Benghazi Whistleblower: ‘I Was Stunned’ That Amb. Rice Blamed a Video, 'My Jaw Dropped'

Elizabeth Harrington | May 8, 2013 | 4:05pm EDT
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Gregory Hicks, former deputy chief of mission in Libya, who took over when Amb. Chris Stevens was killed by terrorists on Sept. 11, 2012 in Benghazi, Libya. (AP)

( – Benghazi whistleblower Gregory Hicks, the former deputy chief of mission in Libya, said he was “stunned” to hear Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice go on national television and blame the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack on a Youtube video, during testimony before Congress on  Wednesday.

“I was stunned.  My jaw dropped, and I was embarrassed,” Hicks told Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) during a hearing before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

Five days after the attack on Sept. 11, 2012 the White House deployed Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice to do the round of Sunday television talk shows, where she repeatedly stated on five different news programs that, according to the best information available at the time, the Benghazi assault had been a spontaneous reaction to an obscure online video mocking Mohammed, rather than a planned terrorist attack.

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The video reportedly had been made and released back in June of 2012. The attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi left four Americans dead, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

During the much anticipated hearing before the House on Wednesday, Gowdy asked Hicks about the administration placing the blame on the video in the weeks following the terrorist attack.  The exchange as it occurred was as follows:

Rep. Gowdy: “When Ambassador Stevens talked to you, perhaps minutes before he died—as a dying declaration what precisely did he say to you?”

Gregory Hicks: “He said, ‘Greg, we’re under attack.’”

Gowdy: “Would a highly decorated career diplomat have told you or Washington had there been a demonstration outside his facility that day?”

Hicks: “Yes, sir, he would have.”

Gowdy: “Did he mention one word about a protest or a demonstration?”

Hicks: “No, sir, he did not.”

Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, went on several national news programs on Sept. 16 and claimed that the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya on Sept. 11 was caused by a spontaneous uprising sparked by an obscure anti-Muslim YouTube video. (AP)

Gowdy: “So fast forward, Mr. Hicks, to the Sunday talk shows and Ambassador Susan Rice.  She blamed this attack on the video, in fact she did it five different times.  What was your reaction to that?”

Hicks: “I was stunned.  My jaw dropped, and I was embarrassed.”

Gowdy: “Did she talk to you before she went on the five Sunday talk shows?”

Hicks: “No, sir.”

Gowdy: “You were the highest ranking official in Libya at the time, correct?”

Hicks: “Yes, sir.”

Gowdy: “And she did not bother to have a conversation with you before she went on national television?”

Hicks: “No, sir.”

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