smaller Larger facebooktwittergoogle pluslinked ininShare.8EmailPrintSave ↓ More .
By SIOBHAN HUGHES And ADAM ENTOUS
WASHINGTON—A high-ranking American diplomat delivered an emotional reconstruction Wednesday of the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, providing the first detailed public account from an American official who was on the ground in Libya.
The testimony from Gregory Hicks, the No. 2 U.S. official in Libya at the time, before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee also drew new attention to key questions about the attacks, and how the administration handled the aftermath.
The diplomat said he believes the U.S. military could have done more to assist U.S. personnel on the ground. He also said top officials in Washington overlooked information in their early conclusion, since abandoned, that the attack began as a protest.
The riveting narrative from Mr. Hicks, a career diplomat, could revive an issue that had begun to fade after the re-election of President Barack Obama and the confirmation this year of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry.
Mr. Hicks recounted his last conversation with U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, his own desperate appeals for help, and the moment he received "the saddest phone call I've ever had in my life." Mr. Stevens and three other Americans died in the attacks.
Republicans charge the Obama administration hasn't told all it knows about the periods before, during and after the assault. The administration and Democrats say that dozens of hours of public testimony and thousands of pages of documents, along with an exhaustive independent investigation, have settled the outstanding questions.
Pentagon officials rebutted Mr. Hicks' testimony Wednesday, saying the military wasn't in position to mount a rescue that night, and on that critical matter, the hearing didn't shed new light. The administration's allies have called the Republican-