Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Right Wing's pet Benghazi "whistle blower" might not be quite what he makes himself out to be.

Courtesy of Think Progress: 

Throughout his testimony on Wednesday, Hicks seemed certain that any critique of his leadership style while serving as deputy chief of mission in Libya was based solely around anger related to his stance on Benghazi. He also blamed his subsequent assignment after being pulled from Libya in mid-Oct. 2012 on his speaking out against the Obama administration’s response to the attacks. However, ThinkProgress has talked to staffers based in Libya who counter Hicks’ portrayal of both his own performance and the State Department’s alleged response to him speaking out. A meeting between Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Beth Jones and Hicks took place in Tripoli prior to his removal from Libya, but not under the same circumstances Hicks sought to portray. Counter to Hicks’ story of an unwarranted reassignment, the staff was upset with Hicks’ performance since he was first assigned to Tripoli on July 31, and told Jones as much prior to her meeting with Hicks. 

“[Jones] and her aide had one-on-one meetings with us to see if [Hicks] could be guided into being a better leader,” a State Department employee posted to Libya told ThinkProgress. “Literally every single one of us begged for him to be removed from post,” said the employee, who spoke to ThinkProgress on the condition of anonymity, as they were not cleared to discuss personnel issues with the press. 

A second State Department employee present in Libya before and during the Benghazi attacks confirmed the meetings occurred. Assistant Secretary Jones’ meetings with the staff prior to Oct. 2 were “entirely” focused on Hicks’ performance, according to this second employee, who also believed that Hicks should be removed from his position. “The group of us who were here during the attacks, we sat here two nights ago and watched [the hearing] with our jaws dropped,” the staffer said, referring to Hicks’ claim that he was demoted out of retribution for speaking out. 

“He was removed from here because he was a disaster as a manager,” the second employee went on to say, expressing the belief that Hicks’ reassignment had “nothing to do with him being a whistleblower, it had everything to do with his management capacity or lack thereof.” This statement contradicts the narrative promoted on conservative media outlets that Hicks was being forced to remain silent and being punished for speaking out. 

The same employees also told ThinkProgress of several troubling incidents involving Hicks and the staff at the Tripoli Embassy both before and after the September 11, 2012 assault in Benghazi. During the aftermath of Benghazi, Hicks showed a lack of diplomatic protocol that both staffers found extremely questionable given the tense times. This includes going to a meeting with the Libyan Prime Minister Mohammed Magarief in a t-shirt, cargo pants, and baseball cap. “I’m too upset to wear a suit,” Hicks allegedly told a staffer. “I want the Libyans to know how upset I am about this attack.” 

In testifying before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday, Hicks gave some of the most riveting testimony yet on what occurred in Tripoli the night of Sept. 11, 2012, when a diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya was attacked. That detailed account was prefaced by Hicks’ written testimony, which included claims that his superiors praised his performance during the night of the attack, which now rings slightly hollow given the critiques of his colleagues. 

When speaking about the night of the attacks, the employees ThinkProgress spoke with described Hicks as being in a daze while other senior Embassy officials organized the evacuation from Tripoli to Germany. “At one point [Hicks] wandered past the huddled State evacuees, muttering to himself, and just sank into a couch,” the first employee relayed to ThinkProgress.

Hmm, isn't THAT interesting?

Of course the Right Wing will simply write this off as an attempt at character assassination in order to smear this guy. However I would be less than surprised if this guy did not have quite a few skeletons that he did not want to see the light of day.

To me he came off as very melodramatic in his testimony, and I thought that a number of the pauses he took to "compose himself" were overly theatrical.

I will be interested to learn more about Gregory Hick in the upcoming weeks. I have a feeling that in their rush to damage Hillary Clinton's credibility the Republicans might be backing the wrong horse yet again.


  1. BabyRaptor2:12 AM

    Someone remind me...When was the last time the Republicans backed the RIGHT horse?

