Ex-Staffer Pours Fuel to the Benghazi Select Committee House Fire

Posted: 5:18 pm EDT
Updated: October 11, 3:26 pm EDT
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Several days ago, before House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy dropped out of the speaker’s race, he did this:

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CNN reports that Major Bradley Podliska, an intelligence officer in the Air Force Reserve who describes himself as a conservative Republican, told CNN that the committee trained its sights almost exclusively on Clinton after the revelation last March that she used a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state. Podliska served nearly 10 months on the committee before he was fired in late June.  According to CNN, Podliska plans to file the lawsuit next month after a 30-day mediation phase required under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act passes. The spokesperson for the House Select Committee for Benghazi has released a 5-paragaraph statement in response to the ex-staffer’s allegation.

Major Bradley Podliska’s exclusive TV interview with CNN will air Sunday at 9 a.m. on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Updated, PowerPoint as obsession:

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#WorldMentalHealthDay: Living with a Black Dog

Posted: 1:25 pm PDT
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Saturday 10 October is World Mental Health Day, hosted by the World Federation of Mental Health.  According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are more than 800,000 deaths by suicide each year – more than 41,000 of them in the United States.  To help mark WMHD2015, we’re sharing a collection of links below; by understanding the illness, we can help erode the stigma and relate to those who suffer with understanding, and compassion.

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We also did one forum in June on PTSD, check it out here.

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@StateDept’s Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs: Doug Frantz Out, John Kirby In

Posted: 12:28  pm PDT
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In our Burn Bag mail today:

“Kirby in as Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs. Will that most bureaucratic of bureaus finally be fixed?”

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State Department Spokesperson John Kirby watches as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry addresses reporters on August 6, 2015, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, during a news conference following two days of meetings at the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting. [State Department Photo/Public Domain]

Douglas Frantz was a newspaper reporter and editor for more than 35 years before joining the State Department in September 2013 as Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs. He previously worked for then-Senator John Kerry as deputy staff director and chief investigator of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC).  We understand that Frantz is slated to move to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

John Kirby was appointed as the Spokesperson for the Department of State on May 12, 2015. Kirby previously served as Pentagon Press Secretary, serving for more than a year as the chief spokesman for the Department of Defense and for former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. He retired from the Navy in May 2015 with the rank of Rear Admiral.

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