Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted an article today about the resignations at the State Department after the Benghazi report was released. Four people have resigned. The names of three of them have been released–Eric Boswell, the assistant secretary of state for diplomatic security, Charlene Lamb, the deputy assistant secretary responsible for embassy security, and Raymond Maxwell, a deputy assistant secretary who had responsibility for North Africa.
The article reports:
Patrick Kennedy, the under secretary for management, apparently will keep his job, even though he has vigorously defended the State Department’s decision-making on Benghazi to Congress. A blogger who monitors goings on at Foggy Bottom suggests that the State Department is erecting a firewall to protect officials at the Undersecretary level and higher.
The ARB report did not criticize Kennedy or other officials at that level. However, it did find that there was a culture of “husbanding resources” at senior levels of the State Department, and that this culture contributed to the security deficiencies in Benghazi. According to the report, the culture at State “had the effect of conditioning a few State Department managers to favor restricting the use of resources as a general orientation.”
There are some real questions as to how much responsibility for the death of Ambassador Stevens these people actually bear. Were their superiors aware of the previous attacks? Were their superiors aware of the increase in terrorist activity in the area? Were their superiors aware of the attack after it began?
The article reports:
Congress apparently intends to pursue the question of whether, and to what extent, blame should be assigned higher up the chain. Rep. Ed Royce, the incoming chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said that “the degree that others bear responsibility warrants Congressional review, given the report’s rather sweeping indictment.” And, he added, “the Foreign Affairs Committee must hear from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton concerning her role, which this report didn’t address.”
Secretary Clinton needs to appear before Congress and testify about this matter. She is the Secretary of State, and this occurred on her watch. Her appearance will not necessarily make things any clearer–I doubt she would answer any questions directly if she were to appear. My feeling is that her schedule will not allow her to testify in front of the committee before she steps down as Secretary of State, and after she steps down, she will simply say that since she is not longer Secretary of State, there is no reason for her to appear. The Clinton playbook really hasn’t changed much.