Will David Ubben Blow Roof Off 'Phony' Benghazi Scandal?
Posted 06:36 PM ET
Scandal: The former commander of special operations in North Africa says he, like our president, was incommunicado during the Benghazi attack. We may soon hear from the hero who survived 20 hours waiting for help.
During the second wave of attacks on Benghazi, diplomatic security agent David Ubben was on the roof of the CIA annex with two former Navy SEALS. Eventually, several rounds of mortar attacks found their mark, killing Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty while shredding Ubben's right leg.
Ubben was stuck on that rooftop for 20 hours before help finally arrived. He can tell us and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton "what difference does it make"that help was not sent — at least two American lives. Ubben sustained injuries at Benghazi so severe he's still being treated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Rep. Darrel Issa's House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has tried to interview Ubben as part of its Benghazi scandal investigation, but the State Department has not allowed the meeting, according to Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah.
"While initially they said they would be helpful, pretty quickly they turned that off," Chaffetz reported. "And I had a meeting scheduled to go visit this ... young man and then I was denied." State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki denies Chaffetz's claim, saying State has been fully cooperative.
Another Republican congressman, Frank Wolf of Virginia, who has gathered a majority of Republicans in the House in support of a select committee to investigate Benghazi, recently sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry complaining that the State Department has refused for months to provide Congress with the names and contact information of the survivors.
Ubben entered the smoke- and flame-filled Benghazi consulate several times in an attempt to rescue his fellow Americans. First, he recovered the body of Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith. He also went searching for Ambassador Chris Stevens but couldn't find him.
With more hearings scheduled on Benghazi this fall, some lawmakers hope Ubben will feel he's well enough to publicly testify, because he's one of the few survivors to witness both waves of the attack.
It was hoped that Col. George H. Bristol, former commander of Marine Corps special forces in Africa, could help explain to Ubben and to us why he had to wait on a roof in Benghazi for 20 hours for help to finally arrive.
Bristol was in charge of special operations forces in Northern Africa on the night of the Benghazi terrorist attack. He gave closed-door congressional testimony on Wednesday in which he said he was traveling in Africa at the time of the Benghazi attack and unreliable communications kept him from participating in the attack response, or lack of one.
Which raises the interesting question of how our African commander traveling in Africa was unable to coordinate a response to a terrorist attack in Africa. Of course, President Obama also did not participate in the attack "response" and the timeline of his activities that night still remains a mystery.
Command responsibility during his unavailability was in the hands of Lt. Col. S.E. Gibson who reportedly had earlier said he was at no point ordered to "stand down" but rather to remain in Tripoli to defend the American Embassy.
Presumably he was ordered to handle any spontaneous demonstrations in Tripoli spawned by a hateful Internet video. But isn't an order to stay put an order to "stand down"?
Perhaps Ubben can explain what he knows about why he had to lie on that rooftop for 20 hours. "Thank you very much for what you've done," Pat Smith, mother of the slain Sean Smith, said upon hearing of Ubben's actions, her voice filled with gratitude but also anger. "Why couldn't the government have done the same thing?"
Why indeed, Mr. President? We're still waiting for a real answer.