A group of retired special operations forces members is demanding that Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) release a transcript of Wednesday's interview with the co-chairman of the independent audit into last year's terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.
Former Joint Chiefs Chairman Michael Mullen, who co-authored the Accountability Review Board report on Benghazi, is being deposed by Issa's Oversight panel on Wednesday, according to Fox News.
OPSEC, a group of former special operatives and intelligence officials formed after the attack on the U.S. mission, urged Issa to press Mullen on reports that special operations forces were prevented from flying to Benghazi during the attack that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans on Sept. 11, 2012.
“We applaud the Committee for holding this interview with Admiral Mullen but there’s been enough secrecy around the Benghazi attacks over the last nine months. We urge the Committee to start to shed more light on the truth by immediately releasing a transcript of the interview.”
Mullen's co-chairman, retired Ambassador Thomas Pickering, was deposed earlier this month. Issa and committee Republicans have assailed the review board for not interviewing former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonStudent debt is America's most pressing economic problem Trump: 'Ridiculous' to think Russia intervened in election How did we end up with a ‘commander in tweet’? MORE during their investigation and for not recommending that anyone at State be fired.
Since the release of the Benghazi report in December, the deputy chief of mission in Libya at the time of the attack, Gregory Hicks, has come forward to testify that a group of special operations forces was told to “stand down” during the attack.
Mullen's successor, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, has testified that the group, which included a medic, was given the order not to fly to Benghazi because they would have been of better use tending to the wounded Americans evacuated to Tripoli.
“They weren't told to stand down,” Dempsey said last week. “A 'stand down' means don't do anything.' They were told that the mission they were asked to perform was not in Benghazi, but was at Tripoli airport.”
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