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U.S. diplomat tells of Benghazi strike

Thursday, May 09, 2013 - 01:47

May 9 - A diplomat who says more could have been done to protect the U.S. mission in Benghazi from attack last year gives first public testimony. Paul Chapman reports.

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The former diplomat who says more could have been done to protect Americans when the U.S. mission in Benghazi was attacked has given his first public testimony. The U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans died in the attack by suspected Islamist militants last September. Stevens' deputy at the time, Gregory Hicks, has begun giving his version of events to a congressional committee. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CONGRESSMAN TREY GOWDY REPUBLICAN FROM SOUTH CAROLINA SAYING: "When Ambassador Stevens spoke to you perhaps minutes before he died, as a dying declaration what precisely did he say to you? (SOUNDBITE) (English) GREGORY HICKS, DEPUTY CHIEF OF MISSION IN LIBYA SAYING: "He said, Greg, we're under attack. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CONGRESSMAN TREY GOWDY REPUBLICAN FROM SOUTH CAROLINA SAYING: "Would a highly decorated career diplomat have told you or Washington had there been a demonstration outside his facility that day?" (SOUNDBITE) (English) GREGORY HICKS, DEPUTY CHIEF OF MISSION IN LIBYA SAYING: "Yes sir, he would have." (SOUNDBITE) (English) CONGRESSMAN TREY GOWDY REPUBLICAN FROM SOUTH CAROLINA SAYING: "Did he mention one word about a protest or a demonstration " (SOUNDBITE) (English) GREGORY HICKS, DEPUTY CHIEF OF MISSION IN LIBYA SAYING: "No Sir, he did not." (SOUNDBITE) (English) CONGRESSMAN TREY GOWDY REPUBLICAN FROM SOUTH CAROLINA SAYING: "So fast forward, Mr. Hicks to the Sunday talk shows and Ambassador Susan Rice. She blames this attack on a video and in fact she did it five different times. What was your reaction to that?" (SOUNDBITE) (English) GREGORY HICKS, DEPUTY CHIEF OF MISSION IN LIBYA SAYING: "I was stunned. My jaw dropped and I was embarrassed." Hicks was referring to suggestions by the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations that the attack was in response to an extremist video. His testimony could fuel further criticism of President Barack Obama's administration over security lapses in Benghazi as well as early, conflicting accounts of what had happened. Democrats accuse their Republican rivals of politicising the attacks and levelling false allegations against Obama administration members.

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U.S. diplomat tells of Benghazi strike

Thursday, May 09, 2013 - 01:47