    1. Anonymous5:19 AM

      I know! I say the same thing!
      I can't remember the last time we progressives were wrong and they were right!
      Climate change denial, the Clinton impeachment, Bush, Iraq, supply side economics, Sarah Palin, financial many disasters!

  2. Anonymous3:33 AM

    Plus, wasn't this guy the one who didn't respond to THREE calls from the ambassador when he was calling for help???? So, then, couldn't one argue, that it was really HIS fault that those people died, more so than Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama? And now he's deflecting criticism by being a "whistleblower" who is claiming that people are retaliating against him because he "spoke out" when, in fact, he was terrible at his job, and who will probably get a book deal and big $$$$ from speaking engagements to right wing nutso conventions, all because these people are so desperate to hate Obama and Hillary that they'll pay anyone to say anything bad about them. There is no offing justice in the world!

  3. Anonymous6:42 AM

    Tongue Tied Republicans Redefine ‘Act of Terror’ and Prove Obama Right On Benghazi

    Here’s a huge, glaring logic problem for Republicans. Currently, they are arguing that Obama saying “Act of terror” in the Rose Garden on September 12 was not a real reference to terror. At the same time, they are arguing that the phrase — from the Benghazi email John Boehner never read until it was too late — “Islamic extremists” can be read and interpreted as “Islamic terrorists”.

    Oh, really?

  4. Anonymous6:44 AM

    Obama Impeachment and the Republican Presidential Shoe Shine Boy Fantasy

    We’ve been hearing a lot about the I-word lately from Republicans, from Glenn Beck, from Washington Times columnist Jeffrey Kuhner, from Sen James Inhofe (R-OK) . You know… ::whispers:: …impeachment. But for thinking people – that is, liberals – there are other possibilities and I think Rachel Maddow was on to something Friday night when she diagnosed the Republican obsession with impeaching Obama as a form of… ::whispers:: …incontinence.

  5. Anonymous7:23 AM

    It's a right wing tactic, to take advantage of extenuating circumstances to make yourself look better than your record would show; Sarah Palin was flailing and hated her highly technical political appointment to the Oil & Gas Commission and found a way to quit and make herself look good doing it - whistleblowing.

    Now as she and her minions sell it, she was a principled regulator who had to quit to take off the shackles of sealed records to take on the State's powerful party chair, andy

  6. Anonymous7:29 AM

    He sounds as believable as Sarah Palin relating her "wild ride" story. Hesitating, pausing, unsure of what to say next and just about as believable. This guy has had months to go over his story and this is the best he can do? He sounds like a kid standing in front of the class trying to fake his way through an oral book report on a book he didn't read. If he is trying to come off as emotional it's not working. Maybe fearful since he didn't answer his phone twice and realizes that his lack of response may have contributed to the disastrous outcome and wants to downplay his part. Yeah, I'll bet he wants to find a way to shift blame to the President or Secretary of State.

    This guy is the big "whistleblower"?

  7. Anonymous7:33 AM

    Congressman Tears Into Fox News Host For Obsessing Over Benghazi Talking Points

  8. Anonymous7:35 AM

    What ABC Left Out Of Its Report On Benghazi Talking Points

  9. Anonymous7:38 AM

    No, Obama Didn’t ‘Lie For A Month’ About Benghazi

    A GOP Congressman yet again made the false claim that President Obama “lied for a month” about the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on a diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.

    Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) has, from his perch atop the House Oversight Committee for months, been the House of Representatives’ lead investigator on Benghazi, which roared back into the headlines this week. Speaking to host David Gregory on NBC’s Meet the Press, Issa once again made the claim that the Obama administration lied for a month about whether the assault was a terrorist attack or not, engaging in a massive cover-up.

