Jan 23, 2013 Comments Off Pat Dollard
(CNSNews.com) - In the aftermath of the terrorist attack on the U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, five State Department Diplomatic Security agents who were in Benghazi that day and survived the attack were evacuated from the country and taken to Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany.
All five had suffered from smoke inhalation, and one was seriously wonded.
Under questioning from Sen. Ron Johnson in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton revealed that she has spoken to only one of the survivors who was evacuated from Libya after the Benghazi attack. Presumably, this was on of the five Diplomatic Security officers who was at the mission during the attack.
Clinton also claimed that it would have been inappropriate for her to talk to these State Department officials, who worked for her, and who had defended the department’s Special Mission Compound in Benghazi.
Clinton told Sen. Johnson that there were approximately 25-30 survivors evacuated from Libya after the attack, but does not know precisely how many “because of our other friends.” Most of the U.S. personnel in Benghazi that day apparently worked for the CIA. Other than the five Diplomatic Security agents who were at the State Department mission at the time of the terror attack and survived, the only other State Department personnel in the city were Amb. Chris Stevens and Information Management Officer Sean Smith, both of whom were killed in the attack.
“Did you personally speak to those folks?” Sen. Johnson asked Clinton of the American survivors of the attack.
“I have spoken to one of them,” said Clinton, “but I waited until the ARB [Accountability Review Board] had done its investigation because I did not want there to be anybody raising an issue that I had spoken to anyone before the ARB had conducted its investigation.”
The ARB report was published more than a month ago on Dec. 18.