Today marks six months since the September 11, 2012 terrorist attacks on the U.S. compounds in Benghazi, Libya in which four Americans were killed, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens. Some watchdog groups, members of the media and Republican members of Congress are asking: Where are the more than two dozen U.S. personnel who survived the attack but haven't been seen nor heard from in public since? There were also an undisclosed number of witnesses at the U.S. compounds in Tripoli but they also have not spoken publicly.
In a recent press report, Secretary of State John Kerry said he visited one survivor at "Bethesda hospital," and referred to him a "remarkably courageous person who is doing very, very well." Kerry added, "I've called his wife and talked to her." But the identities, condition and testimony of the survivors and witnesses have been closely held from the public.
Republicans demanded more information about Benghazi in recent weeks before they would agree to allow Obama Administration nominees to move forward in the Senate. A source familiar with material turned over to the Senate Intelligence Committee by the Obama Administration in response tells CBS News that long sought-after FBI transcripts of some survivors were included but had been "blacked out" or redacted. Three Senate Republicans including Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., say they want the survivors to be made available for interviews about what happened the night of the attacks.
Meanwhile, a State Department review board found that despite requests from Stevens for more security prior to the attack, there were no military resources in place close enough to come to the rescue of Americans during the attack. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey testified that troops have been placed on a higher state of alert since then.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified in January she was unaware of Stevens' unmet security requests. She said the highest ranking official who received them at the State Department was undersecretary Patrick Kennedy. Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Dempsey said they were aware of Stevens' requests and concerns.
At a press conference on November 14, 2012, President Obama stated that his administration has provided all information regarding "what happened in Benghazi." Yet, when CBS News asked for White House photos from the night of the attacks, surveillance video that was promised last November, and answers to outstanding questions, a White House official told us that there would be no further comment.
CBS News has filed multiple Freedom of Information requests for Benghazi-related material, but none has been provided. Judicial Watch, a watchdog group, is suing the U.S. government in an attempt to receive some of the denied information.