Growing concerns over protests roiling Libya prompted the State Department to begin evacuating some diplomats from Tripoli, as the Pentagon put troops stationed at nearby European bases on high alert. [Washington Post]
YOU READ that correctly, amid the furor over the testimony of Greg Hicks, the Washington Post is reporting we’re evacuating some diplomats from Tripoli, with nearby U.S. troops on high alert.
It’s not the talking points. It’s the policy and always has been.
We learn that Republicans ignored the Benghazi emails they’re now squealing about, as they wage their Benghazi political campaign.
“I think Hillary [Clinton] should be subpoenaed if necessary.” Dick Cheney
Today, the dreaded headline and storyline the Obama administration was hoping to skirt arrives, as I warned it would: “Will Obama suffer the ‘second-term curse’?
And over the past week, two flaring controversies – one over his administration’s handling of the killing of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in Libya, the other over Internal Revenue Service employees targeting tea party groups for special scrutiny – have dominated the discussion in Washington.
After hearing the testimony of Greg Hicks, I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt for obvious reasons, even if I don’t trust his choice of attorney, Victoria Toensing, who went to NewsMax TV to make her case for Hicks.
The Nation warns about criticizing “whistle-blowers,” experts weighing in that Hicks is rightly classified as one, which is important to take to heart.
There’s little doubt the guy is angry and is out for payback. Maybe he has good reason to be. He was also quite arrogant in his testimony and I’m hardly the only person who thought so.
Hicks had his grievances with how events in Benghazi were handled, but his gripes were about bureaucratic squabbles rather than political scandal. And this whistleblower spent a good bit of time tooting his own horn. “I earned a reputation for being an innovative policymaker who got the job done. I was promoted quickly and received numerous awards,” Hicks informed the lawmakers. “I have two master’s degrees. .â€‰.â€‰. I speak fluent Arabic. .â€‰.â€‰. I fast became known as the ambassador’s bulldog because of my decisive management styles. .â€‰.â€‰. Incoming charge Larry Pope told me personally that my performance was near-heroic.” – Dana Milbank
The thing that bothers me about it is that it seemed we were hearing a script from a movie, starring Greg Hicks, with everything in Rep. Issa’s hearing all about him. Hicks set himself up as the hero in the Benghazi hearings, the guy who finally got his say and could let everyone know just how unappreciated he is, compared to what he thinks he deserves. There’s also a hefty dose of slaying the Obama dragon mixed in.
The State Department on Friday directly refuted Hicks’s notion that the talking points now furiously being debated delayed the FBI investigation after the Benghazi terrorist attack.
MR. VENTRELL: And then I did also, while I have the opportunity, want to raise one other thing. And that is — and this is something that’s come up this week, this notion that Mr. Hicks had testified to that somehow the FBI investigation was slowed down as a result of these talking points. And I just wanted to take that — that’s another thing that I wanted to be very clear about, just to remind people that the Libyan Government granted visas to the FBI team on the day of those Sunday talk shows. They got their flight clearance the next day, and they arrived in Tripoli on September 18th. The reason they couldn’t travel to Benghazi was because of the security situation on the ground.
The anonymous sources started coming out of the woodwork the second Greg Hicks finished.
From an American diplomat, e-mailing Situation Report this morning: “Hicks is classic case of underachiever who whines when big breaks don’t come his way. 22 years as an FSO and he is still an FS-1 (COL equivalent). His uninformed comments about F-16s validates why he is still a mid-ranked officer. Where was his testimony on his role in trying to talk his ambassador out of making an overnight visit to a place he knew was dangerous? Very few DCMs who lose an ambassador can expect greater responsibilities…and there are dozens of talented FS-1 ranked ‘desk officers’ working honorably at the State Department. Also of interest is that he is running for a senior leadership position in the State Dept. union/professional association, [American Foreign Service Association]. He didn’t get my vote.”
Think Progress cited multiple anonymous sources who worked with Hicks on Friday, with Hicks taking hit after hit:
Counter to Hicks’ story of an unwarranted reassignment, the staff was upset with Hicks’ performance since he was first assigned to Tripoli on July 31, and told Jones as much prior to her meeting with Hicks.
“[Jones] and her aide had one-on-one meetings with us to see if [Hicks] could be guided into being a better leader,” a State Department employee posted to Libya told ThinkProgress. “Literally every single one of us begged for him to be removed from post,” said the employee, who spoke to ThinkProgress on the condition of anonymity, as they were not cleared to discuss personnel issues with the press.
A second State Department employee present in Libya before and during the Benghazi attacks confirmed the meetings occurred. Assistant Secretary Jones’ meetings with the staff prior to Oct. 2 were “entirely” focused on Hicks’ performance, according to this second employee, who also believed that Hicks should be removed from his position. “The group of us who were here during the attacks, we sat here two nights ago and watched [the hearing] with our jaws dropped,” the staffer said, referring to Hicks’ claim that he was demoted out of retribution for speaking out.
“He was removed from here because he was a disaster as a manager,” the second employee went on to say, expressing the belief that Hicks’ reassignment had “nothing to do with him being a whistleblower, it had everything to do with his management capacity or lack thereof.” This statement contradicts the narrative promoted on conservative media outlets that Hicks was being forced to remain silent and being punished for speaking out.
The whole thing has the hallmark of a Republican production, with no one able to resist joining in. What the attacks have in common is clear.
Speaking at the Iowa GOP’s annual Lincoln Dinner, Paul questioned the initial response to the attacks and asked, “First question to Hillary Clinton: Where in the hell were the Marines?” – Rand Paul challenges Hillary Clinton in key Iowa speech
The media has decided that they made Obama, so they have the right to take him down, with very few noticing that the policy that Democrats and Republicans supported to bomb Libya in the first place and brought us to the place we are today is in shambles.