House Republican Policy Committee Chairman and Oversight Committee member James Lankford (R-OK) issued the following statement after conclusion of today's House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing about the September 11, 2012 attack on our outpost consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
"The families of the victims of the Benghazi attack, especially those present throughout today's long hearing, deserve to know the facts we heard today," said Lankford.
"Our panel of witnesses brought to light new facts and new stories of heroism from that tragic night in Libya. When I questioned the State Department's Gregory Hicks--the Deputy Chief of Mission in Libya--about whether or not our facilities in Tripoli and Benghazi came close to meeting State's security requirements, he replied that they did not.
"Furthermore, according to Mr. Hicks during the hearing, as far as he knew, the only person who has the authority to waive security requirements for high-risk, high-threat locations is the Secretary of State," continued Lankford. "I find it incomprehensible that the State Department denied our diplomats' request for proper security forces on the ground without a contingency plan for their security.
"Rep. Trey Gowdy, my Oversight colleague from South Carolina, also asked Mr. Hicks what he thought when he heard Ambassador Susan Rice on five news shows calling the attack a "protest' resulting from a rogue YouTube video. Mr. Hicks replied that he was "stunned and embarrassed.' I think his assessment reflects what most Americans feel about this debacle.
"The facts we learned today will help us move forward in our investigation to determine what questions remain unanswered and where we go from here to prevent any possible repeat of the tragic events of September 11, 2012," concluded Lankford.