May 13, 2013
Knowing of your concerns about the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, I wanted to update you on recent action in Congress.
On May 8, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, on which I serve, heard testimony from key officials with direct knowledge of the Benghazi attack. Among our witnesses was Gregory Hicks, the former deputy chief of mission in Libya. His firsthand testimony shed more light on the tragic deaths of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, State Department official Sean Smith, and former Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, all killed in the attack on our Benghazi consulate.
We were shocked to hear Mr. Hicks’s account that special operations teams stationed in Tripoli were prevented from flying to the consulate to respond to the initial attack. Their presence in Benghazi could have saved lives. We still do not know who gave the order for them to stand down.
We also heard that top-ranking State Department officials, despite prior denials, were actively involved in editing talking points used by the Administration in the days following the attack. Specifically, the State Department removed all references to the involvement of Ansar al-Sharia, an al Qaeda affiliate, in the attack. Mr. Hicks testified that he was not consulted about the accuracy of these points, despite the firsthand perspective he could have offered.
The Obama Administration owes the American people answers about the Benghazi attack and its response to it. Instead, it continues to stonewall legitimate congressional requests for unclassified documents that could shed light on what happened in Libya. Please be assured that we will continue to pursue the truth in this matter, as we owe no less to those who lost their lives in this senseless act of terror.
I hope you find this information helpful. For more information on current issues, you can follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Please feel free to contact my office anytime at 202-225-2676 or online at jordan.house.gov with any other questions or concerns you may have.
Member of Congress