How US Treated a Benghazi Hero, Gregory Hicks

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gregory hicks photo of Mr. Gregory Hicks testifying at Benghazi hearing Wednesday

Mr. Hicks was the most senior official on the ground during the attack of the Benghazi consulate on the night of 9/11/12. He was never consulted before the Talking Points were issued and was stunned and embarassed when he heard Susan Rice speak on the Sunday News shows after the Tuesday attack.

We now know that the Talking Points had at least 12 revisions with the original product describing an attack by the al Qaeda affiliate, Ansar al-Sharia, to the final version which attributed the attack to an anti-video protest by locals that had gone awry.

Remarkably, the administration, through Jay Carney, is still insisting there were no substantive changes to the Talking Points.

Mr. Hicks is a career diplomat who came forward to testify as a whistleblower out of a sense of duty and responsibility.

During his 22 year career, he was highly respected and received excellent reviews. At least that was the case until he raised questions about the Rice testimony and until he met with the House investigator, Jason Chaffetz, without a government lawyer present.

The administration had demanded that Mr. Hicks not meet with Mr. Chaffetz unless the administration lawyer was present. Never before had Mr. Hicks been asked to meet with a congressmen only in the presence of an administration lawyer.

After the Benghazi disaster, Mr. Hicks had asked to leave Libya. The administration took the opportunity to relieve him of his duties. He essentially had no employment for months. Eventually he was placed in a low-level desk job he had to seek out.

A State Department spokesman, Patrick H. Ventrell, said late Wednesday that the department had not and would not retaliate against Hicks. Ventrell said that Hicks “testified that he decided to shorten his assignment in Libya following the attacks, due to understandable family reasons.” The spokesman said that Hicks’s current job was “a suitable temporary assignment” at the same salary and that he had submitted his preferences for his next job.

That is quite a remarkable statement given Mr. Hicks’ testimony on Wednesday.

The US administration rewarded a hero of Benghazi by insulting him and then demoting him to a minimal desk job.

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