Thomas Pickering chaired the Accountability Review Board (ARB) on Benghazi. There were five members. Hillary chose four of them. She chose Pickering. Pickering chose not to interview her or her staff for his final report and analysis on what went wrong at that sorrowful U.S. Special Mission. Pickering, a former Ambassador to Russia and India (appointed by Bill Clinton) and Admiral Mike Mullen, also on the ARB, have refused to testify in front of the House of Representatives Oversight Committee. Back in November 2012, Pickering claimed America is a misguided country full of Islamophobes, and just two weeks after Hillary pegged him to chair the ARB, he indicated that the U.S. could be a holocaust for Muslims due to our “unfamiliarity” with the theology. Perhaps the problem is that we are too familiar…we get it, we understand it completely in large part because we see “moderate” Muslims doing so little to counter the radicals, and we’ve seen the death and destruction throughout the world. No small thing.
But the government spin never stops:
As today’s big Benghazi hearing gets underway, Republicans are saying Ambassador Thomas Pickering – the co-chairman of the State Department’s committee investigating of the Benghazi attack – has refused to testify today.
The State Department says the opposite is true – that Pickering wanted to testify but Republicans would not let him.
“Ambassador Pickering volunteered to appear,” a State Department official tells ABC News. “But [Government Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Darrell] Issa said no.”
“That is 100 percent untrue,” says Issa spokesman Frederick Hill.
In fact, Hill has released letters dated February 22 inviting Pickering (read them here), and the other co-chairman of the investigation, former Joint Chiefs Chair retired Adm. Michael Mullen, to testify at today’s hearing.
“Ambassador Pickering initially told the Committee he was not available on that date,” Hill tells ABC News. “When asked about a different date, he said he was not inclined to testify.”
But the State Department says Pickering is ready to go right now – and happy to testify today.
“If Darrell Issa offers Pickering a chair, he will be there today,” the State Department official tells ABC News. “The only reason Pickering isn’t there is because Issa said no.” Source: ABC
If you have doubts about the invitation from Issa to Pickering and Mullen, click the link above to read the actual letter.
Nevermind. Pickering says the call to do nothing to help our diplomats and support staff in Benghazi had nothing to do with Hillary. The fault lies with underlings even though her name is on every document denying additional security – remember, he didn’t interview her or her close staff. With noted arrogance, Pickering has said, “we knew where the responsibility rested.” Four lower-level State Department employees were fired.
A disclaimer here: I’m on vacation. This report of Pickering and Mullen refusing to testify is a few days old and I’m out of the country without a good Internet connection, but the latest seems to be that Pickering and Issa had it out face-to-face, and Pickering has said he will show up before Issa’s House Committee on Monday (May 13, 2013).
Hillary said the responsibility for Benghazi is her’s even though she knew nothing that was going on and had no knowledge that security was denied to Ambassador Stevens. As ridiculous as that is, it’s more ridiculous that Congressman Issa says Hillary is not a target of the House investigation. He apparently thinks his hearings and whatever we learn or do not learn will suffice for the deaths of four Americans who were doing their jobs while the State Department and White House were not doing their’s. Perhaps this denial from Issa of interest in Hillary’s involvement is the saddest news we’ve heard other than learning of four dead Americans and many other wounded. It simply means there is no responsibility shouldered by the Secretary of State, whomever holds that position in a Democrat administration.