Embassy Attacks

Benghazi Testimony Contradicts Administration Story

Officials say special forces were held back from responding


The dramatic and personal stories of State Department staffers — one of whom was in Libya at the time — injected real emotion on Wednesday into what was expected to be a purely political hearing on Benghazi.

In his first full public accounting of his story, Gregory Hicks, a foreign service officer and ex-deputy chief of mission in Libya, recounted in vivid detail what happened the night of the attacks in Benghazi.

He detailed many of the assertions that have fueled Republican criticism of the administration response to the attacks — including U.S. special forces based in Tripoli that could have responded to the attacks were detained. Officials from State and the Pentagon countered the argument that the Tripoli-based team didn't have the necessary firearms or equipment to help.