“There are more Benghazi hearings coming. I think they’re going to be explosive,” Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) of the House Oversight Committee told Fox News on Sunday. He hinted that we might finally be hearing from survivors of the terrorist attack that killed our mysteriously unprotected ambassador to Libya.
It’s odd that we haven’t heard anything from these survivors before, isn’t it? One possible reason for this silence was revealed in a Fox News report on Monday, in which we learned that “at least four career officials at the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency have retained lawyers or are in the process of doing so, as they prepare to provide sensitive information about the Benghazi attacks to Congress.” We don’t know if any of these officials were on the ground in Benghazi, but we do know they’re retaining legal counsel to protect themselves against threats of reprisal from the Obama Administration:
Victoria Toensing, a former Justice Department official and Republican counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee, is now representing one of the State Department employees. She told Fox News her client and some of the others, who consider themselves whistle-blowers, have been threatened by unnamed Obama administration officials.
???I’m not talking generally, I’m talking specifically about Benghazi ??? that people have been threatened,??? Toensing said in an interview Monday. ???And not just the State Department. People have been threatened at the CIA.???
Toensing claims her client has some very damaging information, and she minces no words about the pressure allegedly deployed against her client, in defiance of federal “whistleblower” laws:
Toensing disclosed that her client has pertinent information on all three time periods investigators consider relevant to the attacks: the months that led up to the attack, when pleas by the ambassador and his staff for enhanced security in Benghazi were mostly rejected by senior officers at the State Department; the eight-hour time frame in which the attacks unfolded, and the eight-day period that followed the attacks, when Obama administration officials incorrectly described them as the result of a spontaneous protest over a video.
???It’s frightening, and they’re doing some very despicable threats to people,??? she said. ???Not ???we’re going to kill you,??? or not ???we’re going to prosecute you tomorrow,??? but they’re taking career people and making them well aware that their careers will be over [if they cooperate with congressional investigators].???
House Oversight chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) has written a letter to the current Secretary of State, John Kerry, complaining that State has been slow to provide lawyers like Toensing the security clearance needed to review documents pertaining to Benghazi, so they can effectively represent their clients. “The Department???s unwillingness to make the process for clearing an attorney more transparent appears to be an effort to interfere with the rights of employees to furnish information to Congress,” Issa wrote.
A State Department spokesman claimed they haven’t received any such requests. It probably won’t take long to establish the truth of these conflicting claims during the upcoming Benghazi hearings. It will probably be much harder to nail down the alleged threats from Administration officials against the whistleblowers, as such comments are usually made during off-the-record conversations.
Hopefully the hearings will also address the list of unanswered questions compiled by reporter Sharyl Attkisson. Contrary to Administration hand-waving and Hillary Clinton’s infamous “What difference does it make?” outburst, there is still a lot we don’t know about the deadly disaster in Benghazi, and the Obama team’s reprehensible conduct afterward.