The four Obama administration officials who reportedly “resigned” due to significant security failures leading up to the Sept. 11 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya are still on the State Department payroll, The New York Post reports. Further, the government employees might not even be out of work for long.
Assistant Secretary of State Eric Boswell has not “resigned” from government service and will merely be switching desks, according to officials. The other three officials were placed on administrative leave and are expected to return to work soon.
“The four were made out to be sacrificial lambs in the wake of a scathing report issued last week that found that the US compound in Benghazi, Libya, was left vulnerable to attack because of ‘grossly inadequate’ security,” The Post reports.
A source “close to the situation” told The Post that State Department leaders “didn’t come clean about Benghazi and now they’re not coming clean about these staff changes…[the] public would be outraged over this.”
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland recently said Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton “has accepted Eric Boswell’s decision to resign as assistant secretary for diplomatic security, effective immediately.”
But as The Post points out, Nuland failed to mention that Boswell only gave up his position as assistant secretary, to which he was appointed by President Barack Obama. He will continue his role in the rest of his portfolios.
“The other officials — Deputy Assistant Secretaries Charlene Lamb and Raymond Maxwell, and a third who has not been identified — were found to have shown “performance inadequacies” but not “willful misconduct,” Pickering said, so they would not face discipline,” according to the report.
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) told The New York Post that this is “yet another ruse about the tragedy of Benghazi.”
“State Department officials proclaimed to the world that heads would roll after the deception related to the deceitful video excuse and the non existent spontaneous protest outside the consulate,” she added. “Now we see that the discipline is a lie and all that has happened is the shuffling of the deck chairs. That will in no way change what the ARB found to be systemic failures of management and leadership in the State Department.”
The Post reached out to the State Department for comment, but only received its “carefully crafted statement put out last week.”
Four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed in Benghazi when armed terrorists raided the U.S. Mission in Libya. The attack was originally blamed on a protest sparked by an anti-Muslim YouTube video. However, an Accountability Review Board found that version to be completely false. The board’s report blamed the attack on terrorists alone and found there was not demonstration outside the U.S. Mission prior to the attack.
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This story has been updated