Benghazi whistleblower: I’m being punished for telling the truth

posted at 8:41 am on September 9, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Syria soaks up most of the media attention of late, of course, but that’s not the only story this week, either.  Thanks to some bizarre timing by Barack Obama, his call for military intervention against Bashar al-Assad’s regime will go prime-time the night before the one-year anniversary of the sacking of the Benghazi consulate — which was a direct result of the US-led NATO intervention in Libya. The juxtaposition reminded ABC News to follow up with Gregory Hicks, one of four State Department whistleblowers to debunk the Accountability Review Board’s snow job in the aftermath of the terrorist attack.  Hicks remains unassigned at State, and he told George Stephanopoulos that it’s punishment for blowing the whistle:

Hicks also told Stephanopoulos it may have been possible to save two of the men killed.

“Sadly…I think that Ambassador Stevens and Sean Smith, maybe not.  Ty [Woods] and Glen [Doherty], of course, were killed in the mortar attacks that took place eight hours after the initial attack…It’s possible they could have been saved, I think,” Hicks said referring to the two former Navy SEALs working as CIA contractors in Libya.

Hicks, who has given Congressional testimony about events in Benghazi, is the only American official who was in Libya during the attack that has spoken publicly about what happened and told Stephanopoulos he has been punished for his openness by the State Department.

“I don’t know why I was shunted aside, put in a closet, if you will,” he said.

Asked for a response (that can be read in full below) a spokesman said the State Department has “not punished Mr. Hicks in any way” and that “the circumstances that led to his departure from Libya was entirely unrelated to any statements he may have made relating to the attack in Benghazi.”

The State Department denies that Hicks has been punished at all, but Hicks still draws a check without any assignment.  State claims that they offered Hicks both a short- and long-term assignment overseas but that Hicks declined them both.

George Stephanopoulos started the full segment with a replay of John Kerry’s angry exchange with Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC), when Duncan demanded answers on Benghazi during a hearing on Syria.  Kerry insisted that one had nothing to do with the other, but that’s absolutely untrue.  We created the environment in eastern Libya that led to the terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi a year ago with the ill-advised military intervention against Moammar Qaddafi that turned Libya into a failed state.  The Obama administration still hasn’t answered the pertinent questions about that humiliating failure that cost four American lives, and we’re about to do the same thing to Syria that we did to Libya.  This is precisely the correct context in which to have this debate.


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Don’t…..give…..up.

The truth will prevail.

itsspideyman on September 9, 2013 at 8:19 AM

And as an anniversary gift, let’s march into Syria….

hillsoftx on September 9, 2013 at 8:21 AM

C’mon!
The truth is that it was Bush’s fault…… Or Racism.. one of the two.

/Low Information Bunch

Galt2009 on September 9, 2013 at 8:45 AM

So we can manage to reassign those responsible for Fast & Furious – moving them to higher positions in DC, we can reassign Lois Lerner – but we just can’t figure out what to do with Mr. Hicks. Got it.

Hill60 on September 9, 2013 at 8:46 AM

Hrm yet another reason why Obambam wants to start a war so bad… take the attention off the ball… or in this case, balls…because he has done so much bad for this country and other evil things… if the public did wake up to it , it would get really ugly really fast.

MOST corrupt administration EVER. This is what affirmative action gets ya… and thank you to the PC people now everyone and the US as a country has to suffer.

watertown on September 9, 2013 at 8:47 AM

I hope Mr. Hicks is using his paid time off to write a tell all book. I’m so tired of this administration silencing those who have displeased them.

BettyRuth on September 9, 2013 at 8:48 AM

And this is another example of why Snowden should have done exactly what he did. If you follow the official whistleblower rules, you get hosed.

dogsoldier on September 9, 2013 at 8:59 AM

Can the GOP cowards in the House get some guts, already, and start impeaching the Indonesian POS? It doesn’t matter if the Senate won’t convict, they can just impeach him on other crimes. Barky’s committed 70+ impeachable offenses. The House ought to keep impeaching the turd over and over. If the Senate contimues to refuse to convict then, at least, this will tie the administration up and stop them from doing all the stupid and destructive things they constantly do. The dems had no problem tying the Bush administration up in federal court for over a year based on that joke of a charge about the sooper-secret 007 spy, Valerie Plame, that everyone in Washington knew was a spy and that the US attorney Fitzgerald knew was “leaked” by Armitadge from the very beginning. That didn’t stop them … and they ended up jailing Scooter Libby, anyway, which was total BS.

