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

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy 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.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid