Oversight looking to interview thirteen more State Dept officials plus ARB report authors on Benghazi

posted at 8:01 pm on May 23, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

There’s been some concern[-trolling] that Republicans might be pushing their luck with the extent to which they are focusing on Scandalmania and especially the ongoing Benghazi debacle, but a CNN poll earlier this week confirmed that a healthy majority of 59 percent of Americans approve of the way Republicans have been handling the investigation, with only 37 percent saying that they are overreacting over the whole thing — and Republicans have no intention of cutting the chase short because of President Obama and Friends’ feigned indignation with their persistence.

The Weekly Standard reports that House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa has a substantial list of State Department employees from whom Congress would still like to hear more, and it sounds like they’re going straight for the jugular with personnel who have conveniently escaped too much scrutiny so far and are going to hold Secretary Kerry to his promise to run “an accountable and open State Department”:

As the investigation into the Obama administration’s handling of the attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi intensifies, lawmakers on Capitol Hill are seeking to conduct transcribed interviews with thirteen top State Department officials in the coming weeks in order to learn more. Those named in the letter include a wide range of current and former State Department personnel, from senior advisers to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to mid-level career officials with responsibility for diplomatic security.

Among those officials: Jacob Sullivan, then deputy chief of staff and director of policy planning (and currently national security adviser to Vice President Joe Biden); Victoria Nuland, then State Department spokesman; Raymond Maxwell, deputy assistant secretary of state for near east affairs; Patrick Kennedy, undersecretary of state for management; and Eric Boswell, former assistant secretary of state for diplomatic security.

In a letter dated May 17, 2013, Representative Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, wrote to Secretary of State John Kerry to request formally that Kerry make these current and former State Department employees available. “The State Department employees whose testimony the Committee is seeking are critical fact witnesses who are positioned to shed light on what happened before, during and after the terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of four Americans in Benghazi.”

In addition, the Weekly Standard reports, Oversight is planning a transcribed interview with Ambassador Thomas Pickering on June 3rd, and is likely looking for the same with Admiral Mike Mullen — the two primary authors of the Accountability Review Board report to which the Obama administration has been steadily referring questions and the credibility of which has recently come into question (granted that it looks like they rather conspicuously neglected to interview Secretary Clinton and other relevant officials, and all that).

Congressional Republicans aren’t planning to let up on Scandalmania in general either over the upcoming Memorial Day recess next week; many will be heading home to their districts but they plan on maintaining a steady application of pressure, according to the National Journal:

In interviews on local television and radio programs and with newspapers, Senate Republicans plan to talk about the Obama administration’s “credibility gap.” They’ll throw into the mix Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’s request that health industry officials help fund “Obamacare,” a move Republicans call a “shakedown” of the companies she regulates, according to a GOP leadership aide.

Lawmakers will argue that a “lack of details, stonewalling,” and what they call an “ever-changing White House narrative” on both Benghazi and the IRS have led to a trust deficit with the public, a sentiment reflected in recent polls, the aide said. …

On the House side, Republicans will tell voters back home that they’ll “definitely see more hearings” on the IRS and Benghazi, a House leadership aide said.

“We’re focused on getting to the bottom of this. What we saw over the last week demonstrates that we need to look further. That we need answers on the who, what, where, when, and why,” the aide said.


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go get’em…

cmsinaz on May 23, 2013 at 8:05 PM

Among those officials: Jacob Sullivan, then deputy chief of staff and director of policy planning (and currently national security adviser to Vice President Joe Biden); Victoria Nuland, then State Department spokesman; Raymond Maxwell, deputy assistant secretary of state for near east affairs; Patrick Kennedy, undersecretary of state for management; and Eric Boswell, former assistant secretary of state for diplomatic security.

Boom.

peski on May 23, 2013 at 8:05 PM

hillary needs to come back as well….

cmsinaz on May 23, 2013 at 8:06 PM

I wonder if these whistleblowers are included.

PJM EXCLUSIVE: Ex-Diplomats Report New Benghazi Whistleblowers with Info Devastating to Clinton and Obama

…These whistleblowers, colleagues of the former diplomats, are currently securing legal counsel because they work in areas not fully protected by the Whistleblower law.

…The former diplomats inform PJM the new revelations concentrate in two areas — what Ambassador Chris Stevens was actually doing in Benghazi and the pressure put on General Carter Ham, then in command of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and therefore responsible for Libya, not to act to protect jeopardized U.S. personnel.

