The Corner

Kerry Brings Back State Dept. Officials Who ‘Resigned’ over Benghazi

Secretary of State John Kerry has asked the four mid-level State Department officials placed on administrative leave after the Benghazi terror attack to return to work starting today.

After the release of a State Department report on the attack, which found that blame for the attack should be placed at the assistant-secretary level, the officials were portrayed as having resigned or having been removed, though they’d just been placed on leave.

The report, by a special Accountability Review Board, found that there had been no breaches of duty and that there should be reassignments rather than firings. The officials now returning to duty will not face any formal disciplinary action, but they won’t be returning to their old posts.

One official, former deputy assistant secretary of state Raymond Maxwell, said he had received a memo telling him to return to work with no explanation.

“No explanation, no briefing, just come back to work,” Maxwell told the Daily Beast. He previously told the publication that he had never been told why he was placed on administrative leave.

The officials have returned to work because Secretary Kerry has now reaffirmed the conclusions of the board, following a review he’d ordered.

House Oversight Committee chairman Darrell Issa blasted the decision in a statement, likening the officials’ return to “a game of musical chairs.”  

The committee found the ARB’s review of the employees did not include interviews with them or their supervisors, Issa said, explaining that the committee “will expand its investigation of the Benghazi terrorist attack to include how a supposed ‘Accountability Review Board’ investigation resulted in a decision by Secretary Kerry not to pursue any accountability from anyone.”

On July 31, Issa wrote to the State Department to ask why Kerry hadn’t made determinations for the officials on leave. In the August 8 response, the Department said that Secretary Kerry would be briefed before making any decisions on their status. 

Most Popular

Elections

How States Like Virginia Go Blue

So this is what it feels like to live in a lab experiment. As a native Virginian, I’ve watched my state come full circle. The last time Democrats enjoyed the amount of power in the Old Dominion that they won on Tuesday, I was entering middle school in Fairfax County. In 1993 the governor was a Democrat, one ... Read More
Elections

Democratic Denial

One point I'd draw out from David Harsanyi's post below: It has been more than thirty years since a Democratic presidential nominee failed to make it to the White House and thought the loss was legitimate. Read More
Elections

Religious-Freedom Voters Will Vote Trump

The late Supreme Court Justice Frank Murphy wrote, "Freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of religion all have a double aspect — freedom of thought and freedom of action.” To which one should be able to add, freedom of inaction -- meaning that absent a compelling state interest, people should ... Read More
Books, Arts & Manners

Why Study Latin?

Oxford professor Nicola Gardini urges people to read and study Latin. He believes that Latin is the antidote for the modern age, which seems transfixed by the spontaneous, the easy, and the ephemeral. His new book, Long Live Latin: The Pleasures of a Useless Language, argues that Latin combines truth and ... Read More