— By Domani Spero
I had to stop watching the Daily Press Briefing – Ms. Harf, the Deputy Spokesperson is way too chirpy for such a serious topic.
In any case, lots of questions about the Other Benghazi Four. We hope to have a recap for that later. In the meantime, The Daily Beast and a couple other news outlet carried a statement from a senior State Department official (certainly authorized to speak about this but unnamed for a reason) saying this:
“As soon as he came into the department, Secretary Kerry wanted to invest the time to review the ARB’s findings and match those against his own on-the-job findings about security,” the senior State Department official said. “He’s been hands-on focused on building on the lessons learned from the Benghazi attack to strengthen security at missions world-wide and continue the ARB’s security paradigm shift.”
“[Secretary Kerry] studied their careers and studied the facts,” the official said. “In order to implement the ARB and to continue to turn the page and shift the paradigm inside the Department, the four employees who were put on administrative leave last December pending further review, will be reassigned inside the State Department.”
And just to make sure you you don’t misunderstand, the senior State Department official told The Daily Beast this:
“After consideration, Kerry reaffirmed the ARB’s finding that no employee breached their duty or should be fired but rather that some should be reassigned, the official said. The four individuals are not blameless, and the fact that they will not be returned to the same positions is relevant, the official said.”
Wuh duh ma huh tah duh fong kwong duh wai shung! Holy mother of god and all her wacky nephews! Two questions:
Who the frack still uses words like “paradigm shift”?
If the four individuals are “not blameless” … well then — who are the individuals blameful for this?
If you think, returning these four to work will end this circus, that couldn’t be more wrong. House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) issued the following statement promising an expanded investigation.
Obama administration officials repeatedly promised the families of victims and the American people that officials responsible for security failures would be held accountable. Instead of accountability, the State Department offered a charade that included false reports of firings and resignations and now ends in a game of musical chairs where no one misses a single day on the State Department payroll. It is now clear that the personnel actions taken by the Department in response to the Benghazi terrorist attacks was more of a public relations strategy than a measured response to a failure in leadership.
In the course of our investigation, the Oversight Committee learned that the State Department’s review of these four individuals did not include interviews with them or their supervisors to either substantiate or challenge allegations. The Oversight Committee will expand its investigation of the Benghazi terrorist attack to include how a supposed ‘Accountability Review Board’ investigation resulted in a decision by Secretary Kerry not to pursue any accountability from anyone.
We recognize that Secretary Kerry inherited this baggage from the Clinton tenure. But it should not have lasted this long. Eight months long after the ARB report and a month shy of the first anniversary of the Benghazi attack. What were you folks thinking?
Secretary Kerry was ill-served by senior officials in Foggy Bottom protecting their own skin. When he came into the State Department, Secretary Kerry should have 1) declassified the ARB section laying blame on these four officials, 2) allowed these four officials to see the “evidence” against them and 3) ensured that the four individuals receive legal counsel and had the ability to defend themselves. Isn’t that how we preach things ought to be done under the rule of law? And most certainly, the process of evaluating whether or not these four deserves firing or not should have been made public and not done behind locked doors. Of course, there’s no way to control how things go in the light of day. But that’s the risk that should have been worth taking. Right now, the State Department’s doors smell like cow-dung mud bricks. Some house cleaning is in order. This institution deserves more.
Maybe some senior State Department official ought to go spend more time with his family. It’s time to go.
So I’ll play my role in the mean time
but the curtains have fell, I’ve got no lines
What’s left to say if it’s been said before
I’ve searched my self for an answer I know
It’s time to go
- Kerry Reinstates Benghazi Officials Clinton Punished… (thedailybeast.com)
- State Dept. reinstates officials disciplined after Benghazi review (thehill.com)
- Statement from State Department on Benghazi (gretawire.foxnewsinsider.com)
- Kerry clears State staffers put on leave over Benghazi (cbsnews.com)
- Kerry Brings Back State Dept. Officials Who ‘Resigned’ over Benghazi (nationalreview.com)
- The Other Benghazi Four: Lengthy Administrative Circus Ended Today; Another Circus Heats Up (diplopundit.net)
- Issa – Kerry Paper Shuffling Saga: What’s With the 7-Month Administrative Leave? (diplopundit.net)