- NYT’s David Brooks: Obama has ‘manhood problem’ in Middle East
- Ted Cruz thanks Obama for denying visas to terrorists
- Survivors recall chaos, fear in Everest avalanche
- General Mills apologizes for ‘right to sue’ confusion, reverses policy
- Dealer wanted in U.S. for art fraud nabbed in Spain
- Easter morning delivery for space station
- Boxer Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter dies at 76
- Probe could complicate Rick Perry’s prospects
- Ukraine, Russia trade blame for eastern shootout
- Obamas head to church on Easter morning
Obama praises Clinton at State Department holiday reception
President Obama visited the State Department to share some holiday cheer and thank the diplomatic corps for their service to the country Wednesday night — the same day four State Department officials resigned their posts in the wake of a critical report over the diplomatic agency’s handling of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi.
An independent panel concluded that the State Department showed “a lack of proactive leadership and management ability” preceding the assault that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
Despite the awkward timing of his visit, Mr. Obama made no mention of the Benghazi report and instead praised outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, calling her “tireless and extraordinary.”
“We can’t wait to have her back,” he added.
The annual holiday reception at the State Department, he told the group of international diplomats, is a “chance for me to express my appreciation for the cooperation and partnership between our countries.”
Then, turning somber, he spent the remainder of his remarks thanking different countries for reaching out in support of the victims of Friday’s mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
“We’re still grieving and reeling from the unspeakable violence that took place at Newtown,” he said, thanking those present for the expressions of sympathy their leaders and people all over the world have shown, including makeshift memorials at U.S. embassies and consulates and one with 26 crosses on a beach in Brazil.
The leaders of the panel that reviewed the Benghazi assault, former Ambassador Thomas Pickering and retired Admiral Michael Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have laid the responsibility for the lack of security at the consulate and the attack at the assistant secretary level.
Mr. Mullen specifically said it is “not reasonable” to conclude that Mrs. Clinton had “a specific level of knowledge” about security failures leading up to the storming of the compound.
Mrs. Clinton was set to testify Thursday before the House Foreign Affairs Committee but has since said she is unable to be there because of the concussion. Deputy Secretaries William J. Burns and Thomas R. Nides will be there to face the inevitable grilling.
In letters submitted along with the panel’s report on Dec. 18, Mrs. Clinton said she took responsibility for the safety of every diplomatic employee at the State Department, but she did not assign blame for Benghazi to herself or anyone else.
The State Department accepted the resignations of four individuals Wednesday with three of their names widely reported: Eric Boswell, assistant secretary for diplomatic security; Charlene Lamb, deputy assistant secretary in charge of security at U.S. embassies around the globe; and Raymond Maxwell, a deputy assistant secretary who had responsibility for the North Africa region.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Susan Crabtree is an award-winning investigative reporter with more than 15 years of reporting experience in Washington, D.C. Her reporting about bribery, corruption and conflict-of-interest issues on Capitol Hill has led to several FBI and ethics investigations, as well as consequences for members within their caucuses and at the ballot box. Susan can be reached at email@example.com.
- GOP senators want IG probe of Sebelius' 'Obamacare' fundraising
- Teaming up with Christie, Obama says Jersey shore 'back in business'
- No Moore: Obama flubs name of Oklahoma city devastated by tornado, calls it 'Monroe'
- Obama to Okla. tornado victims: 'We have got your back'
- Amid his own challenges, Obama calls on Navy grads to hold themselves accountable
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Women losing coverage under Obamacare, too
- Former Ranger breaks silence on Pat Tillman death: I may have killed him
- Scalia to students on high taxes: At a certain point, 'perhaps you should revolt'
- Special Forces' suicide rates hit record levels casualties of 'hard combat'
- USAID documents cite Hillary Clinton in chaos of Afghan aid
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- Feds approve powdered alcohol; 'Palcohol' available later this year
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- Inside China: Marine's comment on islands draws sharp Chinese response
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- Supreme Court weighs appeal to concealed-carry gun laws
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.