Is there some new super-bug strain of laryngitis going around the beltway this winter which is striking down employees (and former workers) at the State Department? They certainly seem to be losing their voices in significant numbers. The latest victim of this terrible affliction appears to be their former Director of Information Resources Management who was in charge while Hillary Clinton was heading up the department. His direct subordinates were discovered to be among the geek squad who knew of – if not worked on – the process of setting up the private server for their boss. But when he was invited in for a chat, he apparently had nothing to say. (The Daily Caller)

A second former State Department official is refusing to talk to Congress about what he might know about Hillary Clinton’s private email system.

Politico reports that John Bentel, who retired from the State Department in Dec. 2012, has told the House Select Committee on Benghazi and the Senate Judiciary and Homeland Security Committees that he will not meet to discuss the server and what, if anything, he knows about it.

In response to a Dec. 5 letter from Judiciary Committee chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley and Homeland Security chairman Sen. Ron Johnson , Bentel said he had “no memory of knowledge” about the server.

But the Senators believe Bentel may know something. As director of information resources management at the office of executive secretariat, Bentel oversaw information technology for top level officials at the State Department, including Clinton.

The details dug up by the Daily Caller certainly raise more than a few questions about Mr. Bentel’s sudden loss for words or memory problems. Not only did his staff seem to be aware of the workings of both the private server and Secretary Clinton’s Blackberry, but his boss at the office of executive secretariat, Stephen Mull, is thought to have been in the loop as well. If the people above and below him have information about the course of events under study, was Mr. Bental simply out of the loop about what was going on in his office or is he suffering from some sort of tragic memory loss?

You’ll recall that Bryan Pagliano, the worker who directly managed the server for Clinton, underwent a similar failure in his vocal chords until he was offered immunity, at which point he came in to begin sharing his memories. I wonder if a similar deal might be coming Bentel’s way and if his memory will suddenly improve as well?

Stay tuned. It’s going to be a long hot summer and things are just starting to get interesting.