Another Benghazi / Fast and Furious parallel? State Department employees not allowed to talk

The parallels between Operation Fast and Furious and the 9/11/12 attack in Benghazi continue to mount. The latest example comes courtesy of Kerry Picket. She is reporting that Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who serves on the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees, says the State Department is not allowing him to talk to any of the survivors of the Benghazi attack.

Via Bretibart:

Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R- UT) told Breitbart News on Wednesday that he has been “thwarted” by the State Department from seeing any Americans who survived the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in  Benghazi. Many people forget that there were Americans who survived the Benghazi attack, some of whom were badly injured and are still recovering.

“My understanding is that we still have some people in the hospital. 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,” Rep. Chaffetz said. I don’t know who they are. 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.

So, how is this reminiscent of how the Fast and Furious investigation was handled?

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Consider the names Kevin O’Reilly and William Newell. When the DOJ / ATF – led Operation Fast and Furious was at its peak, there were communications between Newell and O’Reilly, who at the time was Director of North American Affairs with the National Security Council (the White House). If one ATF employee could be placed at the center of Fast and Furious, Newell might be that guy.

Here is a very compelling exchange between Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) and Newell from July 26, 2011 in which Gowdy confronts the former SAC about an email between O’Reilly and Newell. Shortly after this exchange, O’Reilly was transferred to Iraq to work as a State Department employee:



Obviously, after O’Reilly’s name was brought into the Fast and Furious scandal, Oversight Committee chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) wanted to talk to him. Here is an exchange between Issa and Fox News Channel’s Bret Baier a couple of months after the July 26th hearing:

More than one year later, O’Reilly returned from Iraq to work at the State Department.

Via CNS News:

Obama administration employee Kevin O’Reilly — who congressional investigators called “the link connecting the White House to the [Fast and Furious] scandal” — is back in the United States now after abruptly leaving his White House job to work in Iraq in 2011 after emails concerning him and Fast and Furious had surfaced.

O’Reilly left the United States in August 2011, shortly after his knowledge of the gun-walking program was publicized during a congressional hearing on July 26.

O’Reilly has so far refused to cooperate with the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which recently threatened to subpoena him. He also refused to cooperate with the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General, which investigated the program and recently released its findings.

Both the House committee and the Inspector General’s office sought to interview O’Reilly about Fast and Furious but the White House refused to grant him permission to be interviewed.

Another curious bit of timing involved the release of the DOJ’s Inspector General report just weeks before O’Reilly’s return from Iraq, meaning that O’Reilly left for Iraq shortly after he became a person of interest for the Oversight Committee and returned shortly after the DOJ IG issued its final report. Despite this, the White House said that was all coincidence:

In August 2011 — after the e-mails were first discussed at a July 26 congressional hearing — O’Reilly was named as the senior director of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Programs in Iraq, a State Department position.

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The State Department official told CNSNews.com that O’Reilly’s reassignment to Iraq from the White House “was a standard foreign service career rotation that had been planned for months in advance of his detail to the NSS.” The State Department could not confirm O’Reilly’s new title at the State Department.

So, what do Kevin O’Reilly and the survivors of the 9/11/12 attack in Benghazi have in common? All are State Department employees (presumptively); all were somehow connected to operations that involved the murder of American officials; and all are being prevented from speaking to Congressional committees who want and deserve answers.

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