Update 1:32 p.m.: Looking for a gotcha moment, Rep. Burton asks why the State Department's Charlene Lamb isn't calling the attackers "terrorists." Lamb says she's just outlining the facts. Michelle Malkin joins the bandwagon:
Update 1:26 p.m.: Cummings, interviewing Nordstrom, is attempting to make the case that Nordstrom's complaints about the State Department don't match his previous assessments that State Department security was appropriate in Libya. It appears that Cummings is trying to push against Nordstrom's statements in Jake Tapper's piece here that are critical of State.
Update 1:17 p.m.: Rep. Jason Chaffetz halted the presentation by State Department officials worrying that they were revealing classified information. (A satellite image of the U.S. compound appeared on a chart). "I totally object to the use of that photo. I believe it to be classified information. It should not be disseminated in a public matter that State is doing," Chaffetz said.
The State officials insisted it wasn't classified and was publicly available information. The image appears to be a satellite photo of Benghazi, similar to ones reported in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Rep. Cummings noted that "you can Google this" and a State official said it was merely commercial satellite imagery. After some fireworks, Issa ultimately sides with Chaffetz saying "I would direct that that chart be taken down."
Update 12:52 p.m.: "I'm concerned that this attack constitutes a new security reality," said Eric Nordstrom, the former chief security officer for U.S. diplomats in Libya. He compared the attack to 9/11 in how it should change the way we think about security. His security team wasn't in the position to defend themselves against "roving gangs" and couldn't rely on the Libyan government to rely on "emerging threats," he said. He added that armed security contractor companies weren't allowed in Libya and ticked off a number of recommendations.
Update 12:45 p.m.: Lt. Col Wood, who led a special forces team tasked with protecting diplomats in Libya, is called to testify. Wood has criticized the State Department for allegedly reducing the number of security personnel in the country despite an uptick in security threats.
Update 12:32 p.m.: When I was in Libya, nobody "ever mentioned a video," said Republican Jason Chaffetz, scolding a range of administration officials for blaming the attacks on the U.S. film Innocence of Muslims.
Update 12:15 p.m.: Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings, a ranking member on the committee, made it clear he doesn't want a witch hunt. "We should not be in the business of drawing conclusions and then looking for the facts." Drawing first blood on Issa, he said it "simply hasn't been the case," that Issa is carrying out this hearing in a bipartisan basis. He called Republican tactics "toxic" and "petty." Cummings then hammered Republicans for cutting embassy security, calling on the House to increase funding for embassies.