When the Accountability Review Board (ARB), commissioned by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, released its findings without interviewing Clinton or recording any of its interviews, the word ‘accountability’ in the Board’s name is more than just a little oxymoronic.
Now, in a letter from House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa to the chairman of the ARB – Ambassador Thomas Pickering – some accountability is being thrown at Pickering in the form of a subpoena from Issa, who is not happy that Pickering did not agree to a transcribed interview before testifying publicly.
The following is an excerpt from Issa’s letter to Pickering:
Your refusal to allow staff investigators to interview you is inconsistent with your commitment to be “tough and transparent.” I hope you will reconsider your position in order to assist the Committee in gaining a full and complete understanding of the ARB’s work, and to help us address concerns career State Department officials and others have raised. In light of your continuing refusal to appear voluntarily for a transcribed interview, however, I have found it necessary to issue a subpoena to compel your appearance at a deposition. This subpoena creates a legal requirement that you appear in room 2157 of the Rayburn House Office Building at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 23, 2013, and that you answer questions fully and truthfully. It remains my preference for you to appear voluntarily for a transcribed interview, and if that should also become your preference, please notify my staff and I will consider lifting the subpoena.
Perhaps if Pickering had taken a bit more seriously the word ‘accountability’ that appeared in the name of the group he led to get to the bottom of what happened at Benghazi, he wouldn’t have to be deposed.
Interestingly, less than one week prior to Issa’s letter to Pickering, the two men appeared together on NBC’s Meet the Press and Pickering appeared to be a bit taken aback by being held… accountable.