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Sole Benghazi ‘Scapegoat’ Blames Hillary’s Team

From the Daily Beast:

Exclusive: Hillary’s Benghazi ‘Scapegoat’ Speaks Out

By Josh Rogin | May 20, 2013

Raymond Maxwell, the only official at the State Department’s bureau of Near Eastern Affairs to lose his job after the attacks, tells Josh Rogin that he’s been scapegoated by Hillary Clinton’s team.

Following the attack in Benghazi, senior State Department officials close to Hillary Clinton ordered the removal of a mid-level official who had no role in security decisions and has never been told the charges against him. He is now accusing Clinton’s team of scapegoating him for the failures that led to the death of four Americans last year.

For the record, according to the FEC’s records, Mr. Maxwell contributed to the Obama campaign three times in 2008. He gave $250 each time, for a grand total of $750.

And, lest we forget, the other main whistleblower here, Gregory Hicks, voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2008 primaries and voted for Obama twice in the general elections. So these are not disgruntled Republican moles.

Raymond Maxwell was placed on forced “administrative leave” after the State Department’s own internal investigation, conducted by an Administrative Review Board (ARB) led by former State Department official Tom Pickering…

Maxwell, who served as deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs from August 2011 until his removal last December, following tours in Iraq and Syria, spoke publicly for the first time in an exclusive interview with The Daily Beast…

The other three officials placed on leave were in the diplomatic security bureau, leaving Maxwell as the only official in the bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA), which had responsibility for Libya, to lose his job.

“I had no involvement to any degree with decisions on security and the funding of security at our diplomatic mission in Benghazi,” he said…

To this day, he says, nobody from the State Department has ever told him why he was singled out for discipline. He has never had access to the classified portion of the ARB report, where all of the details regarding personnel failures leading up to Benghazi are confined. He also says he has never been shown any evidence or witness testimony linking him to the Benghazi incident…

So much for due process.

The decision to place Maxwell on administrative leave was made by Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills, according to three State Department officials with direct knowledge of the events.

Cheryl Mills is Hillary’s longtime ‘fixer.’ So once again she was just doing the dirty work for her boss. Lest we forget, Ms. Mills was also directly involved in the editing of the Benghazi talking points.

On the day after the unclassified version of the ARB’s report was released in December, Mills called Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Beth Jones and directed her to have Maxwell leave his job immediately.

"Cheryl Mills directed me to remove you immediately from the [deputy assistant secretary] position," Jones told Maxwell, according to Maxwell.

The decision to remove Maxwell and not Jones seems to conflict with the finding of the ARB that responsibility for the security failures leading up to the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi should fall on more senior officials.

“We fixed [the responsibility] at the assistant secretary level, which is in our view the appropriate place to look, where the decision-making in fact takes place, where, if you like, the rubber hits the road," Pickering said when releasing the ARB report…

But Jones was not disciplined in any way following the release of the report, nor was the principal deputy assistant secretary of State at NEA, Liz Dibble, who is slated to receive a plush post as the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in London this summer.

Jones and Dibble were responsible for security in Libya, Maxwell and three State Department officials said… Although Maxwell did some work on Libya, all security related decisions were handled by Dibble and Jones, according to the three officials.

Perhaps Misses Jones and Dibble know too much about Hillary to be targeted to take the fall.

One State Department official close to the issue told The Daily Beast that Clinton’s people told the leadership of the NEA bureau that Maxwell would be given another job at State when the Benghazi scandal blew over. Maxwell said Jones assured him he would eventually be brought back to NEA as a “senior advisor,” but that Mills, Clinton’s chief of staff, reneged.

In other words, they told him to shut up and take the fall, and he would be rewarded when the heat was off.

[Maxwell also] believes that Clinton’s staff, not the ARB, was in charge of the review of the attack that took place during her watch.

“The flaws in the process were perpetrated by the political leadership at State with the complicity of the senior career leadership,” he said. “They should be called to account.”

Maxwell just wants his day in court. He wrote a poem on his personal blog in April which referred to the State Department’s treatment of the four officials removed from their jobs after Benghazi as a “lynching.”

Last week, he posted another poem about the growing Benghazi scandal.

“The web of lies they weave gets tighter and tighter in its deceit until it bottoms out -at a very low frequency – and implodes,” he wrote. “Yet all the while, the more they talk, the more they lie, and the deeper down the hole they go.”

Mr. Maxwell seems to have a death wish. You don’t say such things about Mrs. Clinton. At least not for long.

Meanwhile, you have to wonder why isn’t Raymond Maxwell isn’t being interviewed by the Woodward and Bernsteins of our day? Why is he talking to the Daily Beast, of all places? Don’t we have any investigative journalists left?

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, May 21st, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

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