A former top U.S. diplomat in Libya said he was effectively “demoted” after questioning United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice’s explanation that the deadly Benghazi attack was the result of a protest over a video.
Gregory Hicks, the former deputy chief of mission under slain Ambassador Christopher Stevens, now holds the title of foreign affairs officer in the Office of Global Intergovernmental Affairs — an almost catch-all designation.
“I’ve been effectively demoted from deputy chief of mission,” Hicks said.
He testified to members of the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday that he was “stunned” and “embarrassed” upon hearing Rice blame an anti-Islam YouTube video for the assault. He said he voiced his concerns, and upon returning to the U.S. received a “blistering critique” of his management style — after having recently been praised by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“In hindsight I think it began after I asked a question about Ambassador Rice’s statement on the TV shows,” Hicks said, after being asked what the “seminal” moment had been in all of his new professional criticism.
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