It has been reported that 20 to 30 Americans were evacuated on the night of the attack, but reports are conflicting. Where are the survivors and can they shed any light on the events before and during the terror attack?
Kerry Picker from Breitbart.com reported that Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R- UT) is perplexed by the lack of information about the survivors of the attack. He said:
"My understanding is that we still have some people in the hospital. I'd like to visit with them and wish them nothing but the best but the State Department has seen it unfit for me to know who those people areÂ—or even how many there are."
He further indicated that the State Department has not clued in Congress or the media about the condition of the survivors, their names or even how many survived. He said:
"I don't know who they are. I don't know where they live. I don't know what state they're from. I don't even know how many there are. It doesn't seem right to me."
Photo Source: AP via Huffington Post
On December 20, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be testifying before the House of Representatives and Senate foreign affairs committees. Will she tell the committees what happened to the survivors?
Although it is not easy to find any news reports on the survivors, there are some scattered reports. For example, Dawn.com reported a few weeks after the attack that "About 20 Americans dressed in civilian clothing came and we were asked to protect them until they leave..." said a commander of the Libya Shield brigade, a former rebel unit under defense ministry command.
Image Source (toilet): Therightnewz
Conversely, according to Fox News, a six-man rescue team organized by the CIA chartered a plane that was "too small to rescue the entire group," and as a result, "the last survivors and Ambassador Chris Stevens' body [did not leave Libya] until 10 a.m. the next day." Additionally, the article reported that the Commander's In Extremis Force (CIF) was "never utilized" to help rescue "30 Americans who had fought off attackers on the ground in Benghazi until 5:26 a.m. on Sept. 12." How many survivors are there and why is this information still unavailable, three months after the attack?
Congressman Jason Chaffetz had a challenge for the media. He said:
"Unfortunately, people have been killed and maimed and in harm's way in Afghanistan and Iraq and in points beyond. It's typically been the case that they would release those names but in this case, they won't. My challenge is to the media. You try and figure it out."
It has been difficult to piece together the events from that fateful night. Despite President Obama's vow to provide "every bit of information" available regarding the attack, the Obama Administration also has yet to share information regarding decision making made by the President and his staff.
- It is not known who, specifically, changed UN Ambassador Susan Rice's talking points to deliberately remove references to al Qaeda and terrorism or why.
- It is not known why President Obama kept up the "YouTube Video" meme for weeks after the attack, despite having knowledge from the beginning that the attacks were likely related to al Qaeda.
- It is not known why a bloody toilet was found in the consulate, or whose bloody handprint is on a post at the scene.
An additional slew of unanswered questions remain regarding the inadequate security in Libya. For example, repeated requests for more support were denied, despite prior attacks on the compound in the months leading up to September 11, 2012.
Watch a news report that details a frustrating trampling of the crime scene that was not secured.
The many unanswered questions add to the speculation and fuel distrust of the government, and of the Obama Administration.