Former Deputy Chief of Mission in Libya Gregory Hicks said he believed Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty could have been saved in Benghazi if action was taken sooner Sunday in an interview with George Stephanopoulos.
The “This Week” interview was wide ranging, covering several different aspects of the September 11, 2012 attack.
Of particular note, Hicks said even one year later he still does not understand why the military could not fly fighter jets over Benghazi to deter a second wave of assaults after the first attack:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Since this happened, we have seen the top Pentagon officials at the time, the top military says there was no way to respond in time. Military assets could not get there.
GREGORY HICKS: I don’t know exactly what was available. I still don’t quite understand why they couldn’t fly aircraft over to Benghazi. When I was a kid, I grew up watching western movies. And, you know, cavalry always came. I just thought they would come.
Hicks also reiterated he feels he is being punished by the State Department for speaking out about the attack and does not understand why he is being shunned and “put in a closet” by superiors.
Hicks described the passing of Ambassador Stevens as “the saddest moment” of his career.
The former diplomat to Libya concluded while Ambassador Stevens and Sean Smith probably could not have been saved, if military action was taken sooner it is possible Doherty and Woods could have been spared prior to being killed by mortar rounds in the second assault on the compound.
The names and memories of the four victims of Benghazi cannot be forgotten, Hicks said:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Could those four American heros have been saved?
GREGORY HICKS: Sadly I think the ambassador and Smith maybe not. Ty and Glen of course were killed in the mortar attack that took place eight hours after the attack. It’s possible they could have been saved I think.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: What’s the best way to honor the memory of the four diplomats and security professionals who lost their lives that night?
GREGORY HICKS: We can’t forget them. And we need to make sure that the people going out into the world on our behalf have the tools that they need, and the resources they need, to do the job that they have been asked to do for the people of the United States.