News / USA

State Department Denies Demoting Benghazi Whistleblower

Gregory Hicks, former deputy chief of mission in Libya prepares to read his testimony at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about last year's deadly assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 8, 2
Gregory Hicks, former deputy chief of mission in Libya prepares to read his testimony at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about last year's deadly assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 8, 2
A senior State Department official says he has been demoted following his criticism of the Obama administration's handling of last September's attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.  Four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed.  State Department officials say there has been no retaliation against Benghazi whistleblowers.

Since his return to Washington following the Benghazi attacks, Gregory Hicks, the former deputy chief of mission in Libya, has told Congress he was punished professionally.

"The job now is a significant ... it's a demotion," said Hicks. "Foreign affairs officer is a designation that is given to our civil service colleagues who are desk officers.  So I've been effectively demoted from deputy chief of mission to desk officer."

Acting Deputy State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell says that is not true.

"The Department has not and will not retaliate against Mr. Hicks," said Ventrell. "As he testified yesterday, he decided to shorten his assignment in Libya following the attacks, in part due to understandable family reasons, and he has followed standard employment processes."

Ventrell says Hicks has had neither a reduction in pay nor in grade and is free to compete with other foreign service officers for his next posting.

A 22-year veteran of the State Department, Hicks is a fluent Arabic speaker who before Libya served in Afghanistan, Bahrain, Yemen, and Syria.

Hicks told the congressional hearing that superiors questioned his management skills after he told Republican lawmakers that U.S. soldiers in Tripoli should have been sent to Benghazi.

Hicks has criticized Washington's initial assessment of the violence as stemming from a demonstration instead of being a terrorist attack, and says he was stunned when the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, made that assertion.

The Obama administration corrected its account to say this was a terrorist attack.  The U.S. Defense Department says soldiers in Tripoli could not have reached Benghazi in time to rescue those who were killed and injured.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Michael Nahra
May 10, 2013 12:37 AM
"The U.S. Defense Department says soldiers in Tripoli could not have reached Benghazi in time to rescue those who were killed and injured."
This would be true if they were riding camels to get from Tripoli to Benghazi, but it is my understanding that they were at the airport. Would that not infer flight? Also, why could not other military assets in the region respond? In the modern era we have assets in the area which could respond in less than an hour. Did someone sink our aircraft carrier in that region?

In Response

by: Mike from: Fairfax
May 10, 2013 2:43 PM
I think it's kind of ironic that we're still investigating the Boston marathon bombing but somehow we expect the state department to have known in advance who, when and where a bunch of thugs several thousand miles away in a country that wasn't cooperating with the US. Congressman Chaffetz is promoting several conspiracy theories at once, including Benghazi and the ammo lie.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid