Rogin: All State Dept employees cleared over Benghazi

That the Daily Beast’s Josh Rogin would be the first to deliver this uncomfortable news for the Obama administration is potentially interesting. He is reporting that Secretary of State John Kerry has cleared all State Department employees who were put on administrative leave after the findings of the Accountability Review Board (ARB), chaired by Thomas Pickering, last December. To use an airplane metaphor, it’s a turbulent development that may require someone with skin in the game to land the plane as softly as possible.

Rogin: Participant with Pickering at Islamic conference

Rogin: Participant with Pickering at Islamic conference

There were four people murdered in Benghazi on 9/11/12. There were also four mid-level State Department employees who were placed on administrative leave in response to the findings of the Accountability Review Board (ARB), led by Chairman Pickering. Like Rogin, Pickering was listed as a participant at the same U.S-Islamic World Forum (USIWF) Rogin attended this past June in Doha, Qatar.

Participants included Nihad Awad, National Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Mohamed Magid, President of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), Rashad Hussain, the Obama administration’s envoy to the OIC, and others. The IWF was a who’s who of Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters.

Pickering: Participant with Rogin at Islamic conference.

Pickering: Participant with Rogin at Islamic conference.

As evidence continues to mount that implicates Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood in the Benghazi attacks, it is curious how the ARB’s work has so benefited the group by not referring to it or its Ansar Al-Sharia arm while also clearing all State Department employees of any culpability for lax security. To this point, the entity likely behind the attackers has been cleared and so is every individual working for the entity charged with protecting against those attackers.

Today, Muslim Brotherhood apologist and Daily Beast writer Rogin is the one to break (and spin) the news that Secretary of State John Kerry has cleared all four of the employees who were placed on leave. They are set to return to work today; the four dead Americans have still not come back to life and therefore cannot return to work.

Rogin writes:

Secretary of State John Kerry has determined that the four State Department officials placed on administrative leave by Hillary Clinton after the terrorist attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi do not deserve any formal disciplinary action and has asked them to come back to work at the State Department starting Tuesday.

Last December, Clinton’s staff told four mid-level officials to clean out their desks and hand in their badges after the release of the report of its own internal investigation into the Benghazi attack, compiled by the Administrative Review Board led by former State Department official Tom Pickering and former Joint Chiefs Chairman Ret. Adm. Mike Mullen. Those four officials have been in legal and professional limbo, not fired but unable to return to their jobs, for eight months… until today.

Isn’t it something how the “Accountability Review Board” suddenly became the “Administrative Review Board”? That would seem logical since, according to Pickering’s team, the individual most accountable was actually found to be one of the four who was killed – Ambassador Chris Stevens:

“The Board found that Ambassador Stevens made the decision to travel to Benghazi independently of Washington… The Ambassador did not see a direct threat of an attack of this nature… his expertise on Benghazi in particular, caused Washington to give unusual deference to his judgments.”

Based on the latest developments, the ARB must necessarily find Stevens more culpable than anyone charged with protecting him.

Unlike anyone at State, save for Sean Smith, Stevens lost his job… and his life.

Assuming that State stood to lose more by firing these employees than it did by reinstating them, bad news for the administration had to be delivered… by someone. Considering that Rogin and the head of the ARB (Pickering) apparently hobnobbed with the Brotherhood in Qatar a couple of months ago, is it possible that Rogin – like a pilot – had skin in the game?

As for quoting any opposition voices to this news, Rogin used the last paragraph of his article to re-print a quote from Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) from May.


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