Benghazi penalties “bogus,” officials returning to work?

posted at 10:31 am on December 26, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Via Drudge, it looks like accountability for the four deaths of Americans in Benghazi turned out to be temporary.  The New York Post has learned that the four State Department officials that supposedly resigned after the Accountability Review Board report slammed Foggy Bottom for its “systemic failures” and “leadership and management deficiencies” will return to work after all — and all but one in the same 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.”

The Post refers to the Clintonian parsing by State spokesman Victoria Nuland.  Last week, Nuland said that Boswell had immediately resigned as assistant secretary for diplomatic security.  Most assumed that meant Boswell would be out looking for a job, but instead it just meant that Boswell would transfer to another position at State — not much of a punishment for his “deficiencies,” but perhaps a good demonstration of why those deficiencies at State are “systemic.”

The news isn’t getting rave reviews on Capitol Hill, either:

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) told The Post this is “yet another ruse about the tragedy of Benghazi.”

“State Department officials proclaimed . . . that heads would roll . . . Now we see that the discipline is a lie and all that has happened is the shuffling of the deck chairs.”

That’s what accountability means to the Obama administration, apparently.

Update: Say, where’s Hillary Clinton in all of this, anyway?  Daniel Halper wonders:

In her absence, she’s still been putting out an occasional statement under her own name–but none related to her health. On December 21, she released a written message for Japan National Day and a statement on Kerry’s nomination to replace her. A few days before that, on December 17, she released a statement on the death of Senator Daniel Inouye.

So, what’s Hillary Clinton’s status? Her situation is serious enough to sideline her for two weeks, but we still don’t know what’s going on. How serious is it? Does it prevent her carrying out the secretary of state duties?

Clinton has long-planned to step down as secretary of state “days” after Inauguration Day. The question is, where’s Hillary and will we even see her before she leaves office?

Maybe we won’t see her until she decides to put her track record of “systemic failures” and “leadership and management deficiencies” on the line as an argument to be the next President of the United States.


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