Representative Jason Chaffetz was on with Greta van Susteren last night talking about Benghazi. Now, both Greta and Rep. Chaffetz are much more restrained than I tend to be, but, once again, we have people who "Know About This Stuff" who are saying the same things I've been saying. They stop short of "treason," because they think it's disrespectful or over-the-top or some such. But they make same case.
Specifically, Rep. Chaffetz relayed this anecdote, heretofore unknown:
CHAFFETZ: You know, he related this story which I haven't shared before. He's a good man. His name's Gregory Hicks. And I -- I think he's trying to do the right thing.
He said that shortly after 9: 0 PM, what happened is his phone rang. And he didn't recognize the number, so he didn't answer it. Then it rang again. Again, he didn't answer it because he didn't recognize the number.
But then, given the persistence, he did answer it. It was Ambassador Stevens. And Ambassador Stevens was saying, We're under attack. We're under attack.
Now, I can't say that he told me specifically that he was asking for help, but that's kind of what I -- I read into it. He hung up the phone. He immediately called in to Washington, D.C., to trigger all the mechanisms that needed to be put on, and then he wasn't able to contact them. And there were hours and hours where we didn't know where our ambassador was.
But the trauma, the -- the real-life trauma that he went through -- I mean, I really felt it in his voice. It was -- it was hard to listen to. He's -- he's gone through a lot, but he did a great job.
Let's break that down. Rep Chaffetz was on a fact finding mission to Libya after the murder of Ambassador Stevens. There, he spoke with Gregory Hicks from the Tripoli Embassy. Mr. Hicks says that he started calling Washington, DC "shortly after 9 PM" (Note: I believe this is a transcription error, and that the actual time was shortly after 9:40 PM). Now, that was either 9:40 Washington, DC time, or 9:40 Libya time- but which is it?
It seem more logical that it would be Libya time for three reasons. First, Mr. Hicks would have been talking about local time. When he looked at his phone (and probably clock, given the lateness of the hour), he would have been thinking in local time. He would almost certainly have relayed the story the same way. Second, it is unlikely that Rep. Chaffetz would convert the times on-air. Among other things, it would require that he have two times in his head at the same time, which could lead to confusion. For another, he was relating the story, not giving an "official" report. So local time seems more reasonable that way. Finally, the time difference between Tripoli and Washington, DC is pretty close to 6 hours. We know the attack occurred on the evening of September 11, not the morning of September 12. Six hours after 9 PM would be 3 AM, on 9/12.
So, Libya local time seems most likely. But that means that the Libyan mission started calling for help no later than 4 PM, Washington, DC time. People would still have been at work. You wouldn't even be interrupting dinner. There is absolutely no reason that he shouldn't have been able to contact those "mechanisms."
That alone, would just prove the Criminal Negligence, that I first believed. That, alone, should be an impeachable offense for the President. But then we look further in the interview:
CHAFFETZ: Yes, Buck McKeon, in fact, I chatted with him this morning. He's chairman of Armed Services, doing a great job. And his letter, in essence, says, Mr. President, you said you gave a direct order to protect all of those people and make sure that we secure those people in Benghazi, but the military does -- you know, needs an order from you.
I talked specifically to General Ham. He's a four-star general. He told me personally he did not get a directive from the White House from the president of the United States to engage in the firefight to help protect those people.
Mr. President, you can't have it both ways. You can't say that you're doing everything you can to protect the people in Benghazi, when we're under attack, a firefight that starts at 9:40 at night, goes until the wee hours of the morning, and say you did everything when the military did not engage.
Now, this seems to be saying, "Oh, the President didn't give an order." I expect this is Rep. Chaffetz hedging. Here's why: we know from multiple other sources that the first reaction of the Military would be to move in. We know that the White House was monitoring the attack in the Situation Room. We know that a "stand-down" order was given, not once, but twice. We know that assistance was requested and denied three times.
Those all required specific orders. The default military position would be to rescue our personnel. Other sources say that the military has plans, and practices drills, for exactly the kind of situation that occurred in Benghazi. So in the absence of orders, a rescue mission would have been mounted. It was only under specific orders that our military would not have done so. And the ultimate authority and responsibility for those orders rests with the President. The President who was monitoring in the Situation room. The President who went to bed with the status of our Ambassador still unknown. The President who then jetted out to Las Vegas for a fund raiser. The President who then lied for more than a week to claim that the attack was a "spontaneous event" caused by a YouTube video.
That's not Criminal Negligence, that's Murder. That's providing aid and comfort to the enemy.