Gregory Hicks, the Republican smoking gun in Benghazi, has come out as a whistleblower, but us it possible he is just a disgruntled employee? Staff who served with him in Libya severely undercut his story that State Department officials demoted him as retribution for speaking out about the Benghazi incident. Although the State Department has been guilty of :intimidating whistleblowers before, it may not be the case here. Hicks was described as the worst manager in the Foreign Service, by staff members who served with him.
Hicks was convinced that any critique of his leadership style was solely retribution for his displeasure with how Benghazi was handled. He blamed his reassignment after being puller out of Libya in late 2012 on Hus criticism of the Obama administration’s response to the attacks. Think Progress spoke to staffers based in Libya who disagree with his portrayal. Of performance and him speaking out. Hicks met with Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Beth Jones. Counter to Hicks story of unwarranted reassignment, the staff was upset with his performance since he was first assigned to Tripoli. They communicated their feelings to Jones prior to the meeting. The meeting was confirmed by a second State Department employee.
The second employee said ” Gregory Hicks was removed from here because he was a disaster as a manager.” The employee went on to say, expressing his belief that Hicks reassignment had ” nothing to do with him being a whistleblower, it had everythingvto do with his management capacity or lack thereof.” Tie same employees told Think Progress of several other disturbing incidental involving Hicks. One example, was during the aftermath of the Benghazi attack, Hicks showed a lack of diplomatic protocol that staffers found questionable at the time. He went to a meeting with the Libyan Prime Minister in a t-shirt, cargo pants and a baseball cap. When questioned why he was wearing that, he replied because I am upset and he wanted the Libyans to know he was upset.
Republicans claimed that the revelations from these hearings would be every bit as damaging as Watergate. The information that Congress, Republicans, released ymthis week was in their possession for several months. Or couldn’t be that important if they held on to it this long. But this next piece of information is very important. Hicks whistleblower status is not dependent on whether or not his disclosures are factually correct. A whistleblower does not have to be right about their reasonable belief in government misconduct in order to he a whistleblower. So he does not have to be truthful or factual correct if he believes there was government misconduct. So I can be a whistleblower on Republicans for obstructionism, which I believe is government misconduct. I don’t need factual evidence, just need to believe they are wrong.
There were mistakes made, and steps taken to correct those mistakes. But please remember when Bush was President there were 11 such attacks and about 60 deaths. Not one Republican called for Congressional Hearings and Democrats realize that this is the chance an American takes when accepting a post in those countries. The Republicans concentrating on a specific word President Obama said or a change :n talking points by the CIA, is them just looking for anything.
I hope they realize that President Obama and hos administration took steps to correct this. Republicans need to realize that they had a hand in this as well. They cut State Department funding by almost half a billion dollars. That cut funding fir embassy security posts, about 300 additional security positions lost. When asked why they cut it they said it wasn’t a priority. So the sword cuts both ways.
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