No One Loses Job Over Benghazi Security Lapses

It's extremely hard to lose a government job, even when your poor performance results in the deaths of other Americans under your responsibility. Despite claims that heads were rolling after a report identified egregious security lapses in Benghazi, it appears the individuals responsible are merely being reassigned to new jobs.

An independent report commissioned by Hillary Clinton found "systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels within two bureaus of the State Department...resulted in a Special Mission security posture that was inadequate for Benghazi." As a result of these failures four Americans, including our ambassador, were killed on September 11 by heavily armed militants.

When the investigative report was released last week, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters "The secretary has accepted Eric Boswell’s decision to resign as assistant secretary for Diplomatic Security, effective immediately." She also announced that three other individuals including Charlene Lamb would be placed on administrative leave "pending further action."

This made it sound as if heads were rolling in the wake of the Benghazi report, but CBS noted at the time that the State Department announcement seemed to be slightly nuanced from the initial announcement:

The State Department did not characterize the terms of their departures as resignations. CBS News, ABC, NBC, the New York Times, AP and Reuters all previously reported that U.S. officials told the news organizations that three individuals resigned in the wake of the probe. The announcement from the State Department says that the individuals were instead placed on "administrative leave pending further action" and says that they were "relieved of their current duties." [Emphasis added]

Now it appears the "further action" is simply reassignment to another government job. All four disgraced employees are expected back shortly. A source with knowledge of the situation tells the NY Post the State Department "didn’t come clean about Benghazi and now they’re not coming clean about these staff changes."

In retrospect, it's clear that the State Department's communications were carefully worded to give the impression that heads were rolling when in fact, people were merely shuffling desks. The department accepted Boswell's resignation "as assistant secretary for Diplomatic Security" but not his resignation from government service.


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