WTFF? ENOUGH!

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on September 9, 2013 at 9:01 AM

The Obama administration still hasn’t answered the pertinent questions about that humiliating failure that cost four American lives, and we’re about to do the same thing to Syria that we did to Libya. This is precisely the correct context in which to have this debate.

Sure! Then let’s have it. Let’s begin with a few questions:
1. Where does Mr. Obama plan to be during any Syrian intervention? Will it be in the same location as he was during Benghazi? Where does that happen to be?
2. What happens when Mr. Obama gets bored, frustrated, or disinterested with any Syrian intervention he is planning? Do others get left in harm’s way to flap in the breeze? Will his people again lie for him, create delay, mischaracterize any opposition to his actions?
3. Does the sudden interest in Syrian intervention mean that the (current) pivot towards jobs has officially ended? Please explain.
4. How was it that we had absolutely no resources to flex toward an attack that a US Ambassador requested protection from, but now we’re ready to suddenly dismantle Syria? Sure, go right ahead, esplain that to me.

ted c on September 9, 2013 at 9:02 AM

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on September 9, 2013 at 9:01 AM

I keep saying the same thing. They don’t want their little world upset, so no, they won’t! They’re a bunch of weasels, gutless cowards and crooks.

People who compare congress to a whorehouse are being unfair to whorehouses.

dogsoldier on September 9, 2013 at 9:04 AM

I’d sooner trust Benedict Arnold in the White House than the current occupant.

rbj on September 9, 2013 at 9:04 AM

As we near the anniversary of Benghazi, the filthy lying rat-eared bastard will be on television with the message “trust me.” Benghazi is precisely why nobody should. We still don’t know where he was when the consulate was being attacked but we do know that the next morning he spun a completely fictional tale of YouTube videos, spontaneous protests, Libyans rushing Christopher Stevens to a hospital, and swift justice. It was all lies. Why should we even be considering following this coward’s calls for intervention in Syria.

Happy Nomad on September 9, 2013 at 9:07 AM

/Low Information Bunch

Galt2009 on September 9, 2013 at 8:45 AM

Nice. I like it.

beatcanvas on September 9, 2013 at 9:09 AM

And this is another example of why Snowden should have done exactly what he did. If you follow the official whistleblower rules, you get hosed.

dogsoldier on September 9, 2013 at 8:59 AM

Sorry but Snowden and Chelsea Manning are not whistleblowers. They are traitors.

It is clear that had Snowden had gone the whistleblower route or even gone directly to a Congressman the stuff that was disclosed would have been buried. But that doesn’t make him into a whistleblower for what he did.

Happy Nomad on September 9, 2013 at 9:10 AM

He’s lucky he hasn’t met an untimely end

Rio Linda Refugee on September 9, 2013 at 9:10 AM

Oh, so this is what happens when you combine an incompotent, ego maniacal Presidential candidate and seven years of a press corps with no vetting, curiosity or responsibility to duty.

Huh? Good to know, good to know.

PleaseFlyOver on September 9, 2013 at 9:14 AM

Hug your kids a lot this week. Take your family out to dinner. See a movie. Do something special.

JellyToast on September 9, 2013 at 9:18 AM

The State Department spokesperson needs some “Hooked on Phonics”… stat!

a spokesman said the State Department has “not punished Mr. Hicks in any way” and that “the circumstances that led to his departure from Libya was entirely unrelated to any statements he may have made relating to the attack in Benghazi.”

Duh.

dpduq on September 9, 2013 at 9:20 AM

Happy Nomad on September 9, 2013 at 9:10 AM

I disagree regarding Snowden.

dogsoldier on September 9, 2013 at 9:22 AM

State claims that they offered Hicks both a short- and long-term assignment overseas but that Hicks declined them both.

Actually I have no doubt he was offered assignments, counting polar bears in Antarctica or monitoring ice depths at the top of Mt. Everest. You know, the choice stuff.

Rogue on September 9, 2013 at 9:22 AM

It’s ironic that Hicks remains unassigned but the four state department employees who were disciplined for Benghazi were called back to work by Kerry the day after Labor Day.

