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

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee 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.
South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infectionsi
X
November 28, 2014 3:31 PM
South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infections

South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.

All About America

AppleAndroid