House Oversight Committee chair Darrell Issa knows how to put on a show. Issa teased his Wednesday congressional hearing on Benghazi like a movie, tweeting movie poster-style photos with the hearing date and his face, as if he were an action star (right). The hearing was packed with emotional testimony from former State Department officials who were there the night the American consulate was attacked. Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz even started crying (below left) late in the afternoon as he questioned the witnesses, who, at that moment, were not crying. The Washington Post's Ernesto Londoño describes it as "a riveting account of that frantic night." Politico's Ginger Gibson said the "dramatic and personal stories… injected real emotion" into the hearing. "Do you hear the pain and the sadness?" Rush Limbaugh said Wednesday. However, the hearing offered little to prove a coverup of nefarious acts by the Obama administration. We already knew an anti-Islam movie did not inspire the attack. We already knew the consulate had requested more security.
That is not to say there was no new information in the hearings. Gregory Hicks, who was deputy chief of mission at the time of the Benghazi attack, provided new details about what happened that night and the struggle to find Ambassador Chris Stevens, who died of smoke inhalation after the safe house was set on fire. Hicks spoked with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at 2 a.m. the night of the attack — she asked if they needed more resources, and Hicks said yes. He said he could not remember if Clinton asked who caused the attack. Hicks explained Clinton wanted to make the Benghazi consulate converted into a permanent constituent post, and so Stevens had to go there before the start of the fiscal year September 30, 2012, he said. Even though the British closed their diplomatic post, Hicks believes "we needed to stay there as a symbolic gesture to a people we saved" during the Libyan revolution.