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WASHINGTON – There are said to have been seven of them – seven American survivors of the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, who were seriously wounded but remain unknown six months after the fact, but no one knows why.
Initial reports said there were 30 American survivors, seven of whom required extensive medical attention.
Now, a U.S. intelligence source who asked to remain unnamed has told WND that the American survivors who are said to be receiving extensive medical attention at Walter Reed Hospital near Washington, D.C., are contractors and employees for the Central Intelligence Agency, or CIA, using the State Department as a cover for their actual affiliation.
The intelligence source added that the facility in Benghazi called the “annex” was used by CIA as a base to look for weapons which had been taken from Libyan weapons stockpiles at the height of the 2011 civil war that saw the overthrow of Libyan leader Moammar al-Gadhafi, who ruled that country for some 40 years.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that some of these weapons were being turned over to the rebels battling the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., in a March 1 letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, similarly said in addition to State Department employees that the wounded included CIA employees and security contractors.
Wolf said that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had told him that a number of people had been severely wounded, but he’s heard nothing from the Defense Department or the State Department on their status.
It also may explain why after six months that no family members have gone public, as has been the case in other similar instances, or why no information is publicly available on their status or who they are.
These survivors are said to have sustained serious injuries, some of whom underwent amputations requiring a long stay at Walter Reed for rehabilitation and physical therapy.
Other sources say that almost all 30 of the American survivors were affiliated with CIA either as contractors or employees, raising a separate issue of what they were doing there.
At the time of the attack, four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed in the Sept. 11, 2012 attack which the Obama administration initially said was a spontaneous demonstration but later proved to be a terrorist attack, a fact to which the administration took weeks to admit.
In addition to State Department employee Sean Smith, two of the four Americans killed at the time similarly were contractors to CIA. They were Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, both of whom were former U.S. SEALs and worked out of the “annex” as the CIA facility was called.
Wolf’s March1 inquiry to Kerry remains unanswered.
Similarly, inquiries from WND to the State Department also have gone unanswered.
Wolf said their injuries must have been very serious. Yet, he said, “we don’t honor these people, we don’t mention their names. These are heroes.”
“It’s like it’s a dark hole and I think we’re now at a point – now there is a cover-up,” Wolf said.
Because of that, he wants a “select committee” which is a specially formed committee to investigate a particular issue, to look into the entire Benghazi affair.
In a recent Fox News interview, Kerry said that he has met with at least one of the survivors at Walter Reed but was evasive on the status of the Benghazi survivors.
Kerry said the one survivor with whom he had met was "remarkably courageous" and was doing "very, very well." He said that he also had spoken to the unnamed survivor's wife.
Kerry said that he couldn't say when the public might hear from the survivors.
"I can't tell you," Kerry said. "I don't know what the circumstances are of any requests to talk to them or not."
In response to questions on the condition of the survivors, however, Kerry didn't respond directly but would only say that his department has implemented lessons learned from the Benghazi experience.
In his March 1 letter to Kerry, Wolf also asked to meet with the survivors from Walter Reed, but hasn't received a response to that request, either.
Wolf said that the continued silence from the Obama administration on the status of the American survivors, including the seven who were severely wounded, had prompted him to call for creation of the select committee.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, similarly has been "thwarted" by the State Department from talking to any of the American survivors from the Benghazi attack.
"My understanding is that we still have some people in the hospital," Chaffetz said. "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 are – or even how many there are.
"I don't know who they are," he said. "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."