Republican Claims Not “New”: “Revelation” on Diplomatic Security Selectively Quotes Previous Committee’s Interview From 2013
WASHINGTON—Republicans are touting as a significant new revelation in their partisan report that a senior official from the Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) was excluded from discussions about extending the State Department’s temporary mission in Benghazi.
The Republicans’ “New Revelations” included:
When the State Department’s presence in Benghazi was extended in December 2012, senior officials from the Bureau of Diplomatic Security were excluded from the discussion.
However, as its chief evidence for this claim, the Republican report quoted not from a Select Committee interview, but from an interview conducted nearly three years ago by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in July 2013.
That 2013 interview was with Eric Boswell, the Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security and the highest-ranking official in the Bureau of Diplomatic Security.
Today’s Republican report quotes Boswell as stating during during that interview that he “did not see that memo,” referring to a 2011 memo about extending the U.S. presence in Benghazi for one year.
However, the Republican report omits the rest of Mr. Boswell’s 2013 interview, during which he explained that he was not part of the clearance process because he was on leave for the holidays and that the memo was actually cleared by the “appropriate parts” of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security:
Q: Do you know if folks in DS had been consulted about the recommendations in that memo?
A: Yes, they were. The memo was, in fact, cleared by appropriate parts of Diplomatic Security. … I was not on concurrence, I think, because I was not there; I was on leave. When I learned that the decision had been made, I looked at the memo. I saw that the right people had been consulted—within DS had been consulted on the memo. And we have a long-established system that when the boss is not there, number 2 guy is plenipotentiary, as we say, and he had the authority to make that clearance.