Politics

Issa subpoenas four State Dept. officials in Benghazi probe

Issa subpoenas four State Dept. officials in Benghazi probe

House Oversight Committee chairman Darrell Issa has issued subpoenas for four mid-level State Department officials, cited by a department review board for failing to demonstrate appropriate “leadership” during the run-up to the Benghazi attack.  According to a report at the Washington Timesthese officials “allowed the temporary facility in Benghazi to be occupied even though it did not meet security standards and then ignored pleas for additional security from diplomats on the ground.”

CBS News identifies the four officials as follows:

  • Eric Boswell, Former Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Diplomatic Security
  • Scott Bultrowicz, Former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary and Director of the Diplomatic Security Service, Bureau of Diplomatic Security
  • Elizabeth Dibble, Former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs
  • Elizabeth Jones, Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau Near Eastern Affairs

As can be seen from the “former” designations, three of these officials were relieved of their senior posts, but none of them has been disciplined or fired.  The Hill observes that Issa seems “particularly interested” in learning how Dibble and Jones “escaped punishment while a subordinate without a direct role in overseeing Libya, former deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs Raymond Maxwell, was put on forced administrative leave.”

A report at the Washington Examiner suggests at least one of the subpoenaed officials had a direct connection to the infamous Benghazi talking points:

It was revealed during a House oversight hearing on the Benghazi attack that Jones had told the Libyan ambassador in the days following the attack that Islamic terrorists were behind it. Jones had sent out that information to nearly all top State Department officials. But just days later, Susan Rice, the United States ambassador to the U.N., said on a round of talk shows that the attack was prompted by an anti-muslim video circulating on YouTube.

Issa fired off the subpoenas because he believes the State Department is dragging its feet on providing testimony from these individuals, and could be using the extensive delay to coach them.  From the Washington Times:

In a letter about the subpoenas to Secretary of State John F. Kerry released Monday, Mr. Issa detailed his efforts since April 29 to arrange interviews with the four officials and others, stating his investigators “have only been able to interview one of the 13 individuals with whom they requested interviews and the meeting was arranged without the State Department’s help.”

“These persistent delays create the appearance that the Department is dragging its feet to slow down the Committee’s investigation,” Mr. Issa wrote. “It does not require weeks of preparation to answer questions truthfully.”

He called the delay “irresponsible.”

Issa took pains in his letter to Kerry to note that he find the State Department to be “uncooperative,” not the witnesses themselves.  That should come as no surprise to any student of the defiantly opaque Obama State Department.

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