Whistleblower: Hillary cut State’s counter-terrorism bureau out of Benghazi loop

posted at 8:41 am on May 6, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

In the previous post, I noted that Darrell Issa’s witnesses in the House Oversight hearings on Benghazi would make life difficult for both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.  Fox News reported late yesterday that one witness in particular will testify that Hillary purposefully cut out of the loop the State Department’s bureau for counter-terrorism as Benghazi burned — which will prompt all sorts of questions as to why any Secretary of State would make that decision:

On the night of Sept. 11, as the Obama administration scrambled to respond to the Benghazi terror attacks, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and a key aide effectively tried to cut the department’s own counterterrorism bureau out of the chain of reporting and decision-making, according to a “whistle-blower” witness from that bureau who will soon testify to the charge before Congress, Fox News has learned.

That witness is Mark I. Thompson, a former Marine and now the deputy coordinator for operations in the agency’s counterterrorism bureau. Sources tell Fox News Thompson will level the allegation against Clinton during testimony on Wednesday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif.

Fox News has also learned that another official from the counterterrorism bureau — independently of Thompson — voiced the same complaint about Clinton and Under Secretary for Management Patrick Kennedy to trusted national security colleagues back in October.

Thompson considers himself a whistleblower, Fox reports, and wanted to tell this story all along — but the Accountability Review Board suppressed it:

Thompson considers himself a whistle-blower whose account was suppressed by the official investigative panel that Clinton convened to review the episode, the Accountability Review Board (ARB). Thompson’s lawyer, Joseph diGenova, a former U.S. attorney, has further alleged that his client has been subjected to threats and intimidation by as-yet-unnamed superiors at State, in advance of his cooperation with Congress.

Sources close to the congressional investigation who have been briefed on what Thompson will testify tell Fox News the veteran counterterrorism official concluded on Sept. 11 that Clinton and Kennedy tried to cut the counterterrorism bureau out of the loop as they and other Obama administration officials weighed how to respond to — and characterize — the Benghazi attacks.

“You should have seen what (Clinton) tried to do to us that night,” the second official in State’s counterterrorism bureau told colleagues back in October.  Those comments would appear to be corroborated by Thompson’s forthcoming testimony.

To quote Hillary, what difference at this point would it make? It’s about to rain all over her 2016 parade by painting her as an incompetent, of course, but that’s actually a by-product of her own choices.  The bigger issue now is the cover-up.  Why would the Obama administration try to keep a counter-terrorism response group on the sidelines during a terrorist attack?  Who got to the ARB and made it into a CYA exercise rather than a real investigation?

Who knew what, and when?

Stay tuned, because Issa’s carrying dynamite, and it’s not clear exactly how the explosion will manifest itself.  Expect lower-level officials to throw themselves on it to protect both Obama and Clinton, but so far it looks like higher-level officials want to go on the record, and that’s bad news for the White House.


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