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Tag Archives: Eric Nordstrom
Benghazi is still here, sorry Hillary fans. Looks like it does make a difference. That last month has had a number of revelations that have pulled back the some of the curtain that the Obama administration keeps trying to drop over this scandal. The most recent being that it indeed does make a difference that the Accountability Review Board (ARB) didn’t interview Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy.
Hot Air reports:
Remember when the ironically-named Accountability Review Board assigned blame for the Benghazi debacle on low-level employees at the State Department? When challenged by Congress as to why the ARB never interviewed Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy, ARB co-chair Thomas Pickering replied that they had already concluded that blame for the unprotected diplomatic facility rested below his level. Whistleblower Eric Nordstrom told Congress, however, that the decisions that left the consulate defenseless against the terrorist attack on the anniversary of 9/11 came from Kennedy’s level — at least.
A new report from Fox vindicates Nordstrom, although it might not be quite that new:
The decision to keep U.S. personnel in Benghazi with substandard security was made at the highest levels of the State Department by officials who have so far escaped blame over the Sept. 11 attack, according to a review of recent congressional testimony and internal State Department memos by Fox News.
Nine months before the assault that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others, State Department Under Secretary Patrick Kennedy signed off on an internal memo that green-lighted the Benghazi operation.
Hot Air then reports the State Department yawned, said it was an old memo and old news. Really? More from Hot Air:
The question is whether Kennedy signed off on this himself, or did so under the direction of his superiors. The State Department told Fox that this memo was essentially old news:
Asked whether Kennedy signed off on State Department policy unilaterally, or whether he consulted senior leadership, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki downplayed the importance of the memo, stating Fox News’ policy question was dealt with during a hearing before the House oversight committee last fall.
“Let me just say on this particular memo, it’s been available to the House of Representatives since October. It was discussed in October in a hearing on the House side and in many, many, many briefings. It was even posted — this sensitive document was posted on the website as well,” Psaki said.
Asked whether Kennedy had the authorization to sign off on a continued presence, Psaki said Kennedy had spoken at length to the Accountability Review Board, adding “I don’t know that we have a new update today.”
Well, if that was the case, then why didn’t Pickering and his ARB start asking those questions of Kennedy? The core question for the ARB was determining the responsibility for the failures that allowed the outpost in Benghazi to be successfully sacked by terrorists, resulting in the deaths of four Americans. The action memo wasn’t just something passed around State and initialed by Kennedy as a pro forma act — it’s addressed directly to him requesting authorization to keep the facility open “through the end of calendar year 2012.”
Also, isn’t Psaki contradicting Pickering here? Didn’t Pickering say Kennedy wasn’t interviewed by ARB? Looks like Psaki can’t keep her lies straight. Either way, the fact remains that multiple levels at the State Department knew the security was substandard and yet no one did anything about it.
Other Benghazi Updates: Continue reading
FOX news is reporting that some of the whistleblower witness names have been revealed:
Appearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will be three career State Department officials: Gregory N. Hicks, the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Libya at the time of the Benghazi terrorist attacks; Mark I. Thompson, a former Marine and now the deputy coordinator for Operations in the agency’s Counterterrorism Bureau; and Eric Nordstrom, a diplomatic security officer who was the regional security officer in Libya, the top security officer in the country in the months leading up to the attacks.
Liberty Speaks put together a list of potential names last month after Darrell Issa fired his warning shot for various agencies to ‘lawyer up’. Our list is based on the staff list in Tripoli from 9/12/12 and from the various cables made public.
Hicks is on the list of staff for Tripoli, Thompson and Nordstrom are not. Also, neither Nordstrom nor Hicks appears in either the alphabetical bio listing or ‘other bio’ listings at the State Department site. Not surprising on Nordstrom, but isn’t Hicks supposed to be a diplomat? I can’t find Hicks by title either. More on Hicks low visibility at the State Department below.
Here is what we have so far: Continue reading