Republican-led House committee subpoenas US security leader in Libya

Published October 06, 2012

| FoxNews.com

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has subpoenaed the leading security official at the U.S. consulate in Libya for an upcoming hearing, an attempt to learn more details about the deadly terror attack last month on the compound.

The committee, led by California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, has issued a subpoena to Utah Army National Guard Green Beret Lt. Col. Andy Wood, Fox News learned Saturday.

Wood led a 16-member Special Forces site security team responsible for protecting U.S. personnel at the consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

The Sept. 11 attack on the consulate killed U.S. ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. The Obama administration maintained through Sept. 16 that the attack was "spontaneous," sparked by anger over an anti-Islamist video trailer.

The administration has since acknowledged the strike was preplanned and a terror attack. However, few solid details have emerged about intelligence before the attack, the exactly security details and events surrounding the incident.

The hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, but the entire list of witnesses is not complete.

The FBI is leading the investigation. Agents made a brief visit to Benghazi earlier this week to examine the crime scene, after being delayed for weeks because of security concerns. 

The FBI team had been held up for weeks getting into the eastern Libya city and has already left.

"The FBI continues to coordinate with the U.S. Departments of State, Justice, and Defense, as well as the Libyan government, and other agencies in furtherance of the investigation into the deaths of Ambassador Stevens, Glen Doherty, Sean Smith, and Tyrone Woods," the FBI said in a statement. "As this is an ongoing investigation, we have no further information to provide."

As the FBI investigates, an independent panel has been established by the State Department to review what went wrong. That review, though, could take months and U.S. lawmakers were starting to express frustration after their requests for more information were rebuffed as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged lawmakers to wait for the conclusion of an internal review. 

Clinton raised concerns among some Republican lawmakers that she was pushing off the review's conclusions until after the election.

"No one wants to determine what happened that night in Benghazi more than the president and I do," she said.

In a letter to Clinton on Wednesday, Issa asked that the department provide two witnesses -- Eric Nordstrom, who was stationed in Libya until June, and Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Programs Charlene Lamb, a Washington official involved in reviewing security requests. 

The hearing comes as the department's review is just getting underway. Among those on the panel are Adm. Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and retired U.S. Ambassador Thomas Pickering, who served as America's top diplomat in several countries.

Language published in the Federal Register this week declared that the board will submit its findings "within 60 days of its first meeting, unless the Chair determines a need for additional time." 

New signs also were emerging this week that officials were receiving guidance that the attack was coordinated in the immediate aftermath of the strike despite public comments to the contrary. 

The New York Times, which first reported that the U.S. was tracking suspects, reported that, according to one official, spy agencies were intercepting communications from militant Ansar al-Shariah fighters boasting to someone with an Al Qaeda affiliate. 

Reuters also reported that the Obama administration had "about a dozen" intelligence reports within hours of the attack suggesting Al Qaeda-tied militants were involved. 

Fox News reported last week that intelligence officials were picking up that it was a terror strike within 24 hours. 

 

 

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