Under secretary of state for management Patrick Kennedy told a congressional committee that a reshuffling at the State Department constitutes “serious accountability” for last year’s Benghazi attacks.
Kennedy said he “respectfully disagree[d]” with chairman Ed Royce’s assessment at today’s House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing that the State Department had not properly held any of its officials accountable for the security failures that led to the death of four Americans, including an ambassador. Kennedy stated that four employees have been relieved of their senior positions and reassigned to different posts.
“I submit, respectfully, Mr. Chairman, that accountability includes being relieved of your job and assigned to other positions,” Kennedy said at Wednesday’s hearing. “To me, that is serious accountability.”
Last month, Secretary of State John Kerry reinstated the four officials that had previously been on administrative leave, finding that there was no official breach of duty; the employees have since been reassigned. Royce later pointed out that those four employees did not miss a paycheck while on administrative leave.