The deputy of slain U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens has told congressional investigators that a team of Special Forces prepared to fly from Tripoli to Benghazi during the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks was forbidden from doing so by U.S. Special Operations Command Africa.
The account from Gregory Hicks is in stark contrast to assertions
from the Obama administration, which insisted that nobody was ever told
to stand down and that all available resources were utilized.
private testimony to congressional investigators last month in advance
of his upcoming appearance at a congressional hearing Wednesday.
to excerpts released Monday, Hicks told investigators that SOCAFRICA
commander Lt. Col. Gibson and his team were on their way to board a
C-130 from Tripoli for Benghazi prior to an attack on a second U.S.
compound "when [Col. Gibson] got a phone call from SOCAFRICA which said,
'you can't go now, you don't have the authority to go now.' And so they
missed the flight ... They were told not to board the flight, so they
No assistance arrived from the U.S. military
outside of Libya during the hours that Americans were under attack or
trapped inside compounds by hostile forces armed with rocket-propelled
grenades, mortars and AK-47 rifles.
Hicks told congressional investigators that if the U.S. had quickly sent
a military aircraft over Benghazi, it might have saved American lives.
The U.S. Souda Bay Naval Base is an hour's flight from Libya. (Continues)