the region were ordered to stand down. The election is over & Obozo has won despite this debacle, now it's time to find out just what Hillary did when she got that "3 A.M. Phone Call" and "Who do we want answering that phone?";The truth will prevail and prove she froze and did nothing and then demanded Obozo invent a cover-up to shield her malfeasance!

    May 5, 2013 02:35 am at 2:35 am |
  8. Goat Hunter

    Has anyone seen my goat she was hanging around republican wild geese and I'm worried they will make a scape goat out of her. This list of names is nothing more than the house and the senate out to make a scape goat out of anyone they can blame. Because part of t he blame lies with both congress and the senate. After all they are the ones that thought cutting spending on security was a good idea. They also were the ones that decided that the USMC was no longer needed to to the job. So senators and congressmen/women just why don't you take a good look in the mirror.

    May 5, 2013 02:40 am at 2:40 am |
  9. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    Hay assa, why don't you hold hearings on the gop platform of creating jobs that the gop house ran on in 2010, and hasn't created even one job . The gop will have their own train wreck in the 2014 mid terms and assa will be out along with the rest of the gop garbage !!!!!

    May 5, 2013 04:13 am at 4:13 am |
  10. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    What a gop joke and non issue ,morons,kiss the house goodbye in 2014,gop losers .

    May 5, 2013 04:18 am at 4:18 am |
  11. Rob

    Since when has Federal law stopped King Obama. He thinks the law doesn't apply to him or his cult members.

    May 5, 2013 06:02 am at 6:02 am |
  12. Marie MD

    For somebody who is a car thief he sure tries to be up front and center on every thing that is not that important anymore!
    Where where these fools when the shrub #43 sent over 4,000 Americans to their death on a lie of a war?

    May 5, 2013 06:48 am at 6:48 am |
  13. king

    here these repubs go again with this Benghazi stuff, where they were when bush was tricking the country to go to war because they felt like it. these repubs have been cutting government like hell, but when something happens they run under their covers and point fingers. these repubs have gone slap mad. yes their should be investigations and stuff, but they need to bring up their criminal party that cost us over 3 trillion dollars, 4000 lives and a platter of lives that got ruined because injuries and mental problems. when will someone stand up like the repubs standing up right now and bring these bush folks to justice, this was way worst than Benghazi

    May 5, 2013 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  14. Richard Long

    Waste of time! We all know this 'attack' was just protesting that anti-Muslim movie that was on YouTube. MSNBC, Slate, Salon, Huffington Post, etc. told us so. Why would they lie? To protect Obama's 2012 campaign run? Even if it was a fully planned assassination of a US Ambassador with heavily armed and highly coordinated combatants, what was Obama supposed to do? Send in drones?
    Anyways, perfect opportunity to stab you Secretary of State in the back as the incident is her responsibility. Can't wait to see how this plays out.

    May 5, 2013 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  15. Donkey Party

    When it comes to tragedies like Benghazi, the GOP always turns it into hyper-partisan political spectacles, unless of course they're in power when it occurs. And because of that, they and any witnesses they've obviously bought and paid for have little to no credibility. Need proof? Think 9/11. Where was the witch-hunt then? Why are Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Rice still enjoying freedom, when they are the biggest war criminals in modern history? Smart Americans (Democrats and some Independents) see right through this charade.

    May 5, 2013 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  16. W.G.

    When is the trial for Iraq going to start ? When we bring Cheney and Bush and the republican party
    to trial for sending THOUSANDS of our soldiers to their deaths for the profits of Haliburton and their
    oil company friends ?? That´s the trial WE Americans are really interested in !

    May 5, 2013 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  17. jpmichigan

    The American taxpayer deserves to know all of the truth. Isn't this the government of the people, for the people and by the people, at least that is what is preached to other countries that the USA tries so hard to make democratic with elections and such. We need to know if Benghazi is a political correctness case of this administration used for re-election. If sect. Clinton knew the truth and withheld it, it may effect he running for Presidency If Obama withheld the truth to win re-election, it also will effect his Presidency.

    May 5, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  18. RINO Bill

    These GOPers are wasting their time and my tax money. Republicans keep on whining about cutting wasteful spending, well start with this pointless witch hunt fer cryin out loud.

    May 5, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  19. rs

    Was this a full cover up or just politics? That is why there needs to be an investigation".
    No, no! Just because Republicans now live life fact-free and embrace conspiracy as fact is no reason to waste more taxpayer time and money on their little partisan witch hunts. The GOP in it's post-policy life has nothing but obstruction, hatred and distention as motivators. It is high time to take away their soap box and make these idiots shut up- until they are rational again, that is.

    May 5, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  20. rs

    "We need to know if Benghazi is a political correctness case of this administration used for re-election. "
    JPM- Presumably you slept through the Bush years, right?

    May 5, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  21. don in albuquerque

    When this is all over...when the Repugs finally decide that when you send people into the most dangerous place on earth someone is going to get hurt, when they finally decide they with all their great wisdom don't know why it happened other then a lack of security which they voted against....Then every republican member of congress, house and senate should have to pony up money out of their own pockets to pay for this total lack of responsibility, and not the taxpayer.

    May 5, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  22. mrwarmth

    Michael.....want me to name the list of slimballs on the democratic side? Let's simply start with Anthony Weiner. Slimballs sit on BOTH sides of the aisle.

    May 5, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  23. cOruPtEd US govErNmENt

    I am saying this in plural. You people have no idea how corrupt the inner workings of the US government are. Benghazi is but one small blip on the radar. It is not just a matter of Repugnants and Dumbocrats tearing at each others throats. The bidding process, the awarding of contracts, the ability to deliver services....all do not matter as long as it's one of your cronies getting the job. TRUST ME on this, there are no honest and fair people involved with our government. Everyone is out to line their own pockets through back scratching while deploying taxpayer dollars to accomplish the mission. I speak the truth and I state that political affiliation has nothing to do with it other than who's pocket is being picked at the time. It disgusts me what I have learned from business practices carried out in Washington.

    May 5, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  24. warren smith

    lins and mac are the problem withthe republican party
    they both should retire without a pension and join the welfare line
    they both are a disgrace to the senate

    May 5, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  25. don in albuquerque

    @jpmichigan-If you had been following any of the recent votes in congress, especially republican votes, you would realize that NO it is not by the people, for the people. It is by and for their personal wallets, and corporations. With the most recent vote on gun regulation, they have proved that this is just a silly, antiquated lie.

    May 5, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
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