Special Forces Denied Permission For Benghazi Rescue Mission: Diplomat

US Special Forces were about to board a plane to mount a rescue mission to Benghazi when the mission was short-circuited by higher ups and the troops were told to stand down.

Gregory Hicks, one of the Benghazi whistleblowers scheduled to testify Wednesday in a public hearing before the US House oversight committee, gave this newly surfaced information to congressional investigators last month. Hick became the highest-ranking diplomat in Libya after the murder of Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

According to Hicks, Special Forces troops under Lt. Col. Gibson were about to board a C-130 for a trip from Tripoli to Benghazi to rescue Ambassador Stevens and the three other under-siege Americans at the US compound when Gibson “got a phone call from SOCAFRICA which said, ‘you can’t go now, you don’t have the authority to go now.’ And so they missed the flight … They were told not to board the flight, so they missed it.”

SOCAFRICA stands for Special Operations Command South Africa.

Added Hicks: “I believe if we had been able to scramble a fighter or aircraft or two over Benghazi as quickly as possible after the attack commenced, I believe there would not have been a mortar attack on the annex in the morning because I believe the Libyans would have split. They would have been scared to death that we would have gotten a laser on them and killed them.”

In addition to Stevens, embassy official Sean Smith and security officers Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods (both former Navy SEALS) were killed in Benghazi.

Obama administration officials have all along insisted that it couldn’t send any backup in time to save American lives. The administration has also been stonewalling the Benghazi investigation by lawmakers since the September 11, 2012 attack there.

In his dialogue with investigators, Hicks has also reportedly insisted that “everyone in the mission thought it was a terrorist attack from the beginning,” in an apparent contradiction to initial administration claims that the attack was spontaneous in nature and stemmed from a controversial video.

Benghazi talking points were also altered by the Obama administration before the election.