Retired Air Force Brigadier Gen. Robert Lovell, former intelligence director of AFRICOM, delivered testimony this morning before the House Oversight Committee on the Benghazi attack. The hearing comes just days after new emails surfaced, pointing to a link between top White House officials and the false narrative put forth by Susan Rice about how the attack happened.

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In a prepared statement (video above) Lovell said that military officials knew "early on that this was a hostile action."

"This was no demonstration gone terribly awry," said Lovell.

Initially, the Obama administration blamed a protest for the Benghazi attack, saying that is what the intelligence indicated at the time. Lovell went on to push back against the administration's claims that there was not enough time for military action to attempt to save the lives of the four Americans who died.

He said he didn't know whether military action would have succeeded, but added "we should have tried."

Watch the powerful statements above. In the clip below, Lovell takes questions from Chairman Issa.