Stevens’ mission in Benghazi, they will say, was to buy back Stinger missiles from al-Qaeda groups issued to them by the State Department, not by the CIA. Such a mission would usually be a CIA effort, but the intelligence agency had opposed the idea because of the high risk involved in arming “insurgents” with powerful weapons that endanger civilian aircraft.

…Regarding General Ham, military contacts of the diplomats tell them that AFRICOM had Special Ops “assets in place that could have come to the aid of the Benghazi consulate immediately (not in six hours).”

Ham was told by the White House not to send the aid to the trapped men, but Ham decided to disobey and did so anyway, whereupon the White House “called his deputy and had the deputy threaten to relieve Ham of his command.”

INC on May 23, 2013 at 8:08 PM

President Obama on Thursday nominated Victoria Nuland, a State Department official involved in the editing of the administration’s talking points on Benghazi, to be the next assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs.

via politico

is he really that clueless????

cmsinaz on May 23, 2013 at 8:10 PM

As the investigation into the Obama administration’s handling of the attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi intensifies, lawmakers on Capitol Hill are seeking to conduct transcribed interviews with thirteen top State Department officials in the coming weeks in order to learn more.

I don’t know the details of a transcribed interview. Will they be under oath?

Curtiss on May 23, 2013 at 8:11 PM

is he really that clueless????

cmsinaz on May 23, 2013 at 8:10 PM

Arrogant and narcissistic. He may think he’s completely untouchable because for his entire political life, he’s pretty much done whatever he wanted to do and gotten away with it.

INC on May 23, 2013 at 8:12 PM

INC on May 23, 2013 at 8:12 PM

tru dat

cmsinaz on May 23, 2013 at 8:12 PM

So we’re coming up to hit about two full weeks of scandals?

Still more revelations every day as the stable doors burst open on this Augean Administration.

INC on May 23, 2013 at 8:14 PM

Nothing wrong with pandering to your ever decreasing base I guess.

HotAirLib on May 23, 2013 at 8:16 PM

i’m just gonna say it: Darell Issa is sexy!

GhoulAid on May 23, 2013 at 8:17 PM

Keeping up pressure is a fitting tribute for Memorial Day.

ajacksonian on May 23, 2013 at 8:17 PM

I have no confidence that Issa has what it takes to get to the truth of any of these scandals.

blue13326 on May 23, 2013 at 8:19 PM

President Obama on Thursday nominated Victoria Nuland, a State Department official involved in the editing of the administration’s talking points on Benghazi, to be the next assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs.
via politico

is he really that clueless????

cmsinaz on May 23, 2013 at 8:10 PM

Nothing wrong with pandering to your ever decreasing base I guess.

HotAirLib on May 23, 2013 at 8:16 PM

You are correct for once.

VegasRick on May 23, 2013 at 8:22 PM

Nothing wrong with pandering to your ever decreasing base I guess.

HotAirLib on May 23, 2013 at 8:16 PM

Fiat justitia et ruant coeli
Let justice be done, though the heavens fall.

INC on May 23, 2013 at 8:28 PM

Note to ERIKA JOHNSEN: the “womp” is missing.r Please pick up the blue courtesy phone in the lobby.

ExpressoBold on May 23, 2013 at 8:33 PM

HAL, Sing daisy for us.

Can’t handle your messiah failing huh?

The next few weeks should be fun, well for us not you. You’ll soon be curled up in the fetal potition sucking your thumb.

Tissue?

D-fusit on May 23, 2013 at 8:51 PM

hillary needs to come back as well….

cmsinaz on May 23, 2013 at 8:06 PM

Hillary will be back on her deathbed before she goes back to Congress. She wants to be President. She timed her last appearance (not under oath) so that it was just before her victory lap as the best SecState ever. She’s not going to willingly go back to Congress and have to answer the questions that the ARB should have asked if it were conducted by men of integrity instead of Mullen and Pickering.

Happy Nomad on May 23, 2013 at 8:52 PM

Nothing wrong with pandering to your ever decreasing base I guess.

HotAirLib on May 23, 2013 at 8:16 PM

Well, we’ll see how that works out for the rat-eared traitor. Fewer and fewer supporters everyday as the scandals take their toll. It is only a matter of time before Bo denies that he knows this filthy corrupt bastard (literally).

Happy Nomad on May 23, 2013 at 8:55 PM

Nothing wrong with pandering to your ever decreasing base I guess.

