The State Department inspector general made news Thursday with the revelation that the office is looking into the report produced by the Benghazi Accountability Review Board (ARB) in December on the terrorist attack on a U.S. facility in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012.
Most shocking is the allegation that eyewitnesses present on the ground in Benghazi on that fateful night—people willing to testify about what they saw—had not been interviewed by the review board or its staff.
On Wednesday, we might finally be able to hear what they have to say. That’s when several Benghazi witnesses are scheduled to appear before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, chaired by Darrell Issa (R–CA).
The State Department says that the inspector general’s office is looking into the procedures of all State’s ARB reports. This just does not compute. The most likely explanation for the review is that red flags of some kind were raised about the Benghazi ARB, which was headed by dignitaries Thomas Pickering (former ambassador to Russia) and Mike Mullen (former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff).
The ARB, for instance, blamed “systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels” without any level of specificity. Members of Congress, who last week published their own incriminating “Interim Progress Report” on Benghazi, did not think much of it.
Eyewitness accounts have been glaringly absent from the various investigations of the Benghazi terrorist attack. Now, at least four individuals (three State Department and one CIA) have found the courage to come forward. However, according to two of their lawyers, the State Department is throwing up roadblocks, denying lawyers the security clearances needed to represent their clients.
The Obama Administration’s “See something, say something” slogan in the fight against terrorism rings terribly hollow as we learn more about eyewitnesses being thwarted from testifying in Benghazi probes. When it comes to Benghazi, “See something, say nothing” has been the order of the day.