Friday, March 20

Hillary's hand-picked "Accountability Review Board" on Benghazi didn't review a single email from her as SecState !

For two years Hillary and her supporters have claimed that a thorough and comprehensive review of the Benghazi attack had been conducted by her hand-selected "Accountability Review Board."

She and they continued to claim this even after a House Oversight Committee investigation showed that the Review Board was “a charade” from the beginning. Thomas Pickering--who headed the so-called investigation--may claim that it was no whitewash, but he and his panel apparently never asked to see even one e-mail to or from Mrs. Clinton during their so-called "investigation."  Indeed, their report gives no hint that they knew that the then-Secretary of State didn't have or use a government email account.

In other words there's no indication that anyone on the "Review Board" knew that Hillary conducted all her official State Department business using her private email account, on a non-government server outside State Department offices, and didn’t use the State Department's e-mail at all. 

Now the chair of the House Select Committee on Benghazi has issued subpoenas for the e-mails of a number of aides to Mrs. Clinton.  

If one was investigating what seems to have been a massive failure at State, reviewing all emails to and from the Secretary and top aides be a fundamental, logical step.  Hillary wasn't having any of that, which is why she selected Pickering:  She could count on him not to investigate--indeed, could count on the official "investigation" not even to mention--her emails.

The subpoenas will of course be ignored.  Holder ignored 'em, Lois Lerner ignored 'em, the State Department initially ignored 'em until whistleblowers inside that thoroughly corrupt cesspool made it clear to the House committee exactly who was lying about emails.

Hey, is anyone surprised.  It's what happens when the president and his hand-picked attorney-general are determined to only obey laws they happen to like.

Nixon was a choir-boy by comparison.

For those who missed it, the House Oversight Committee grilled the two co-chairs of the board--Pickering and a curiously slippery character by the name of Mike Mullen, on the details of how the board worked and how it arrived at its report.  The testimony revealed--well, a total charade, with Hillary getting a draft and Mullen tipping off insiders about a "problematic" witness.  Here's Ed Morrissey on their testimony:

The co-chair of the Accountability Review Board assured CBS News’ Sharyl Attkisson that the report on the Benghazi attack was not a whitewash for Hillary Clinton.  However, neither Thomas Pickering nor co-chair Mike Mullen bothered to interview Mrs. Clinton about security failures surrounding the attack on the consulate. 

Co-chair Admiral Mike Mullen even advised Clinton on her own testimony to Congress — while he was supposedly chairing a totally impartial, thorough investigation.

But hey, other than that, the ARB was totally independent, right?

To anyone paying attention, the hearing utterly destroyed the Board’s credibility.  Among the revelations:
*Mrs. Clinton handpicked the two leaders of the ARB who were given the job of investigating her department.
*At Mrs. Clinton's request Cheryl Mills, Clinton's official chief of staff at State, called both Pickering and Mullen to ask them to serve.  Mills was briefed regularly on the investigation as it proceeded and got a draft copy of the report before it was finalized.
*Mullen--co-chair of the Board--testified that he called top Clinton aide Cheryl Mills to warn her that the impending appearance of Charlene Lamb before Congress would be problematic for the State Department.  Lamb had "done poorly" in her interview with the ARB, Mullen said, and he called Mills because he was worried that a similar performance before Congress would cause problems for the State Department and its leadership.
Is that what an “independent” investigation does — warn its subjects about testimony in advance so they can prepare a rebuttal/response?  And do they water down a report when the subjects demand it?  Apparently so. But remember, it’s not a whitewash!
*The chairman of the panel acknowledged at least one instance in which language in the report was softened after an early draft was sent to Clinton and her top aides. “The draft, as I believe it went to her, said the security posture was grossly inadequate for Benghazi, period. And we made the editorial correction recognizing that there was certainly a very real point that ‘grossly’ was probably not applicable...”
The consulate was sacked, the ambassador assassinated, and three other Americans got killed trying to defend a retreat from it, all after State decided to rely on local militia for security and failed to recognize the danger that prompted all our allies to flee the city earlier.  If that’s not “grossly inadequate" the phrase has no meaning at all. 

But it’s not a whitewash!

As for Mullen’s declaration that the “physics” of a military response prevented the DoD from defending Americans during the attack, the process of making that determination skipped quite a few people in position to know:
*The ARB did not speak with nine key military officials on the ground in Libya or Germany who were deeply involved in the US response to the attacks. Among those who was never interviewed: Lt. Colonel Steven Gibson, who was on the ground in Tripoli and whom State Department official Greg Hicks has testified was on the receiving end of the “stand-down” order that Obama officials have repeatedly disclaimed.
But remember, it’s not a whitewash!

H/T Hot Air.

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