This could fall under the category of “Current Events”, but I want to make a point about whistle-blowers and “Lifesaver”, the new book we have had under discussion. Yesterday, May 8th, 2013, Gregory Hicks appeared before the U.S. Congress’ Oversight Committee. His half-hour of testimony left no doubt as to where we are as a nation. Mr. Hicks is a career diplomat with the U.S. Department of State. Last fall he was on assignment in Libya’s capital Tripoli when the September 11th attack took place on the consulate in Benghazi. The uprising resulted in the death of four Americans, including our ambassador, Christopher Stevens.
In short, Mr. Hicks, the State Department’s ranking official in Libya after the attack, exposed the stories coming from U.S. leaders as fallacious and without merit, stories that continued for seven days in the aftermath of the attack. Mr. Hicks testified that no one in the present administration, such as the U.S. ambassador Susan Rice, contacted him personally for his version of the events on the day of the attack. Mr. Hicks said he was eventually interviewed but thought it odd that no stenographer was present to accurately transcribe his recollections for the record.
The leader of Libya, Mohammed al-Mugariaf, was adamant that the attack was planned, inspired and carried out by a terrorist group connected with al-Quaeda. Mr. al-Mugariaf was incensed by his loss of face when American leaders offered a version that contradicted his public statements. Everyone with knowledge of the incident knew what happened had nothing to do with a supposed anti-Muslim video seen by a few on YouTube. Yet that was the fiction coming from the U.S. president, Barack Obama, his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and the U. N. Ambassador, Susan Rice. Attempts were made to persuade Mr. Hicks not to testify. After his intent to come forward became clear, Mr. Hicks was punished with a demotion to a desk job. Some within the president’s political party went to work to cast a shadow over the relevance of Mr. Hick’s testimony, if not its veracity. One democrat Congressman said that the late-Ambassador Stevens knew what he was getting into when he signed on to the diplomatic corps. “Deaths happen,” was the representative’s response.
Death, in this case, was assured because someone in authority in Washington D.C. gave an order for our military emergency response team to “stand down”. In other words those trained, ready, willing and able to help were told not to go in and attempt a rescue. Hearing this first hand from a credible source, such as Mr. Hicks, has given the public an opportunity to decide who is truthful and who is not. It has also revealed an antipathy, if not hostility, toward whistle-blowers like Gregory Hicks, especially on the part of the administration’s loyalists. Is it the truth we want? For many the question is how do we do damage control? Watch for a vicious counter-attack on Mr. Hicks, a member of their team who dared come forward with the facts.
“Lifesaver” has been out nearly a month and already I have witnessed a similar reaction. I’ve offered copies to a few Pre-trib friends and asked for their response. With the news of Mr. Hicks testimony in the back of my mind, this is what I heard from a Christian brother whom I respect. He said he read the book, then he said he read half or maybe it was a third. Well, at least he scanned some of it.
He was apparently angered by my audacity. How dare I call into question the testimony of some of the most revered evangelicals of our day. He said there were Scriptures that proved me wrong and the Pre-trib position right. I asked, “Which ones are you referring to?”
I had to go slow because my friend was getting upset so I went to the subject of the Benghazi hearings in Congress. My friend got his bearings and said that Revelation 3:10 was one verse that proved his side was correct. I offered that I covered this argument in the book. I offered several pages of evidence examining the full context, the letters to the churches before and after the one in question, and more. My friend did not seem interested in my evidence. He was holding on to the 3:10 passage like a bulldog with clenched jaws on the end of a bone in a tug-of-war. I thanked my friend for his willingness to assist with my experiment and went on my way.
I want to offer some sympathy for those in Congress or in the media who cannot come to grips with the reality that their president and his minions lied through their teeth for a week. The mind has trouble grappling with this type of revelation if the person in question is on a pedestal.
But let’s also have some sympathy for the whistle-blower. They have no real power compared to the authority of the executive office. Mr. Hicks only has his version of the truth. His exposing the esteemed and noble leadership of this country as potential tale-bearers may cost him more than a promotion. It may cost him his reputation, his friends or his safety. Some will view Mr. Hicks in negative terms. This is not about getting to the truth. It is about taking sides.
One thing that cannot be said for any Christian who reads the introductory portion of “Lifesaver” then condemns it is this: They cannot say for them that truth matters. Getting upset with John Finkbeiner because of his book is telling. Instead, have some sympathy. I am only a whistle-blower. Instead of being angry, maybe we ought to ask some questions. Maybe instead of becoming defensive, we ought to look deeper into what the Scripture actually states. Maybe we ought to seek the truth rather than gravitating to the person who gives us what our itching ears want to hear.