GrannySunni on September 9, 2013 at 9:24 AM

I’m sure some reporter will be keeping tabs on the punishment Hicks will be getting now that he went on TV and talked about the punishment
he got for speaking up.I see a grinder in his future.

docflash on September 9, 2013 at 9:27 AM

The truth will prevail.

itsspideyman on September 9, 2013 at 8:19 AM

Spock, I’ve found that evil usually triumphs – unless good is very, very careful.
McCoy, The Omega Glory, ST:TOS

GWB on September 9, 2013 at 9:28 AM

September 11th is getting to be quite the date in American history. It may go down as the date that our republic came to an end!

Deano1952 on September 9, 2013 at 9:31 AM

I still fully support more government power even though it’s more corrupt than all of the corporations I decry.

/libtards

gwelf on September 9, 2013 at 9:57 AM

Paid without an assignment for Mr. Hicks, not punishment, paid without an assignment for Ms. Lerner, punishment for possible wrong doing under investigation. Until Obama tells the truth about about Benghazi, how can anyone believe him?

Cindy Munford on September 9, 2013 at 10:04 AM

State claims that they offered Hicks both a short- and long-term assignment overseas but that Hicks declined them both.

I expect that they offered him the position of bunkmate with Kevin O’Reilly of Fast and Furious fame. In other words some hellhole where we hope you’ll get blown up.

slickwillie2001 on September 9, 2013 at 10:23 AM

I hope Mr. Hicks is using his paid time off to write a tell all book. I’m so tired of this administration silencing those who have displeased them.

BettyRuth on September 9, 2013 at 8:48 AM

He better hand-write the manuscript, otherwise the NSA will be all over that.

steebo77 on September 9, 2013 at 10:31 AM

Wasn’t the administration channeling arms through Benghazi to the Syrian rebels? If so, there’s the direct connection between the two stories.

Mallard T. Drake on September 9, 2013 at 10:39 AM

Wasn’t the administration channeling arms through Benghazi to the Syrian rebels? If so, there’s the direct connection between the two stories.

Mallard T. Drake on September 9, 2013 at 10:39 AM

Shhhhhhhh.

steebo77 on September 9, 2013 at 10:53 AM

The truth will prevail.

itsspideyman on September 9, 2013 at 8:19 AM

Spock, I’ve found that evil usually triumphs – unless good is very, very careful.
McCoy, The Omega Glory, ST:TOS

GWB on September 9, 2013 at 9:28 AM

Very true brother.

Kirk did win, and ‘E Plebneesta’ or “We, the People” was returned by Cloud William to its descendents.

itsspideyman on September 9, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Perfect example of what happens to those who are disloyal to his majesty. On the other hand, look at S. Rice, promoted for her loyalty by going on all the Sunday shows lying about a video. Very sad state of affairs.

rjoco1 on September 9, 2013 at 11:19 AM

The State Department spokesperson needs some “Hooked on Phonics”… stat!

a spokesman said the State Department has “not punished Mr. Hicks in any way” and that “the circumstances that led to his departure from Libya was entirely unrelated to any statements he may have made relating to the attack in Benghazi.”
Duh.

dpduq on September 9, 2013 at 9:20 AM

You’re not reading it with the proper Austrian verb conjugations.

Nutstuyu on September 9, 2013 at 11:46 AM

Is it just me or does it seem that the civil service regulations protect government employees from suffering consequences for their wrongdoings except in the case of whistle blowing.

agmartin on September 9, 2013 at 12:03 PM

I am so glad he went on ABC with this and not Fox News. This way maybe the “low information voters” will actually pay attention.

DebinRTP on September 9, 2013 at 12:06 PM

This man s/b admired and rewarded.

Schadenfreude on September 9, 2013 at 12:28 PM

The truth in DC is a career killer.

Hummer53 on September 9, 2013 at 12:41 PM

Happy Nomad on September 9, 2013 at 9:10 AM

I disagree regarding Snowden.

dogsoldier on September 9, 2013 at 9:22 AM

My personal take on Snowden is that his FIRST reveal was patriotic…we do not need out secret services spying on the American population and violating our rights to privacy. HOWEVER…when he decided to go overseas and reveal things to other governments, he became nothing but a traitor looks for an easy way out. Maybe he started out with good intentions, but his first words to a foreign power turned him into a traitor to his county.

As for this news…is it really being “punished” by receiving a salary…and doing nothing for it? If he’s still being paid at the same rate, but basically has to do nothing but stay home with is kids…that doesn’t sound like punishment. That sounds more like hush money to me. They are trying to bribe him to keep quiet.

