- Obama takes aim at ‘corporate deserters’
- Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros
- Senators: Cease-fire must allow Israel to defend against rockets, tunnels
- Sierra Leone doctor fighting Ebola catches disease
- Iraq welcomes Russian fighter jets, helicopter gunships into ISIL fight
- John McCain laments: Obama’s ‘self-pity … is really kind of sad’
- GOP offer to fix VA gives $10 billion in emergency funds
- Paul Ryan offers to repair U.S. economic safety net with a single grant stream
- Kim Jong-un builds bond with Putin: $250M Russia-backed addition to key port opens
- Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death
Rep. Darrell Issa issues Benghazi subpoenas to State Department
Question of the Day
The Republican chairman of the House committee investigating last year’s terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, has subpoenaed four State Department officials, contending that the department is blocking his efforts to interview them.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell E. Issa said the four officials led offices whose poor performance contributed to the lack of security before the deadly attack that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
In a letter to Secretary of State John F. Kerry released Monday, Mr. Issa detailed his efforts since April 29 to arrange interviews with the four mid-level officials identified as having failed to show leadership.
The California Republican said in the letter that his committee’s investigators “have only been able to interview one of the 13 individuals with whom they requested interviews and the meeting was arranged without the State Department’s help.”
“These persistent delays create the appearance that the department is dragging its feet to slow down the committee’s investigation,” Mr. Issa wrote. “It does not require weeks of preparation to answer questions truthfully.”
“It’s unfortunate that Chairman Issa, without warning, disregarded those discussions and issued subpoenas for witnesses who were willing to testify,” he said, describing Mr. Issa’s behavior as part of a “pattern” in the often-contentious Benghazi probe.
“This is a tactic he’s used before,” Mr. Ventrell said, suggesting that Mr. Issa had previously invented a controversy over whether retired career diplomat Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering — who headed the State Department-led probe into the attack — would willingly testify before the oversight committee.
The investigation — officially called an Accountability Review Board — found that department leaders in Washington had allowed U.S. diplomats to occupy a facility in Benghazi even though it did not meet official security standards and then ignored pleas for additional security made by the diplomats.
A report by the Accountability Review Board specifically identified four mid-level officials as having failed to show leadership in the run-up to the attack.
Republicans, however, say the report let too many senior officials off the hook — particularly former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who was overseeing the department at the time of the attack.
After issuing subpoenas last month, investigators arranged voluntary interviews with the review board’s co-chairmen — Mr. Pickering and retired Adm. Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Writing about Monday’s subpoenas, Mr. Issa said they were not the fault of the witnesses he was trying to interview
“By its very nature,” Mr. Issa wrote, “a subpoena can carry the implication that the witness is being uncooperative. In this case, that is an unfortunate and misleading consequence since it is the department, and not the individuals themselves, that appears to be dictating the timetable.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Shaun Waterman is an award-winning reporter for The Washington Times, covering foreign affairs, defense and cybersecurity. He was a senior editor and correspondent for United Press International for nearly a decade, and has covered the Department of Homeland Security since 2003. His reporting on the Sept. 11 Commission and the tortuous process by which some of its recommendations finally became ...
- Senator's memo shows Iran links in Homeland Security's troubled immigration program
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- Dems back bill to fix problems in investor visa program
- Democrats proceed with Mayorkas vote despite pending investigation
- NSA monitored 'World of Warcraft' players
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- State Department indicates Nouri al-Maliki's days numbered as Iraq prime minister
- Inside China: Massive flight woes and a missile test
- Algerian plane diverted due to storms, second aircraft: 116 missing
- Evidence shows Russia firing artillery into Ukraine: Pentagon
- Obama family set to buy $4.25M desert home in California: report
- Norway expects imminent 'concrete threat' from ISIL terrorists 'within days'
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq