Gregory Hicks: I thought Benghazi assault ‘was a terrorist attack from the get-go’

The deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Libya during a 2012 attack on a diplomatic outpost in Benghazi told investigators he thought the strike was "a terrorist attack from the get-go," according to interview excerpts released Sunday on CBS News's "Face The Nation."

"I thought it was a terrorist attack from the get-go. I think everybody in the mission thought it was a terrorist attack from the beginning," Gregory Hicks said in an interview with investigators shared with "Face The Nation." The excerpt was one of several host Bob Schieffer revealed on the program.

Hicks is one of the witnesses called to testify this week before the House Oversight Committee about the Sept. 11, 2012, attack that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

Shortly after the attack, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice characterized the assault as a spontaneous attack. The Obama administration later said it was an act of terror.

"Clearly, there was a political decision to say something different than what was reasonable to say," House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said on "Face The Nation."

According to the excerpts of his interview with investigators, Hicks said that the morning after Rice's Sunday show appearances he called Acting Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs Beth Jones to ask why Rice had said that. Hicks said Jones told him she didn't know.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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Sean Sullivan · May 5, 2013