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CIA contractors to discuss Benghazi consulate attack in closed hearing

Nov. 1, 2013 at 10:29 AM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- CIA contractors will recount their version of the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in a closed meeting of a House Intelligence panel, CNN said.

The men, described by sources as former Navy SEALs, ex-Army Special Forces and former U.S. Marines, were under contract to guard CIA agents on the ground, CNN reported Thursday.

The security officers were among those who responded to the terror attack Sept. 11, 2012, in which U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed.

Sources told CNN the contractors are scheduled to appear before the subcommittee during the week of Nov. 11. Of the estimated nearly two dozen CIA operatives on the ground during the assault, only one has testified, the sources said.

Lawmakers have told CNN they are unhappy with the investigation so far conducted by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., whose staff defended his committee's work, which has included nine full committee hearings, roundtable discussions with Obama administration officials and an interim report.

Frustrated congressional members said they want answers to three questions from people who were there: Why was the CIA in Libya, what happened during the failed rescue attempt and did the administration know immediately it was a planned terrorist attack?

"I think that there's a real mystery here surrounding what really took place and for reasons unbeknownst to me, the Congress, as well as the agency are going out of their way to protect whatever there was that they were doing operationally in Libya," Fred Burton, a former State Department diplomatic security agent who wrote a book about Benghazi that is being made into an HBO movie, told CNN.

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