    Issa claimed that the administration leaned heavily on the CIA to change its draft of the now infamous set of unclassified talking points on what happened in Benghazi to better fit a political narrative and hiding the true nature of the attack from the American people:

    ISSA: The fact is, we want the facts, we’re entitled to the facts. The American people were effectively lied to for a period of about a month. That’s important to get right. And –

    GREGORY: I just want to be clear here what you believe the lie was.

    ISSA: This was a terrorist attack from the get-go. The attack succeeded extremely quickly, because in no small part because the consulate or the diplomatic facility in Benghazi was not given the support it needed or quite frankly the decision to leave which might have been just as good. Either way, they were in fact covering up an easy attack that succeeded that was from the get-go about a terrorist attack. It was never about a video.

    Counter to Issa’s claim, however, the evidence shows that while the administration acted cautiously in what it put forward, it ultimately told the public just what it knew to be fact about the attack. President Obama himself referred to the assault in Libya as an “act of terror” at least twice within 48 hours.

  10. Anonymous7:40 AM

    The Truth About The Right's Latest Benghazi Attacks

  11. Anonymous7:50 AM

    John McCain Refuses To Back Impeaching Obama Over Benghazi

  12. Anonymous8:25 AM

    On Fox News Sunday this morning, Weekly Standard editor William Kristol defended former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from partisan political attacks over the tragedy in Benghazi, while also urging non-partisan investigations into that incident and the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups during the 2012 election. Kristol denounced American Crossroads’ anti-Hillary ads, asking “What is the point of that?” and calling them “ridiculous.”

    “There’s no campaign going on,”Kristol continued, adding “Let’s pull the partisanship back. It’s genuine outrage. There should be bipartisan committees investigating both from Congress. So I wish the Republicans would just be quiet for a while, the groups that are fund-raising, would be quiet on both issues for a while, and find out what really happened.”

    Kristol’s willingness to defend Hillary Clinton could portend some dissension among conservatives about attacking the former Defense Secretary in the months and years leading up to 2016. Her intense 2008 fight against Barack Obama’s nomination made her a somewhat popular figure with many conservatives, and her non-polirtical work at State served to reinforce that.

    Juan Williams added that “unlike Benghazi,” the IRS issue “is a real problem. You cannot politicize and political politically intimidate your opponent by using the IRS, for those of us who have been around, this is Nixon.”

    According to the IRS, though, the misconduct was restricted to “low level” staffers in Cincinnati, and the White House has pointed out that the Internal Revenue Service is an “independent agency.”

    Here’s the clip, from Fox News Sunday:

  13. Chenagrrl8:52 AM

    So good to know the screaming I did at the TV was right. He is a shameless bureaucrat.

  14. Anonymous9:17 AM

    There is also a legitimate issue with Teaturd "Party" groups, and it is of their own making. They claim they are NOT a po0litical party. Yet they use the term party (and not in quotes) which is a form of false representation to voters. If they are a party running candidates, then IRS rules and FEC rules fro political parties apply. If not, then they need to file for 501 (?) status. The TEAturds want it both ways. THAT is unfair, and the IRS is right to give them close scrutiny.

  15. Anonymous9:42 AM

  16. Valerie Martin ‏@WILLDYE4U 2h

    @foxnews & republicans still think we're ALL STUPID! It's NOT about #Benghazi, it's about dirtying up @Hillaryin2016 let's be real clear!

  17. Anonymous11:20 AM

    Is not lying to congress a crime!!!!! O that right if your a republican your above the law!!!!

  18. Anita Winecooler6:02 PM

    "This includes going to a meeting with the Libyan Prime Minister Mohammed Magarief in a t-shirt, cargo pants, and baseball cap. “I’m too upset to wear a suit,” Hicks allegedly told a staffer. “I want the Libyans to know how upset I am about this attack.”

    If you wanted "the Libyans" to know ho upset your were about this attack, Mr Hicks, why did you wear a suit for the debate?

    Are you NOT "that upset" anymore? What will "The Lybians" think now?

    I think I found Sarah's reasoning for dressing like an assclown, folks!!


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