Highlar on September 9, 2013 at 12:51 PM

Thanks to some bizarre timing by Barack Obama, his call for military intervention against Bashar al-Assad’s regime will go prime-time the night before the one-year anniversary of the sacking of the Benghazi consulate — which was a direct result of the US-led NATO intervention in Libya.

Obama was desperate to have something, anything, to distract from the anniversary of Benghazi and the questions that remain about his bloody dereliction of duty on 9-11-12.

He thought a military strike on Syria was just the ticket. He timed it so the media would be covering the attacks and their effects. These could be conveniently rolled out over a period of days to smother the coverage of the anniversary of Benghazi.

Hasn’t worked out as he planned. Never occurred to him that repeatedly lying to the American people and refusing to be held personally accountable for anything would so corrode confidence in his “leadership” that his war call would be rejected.

Obama set our to diminish America, and elevate himself in the process. He has diminished our stature on the world stage, but it isn’t anything a new president can’t reverse in the long run. In the meantime his incompetence, fecklessness and prevarications have cost him all the unfounded respect he gained initially.

We are witnessing the massive implosion of his presidency. And that, in the long run, is good.

novaculus on September 9, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Highlar on September 9, 2013 at 12:51 PM

No. His career is over. They pay him because they cannot justify firing him or reducing his pay grade. If they did, he would have legal recourse, and in the process their utter venality, their mendacity, and their corruption would be exposed. So they put him in a box as punishment and as a warning to anyone who dares to stray from the approved narrative.

For some people, it isn’t just about the money. It is about serving their country and getting the job done. That is what they have taken from him, and that is how they threaten all others like him.

novaculus on September 9, 2013 at 1:07 PM

Hicks said he thought 2 out of the 4 could have been saved. I believe all 4 would be alive today if they had the security they requested numerous times.

Vince on September 9, 2013 at 1:10 PM

No. His career is over. They pay him because they cannot justify firing him or reducing his pay grade. If they did, he would have legal recourse, and in the process their utter venality, their mendacity, and their corruption would be exposed. So they put him in a box as punishment and as a warning to anyone who dares to stray from the approved narrative.

For some people, it isn’t just about the money. It is about serving their country and getting the job done. That is what they have taken from him, and that is how they threaten all others like him.

novaculus on September 9, 2013 at 1:07 PM

I see what you are saying now. And I do agree, for some it is about the job itself, and doing what you can to help. And it does sound like this guy wants to get back into his job and continue to be an asset to his country…I wasn’t saying he was happy about being paid for doing nothing. With as many rules and sick things as this administration has done, do you really think they’d shirk at just tossing someone aside? I don’t.

Highlar on September 9, 2013 at 1:12 PM

With as many rules and sick things as this administration has done, do you really think they’d shirk at just tossing someone aside? I don’t.

Highlar on September 9, 2013 at 1:12 PM

They have no problem with spilling our people’s blood in service to their sick agendas. They would have thrown Hicks aside long ago if they didn’t fear the consequences.

novaculus on September 9, 2013 at 1:21 PM

They have no problem with spilling our people’s blood in service to their sick agendas. They would have thrown Hicks aside long ago if they didn’t fear the consequences.

novaculus on September 9, 2013 at 1:21 PM

I guess I just don’t see them “fearing the consequences” because they haven’t BEEN any consequences so far for ANYTHING this corrupt organization has done. Its a bit depressing how some people just DON’T hold them accountable for ANYTHING.

Highlar on September 9, 2013 at 1:25 PM

Highlar on September 9, 2013 at 1:25 PM

If they demote or fire Hicks, he would undoubtedly sue them. In that litigation, they would be forced to respond to discovery requests, controlled by court rules and monitored by a federal judge they very likely could not control. The discovery process would lead to the disclosure of the very facts they have fought desperately to conceal since 9-11-12.

They don’t want to take that risk.

novaculus on September 9, 2013 at 1:33 PM

Syria soaks up most of the media attention of late, of course . . .

Ed Morrisey

.
Of course.

Just keep your eyes focused on Syria swinging back and forth, back and forth, back and forth …

listens2glenn on September 9, 2013 at 3:32 PM

Keep telling it.

TX-96 on September 9, 2013 at 7:02 PM