After the news that the four State Department employees who had been superficially and symbolically ‘held accountable’ following last September’s terrorist attack in Benghazi are now back at work at the State Department, House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa issued the appropriately scathing statement: “Obama administration officials repeatedly promised the families of victims and the American people that officials responsible for security failures would be held accountable. Instead of accountability, the State Department offered a charade that included false reports of firings and resignations and now ends in a game of musical chairs where no one misses a single day on the State Department payroll. It is now clear that the personnel actions taken by the Department in response to the Benghazi terrorist attacks was more of a public relations strategy than a measured response to a failure in leadership.”
Sadly, charades and musical chairs seems to be a pretty apt way of describing this particular bout of never-ending stonewalling. Following up on Fox News this morning, Issa enumerated some of the ways in which the State Department is still obfuscating on Congress’s requests coming up on a year after the attack, and that the Accountability Review Board report to which Democrats and the White House endlessly pointed as the authoritative source on what went down in Benghazi and who was responsible for it — but our new secretary of state evidently is ready to pretty much just throw it out the window.
Our investigation continues. We’re issuing subpoenas, we’re reviewing documents. Right now we’re having an interesting argument where the State Department is trying to say that documents they’ve already provided to us, they want to up-classify. They were unclassified, now they want to, because we’ve asked to release some of them, they want to make them classified… So, there’s clearly still a coverup in the State Department going on. But you know, the way you classify what Secretary Kerry, I think has to be re-characterized. These people never lost a day’s pay, they were on “administrative leave,” and they’ve now been fully reinstated. Which means, absolutely nobody has been held accountable. I repeat: No one has been held accountable for four Americans dying. The Accountability Review Board only managed to find four people to use as scapegoats. They may have had some responsibility, but they certainly were not the highest-level people who have responsibility… If he can wrap this up, it does help former Secretary Clinton. … And of course, you mentioned, the coverup. The false statement, the knowing false statement that was perpetrated against the American people for about a week and even beyond, all the way until October 10th… the president really allowed the American people to be mislead and to think that this was a video rather than a planned attack on September 11th.