Gripping Firsthand Account: Gregory Hicks Recounts Details of Benghazi Attack
The day was a “routine day” at the embassy, until an aide ran into his villa in Tripoli as he was watching television, and said, “Greg, Greg, the Consulate is under attack.”
He immediately called Ambassador Stevens – who answered and quickly confirmed that it was true.
He went onto provide a detailed account of the events of the day, including that he received the saddest phone call he’d ever received – the one telling him that Ambassador Stevens had died.
Here's more on Hicks' testimony from FoxNews.com:
He described how, as diplomatic officials were trying to find out what happened to Stevens, they were receiving phone calls from supposed tipsters saying they knew where the ambassador was and urging Americans to come get him.
"We suspected that we were being baited into a trap," Hicks said, adding that he did not want to send anybody into what he suspected was an "ambush."
Getting choked up, Hicks described how the Libyan prime minister later called him to tell him Stevens was in fact dead. "I think it's the saddest phone call I've ever had in my life," he said.
At the very beginning of the attack, before Stevens went missing and was later found dead, Hicks said his team believed it was terrorism. He said a regional security officer rushed into his villa yelling, "Greg, Greg, the consulate's under attack."
He then spoke by phone with Stevens who told him the same: "Greg, we're under attack."
After enduring a night of attacks on the U.S. consulate, Hicks said the team departed at dawn for the nearby annex -- shortly after they arrived, "the mortars came."
The testimony of Hicks and others is poised to challenge key elements of the Obama administration's narrative, including their initial statements that the attack was triggered by protests over a film.
Hicks said that, despite U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice's repeated claims the Sunday after the attack that the film was the impetus, Stevens never mentioned a demonstration before his death.
"I was stunned," Hicks said of Rice's comments. "My jaw dropped, and I was embarrassed."
He said Rice never talked to him before those appearances.
Another whistle-blower questioned Wednesday why more military assets were not deployed sooner during the Benghazi terror attack. Mark Thompson, a former Marine and official with the State Department's Counterterrorism Bureau, said he was rebuffed by the White House when he asked for a specialized team -- known as a FEST team -- to be deployed. This is a unit made of special operations personnel, diplomatic security, intelligence and other officers.
Suggesting that some were hesitant to deploy because they were unsure what was happening, "One definition of a crisis is you do not know what's going to happen in two hours," he said.
Further, Hicks explained how a separate team of special forces personnel were not given the authorization to fly from Tripoli to Benghazi. "They were furious," he said.