State Department accountability over Benghazi worse than thought

Upon release of the Accountability Review Board’s (ARB) report on what happened in Benghazi, it was learned that the group singled out no individuals for discipline – the bureaucracy itself was identified as the party most responsible. There were, however, four State Department employees who reportedly resigned in the wake of the report.

Aside from the fact that none of the four individuals who allegedly ‘resigned’ were individuals who claimed to accept responsibility (Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton), it appears they haven’t really resigned at all.

Via the New York Post:

The four officials supposedly out of jobs because of their blunders in the run-up to the deadly Benghazi terror attack remain on the State Department payroll — and will all be back to work soon, The Post has learned.

The highest-ranking official caught up in the scandal, Assistant Secretary of State Eric Boswell, has not “resigned” from government service, as officials said last week. He is just switching desks. And the other three are simply on administrative leave and are expected back.

The four were made out to be sacrificial lambs in the wake of a scathing report issued last week that found that the US compound in Benghazi, Libya, was left vulnerable to attack because of “grossly inadequate” security.

State Department leaders “didn’t come clean about Benghazi and now they’re not coming clean about these staff changes,” a source close to the situation told The Post., adding, the “public would be outraged over this.”

Some might remember an exchange between Rep. Sandy Adams (R-FL) and Deputy Assistant Secretary Charlene Lamb at a House Oversight Committee in October. At the time, Adams pressed Lamb for the names of those who had the authority to deny requests for security in Benghazi. Lamb named both Eric Boswell and a man named Scott Bultrowicz. For some reason, all of the video excerpts from that hearing – once posted to the Oversight committee’s YouTube channel, now get re-directed to an unrelated Darrell Issa speech but here is the exchange from another source (the relevant portion occurs within the first minute):

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Ok, so Lamb admitted to Adams that the former didn’t have sole authority to deny security. She pointed up the ladder to Boswell and Bultrowicz. The next logical question is: Did they have sole authority? If yes, then the ARB report would have erred by not naming either man as being responsible for security being withheld. If no, then someone above them had that sole authority.

The Post article only names three of the four individuals that were singled out for non-disciplinary discipline / resignation / re-assignments. They are:

  1. Eric Boswell
  2. Charlene Lamb
  3. Raymond Maxwell
Via the Post:

The other officials — Deputy Assistant Secretaries Charlene Lamb and Raymond Maxwell, and a third who has not been identified — were found to have shown “performance inadequacies” but not “willful misconduct,” Pickering said, so they would not face discipline.

So who is the fourth individual? Could it be Scott Bultrowicz? The State Department website currently lists the two positions, held by Boswell and Bultrowicz respectively, as vacant:

Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security — VACANT
The Assistant Secretary oversees Department of State security programs to protect U.S. Government employees and facilities under chief of mission authority overseas from terrorist, criminal, or technical attack, and ensures the integrity of classified national security information produced and stored in these facilities.

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security and Director of the Diplomatic Security Service — VACANT
The Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security/Director of Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) is the most senior Diplomatic Security Service special agent and is responsible for the Bureau of Diplomatic Security’s international and domestic operations and training programs.

If Bultrowicz’s job at the time of the Benghazi attack is now listed as vacant, it prompts at least two questions:

  1. Why does he no longer hold that position?
  2. If he is one of the four who resigned is getting re-assigned, why is he the only one of the four who hasn’t been identified yet?

Earlier this month, Jay Carney took a question from Ed Henry – shortly after the release of the ARB report – about the four individuals “taking the fall”. Four Americans dead as a direct result of decisions made by some of these individuals and the only discipline is reassignment?!

Perhaps a better case of ‘thou doth protest too much’ one would be hard-pressed to find. In reality, it doesn’t appear that anyone has either taken the fall or been held accountable, at least not in any way proportional to the consequences of their actions / inaction.

Via Freedom’s Lighthouse:

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