HotAirLib on May 23, 2013 at 8:16 PM

ZOMG!!11!! HAL has become a Republican! Thank goodness! I was in fear for your almost-immortal soul. (You still owe time to Satan, for your years of apostasy).

Um, what was that…? HAL attempted sarcasm? Well, butter my butt, and call me a biscuit! And they told me libbabies don’t have a sense of humor! Good, HAL, good. In a few years, you might be eligible to apply for human race membership.

Your Libbiebers are going down in flames, HAL. Enjoy the weenie roast.

creekspecter on May 23, 2013 at 9:36 PM

Nobody is in jail yet. One vacation, and one 3 week early retirement.

I like the line,, but results would be good.

IRS agents in a supermax general population.

wolly4321 on May 23, 2013 at 9:53 PM

There’s been some concern[-trolling] that Republicans might be pushing their luck with the extent to which they are focusing on Scandalmania and especially the ongoing Benghazi debacle, but a CNN poll earlier this week confirmed that a healthy majority of 59 percent of Americans approve of the way Republicans have been handling the investigation…

We’ve hit a point in this country where political gamesmanship should not be considered. Even if the poll were not favorable, this is the hill to die on–because if someone does not reign in this out-of-control administration, there will be no more hills. When one party ruthlessly and brazenly abuses the power of the public offices it controls to punish its political enemies, what follows–barring some sort of intervention and house cleaning–is tyranny.

It is truly terrifying how far along that path we have slipped. I shudder to think what will happen if the Republicans let these egregious wrongs–these assaults against everything America stands for–go. It’s heartening that 59% of Americans get that. (Of course, it would be great if the percentage were higher, but I’m willing, all things considered, to see that in a glass-a-bit-past-half-full kind of way.)

And when I consider how I would react if this were a Republican administration rather than a Democrat one, I feel exactly the same way. I would want the guilty parties identified, removed from office, and suitably punished. Either we are a people that believes in the rule of law, or we are a people willing to be subject to the capricious desires of whoever happens to hold the most power.

May God help us, and may justice be done–no matter what polls say.

butterflies and puppies on May 23, 2013 at 10:10 PM

are going to hold Secretary Kerry to his promise to run “an accountable and open State Department”:

Yeah? And what’s the ‘expiration date’ going to be on that “promise”?

GarandFan on May 23, 2013 at 10:24 PM

The backdrop for all this corruption is a media, an educational system, and an entertainment industry that all act as propagandists for one political party and one political ideology.

Imagine a theatre filled with an audience who have diverse political views. Yet the sound engineer, the lighting engineer, the actors, the musicians, the stage hands, the ushers, and the candy vendors all act in unison to promote one point of view.

This is the America that we live in today, and the GOP are to blame for sitting on their hands and allowing this situation to metastasize for the past 40 years, based on the idiot logic of “hey, we’re still winning our fair share of elections, so let’s stay above the fray”.

When the next Civil War begins, it can also be ended in one day. Just bomb the hell out of every college campus faculty lounge, every Hollywood studio, and the HQ of every MSM outlet, and then watch America slowly go back to normal.

Cut all three heads off of the snake.

ardenenoch on May 23, 2013 at 11:46 PM

Considering how dreadfully FEW were involved in last years elections I’m glad our remaining representatives are still taking their jobs seriously.

If more don’t start getting involved NOW I couldn’t blame them for letting these matters drop.

Let them eat cake, right?

DannoJyd on May 24, 2013 at 1:05 AM

…reign in…
butterflies and puppies on May 23, 2013 at 10:10 PM

Sorry–should be “rein in.” I’m going to blame it on a combination of tiredness, distraction, and the unsettling specter of a power-mad monarch looming over the future of this country. ;)

butterflies and puppies on May 24, 2013 at 1:37 AM

Nothing will happen for 11 days. Congress is adjourned for the Memorial DAY holiday. Only in govt will 1 holiday equal 11 days off.

Kissmygrits on May 24, 2013 at 8:49 AM

I would point out that by definition it extremely difficult to blackout the public and overwhelm them with information and talking about something at the same time.

I guess the Media’s take is that forcing the Media to say “move along nothing to see here”, enough times will irritate the public into voting against Republicans.

I think they also know the did the “move along nothing to see here thing” on Benghazi and they don’t wan’t other to understand how horribly wrong and biased they were to do that.

Personally I think that is really the media saying they don’t know if they can do those 2 things at the same time and so are hoping to steer everyone away from making them do this tightrope walk.

Conan on May 24, 2013 at 10:06 AM