It was obvious to everyone that Hillary Clinton only took the Secretary of State post as a consolation prize from which to launch a second bid for the White House. Her career at State consisted of pointless trips and press conferences that accomplished nothing. Some of this could be blamed on Obama, but everyone Hillary was there to polish up her profile for 2016.
Unfortunately for Hillary, the only part of her State Department tenure that attracted any notice, aside from the botched reset button with Russia, was Benghazi.
Hillary Clinton’s response, or that of her close advisers, was to begin serving up scapegoats, intimidating and silencing longtime career State Department people who were in the know, and using others as scapegoats. That policy backfired badly when Gregory Hicks showed up to testify.
Hicks was a natural ally who had been alienated by the political careerism of Hillary Clinton and her people. If not for their abusive behavior, it’s doubtful that he would have come to tell his story. But the attempts to intimidate him, backfired. And he isn’t the only one.
Take Raymond Maxwell, who claims he unfairly got the blame for the lack of security, when that wasn’t even his wheelhouse.
The decision to place Maxwell on administrative leave was made by Clinton’s chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, according to three State Department officials with direct knowledge of the events. On the day after the unclassified version of the ARB’s report was released in December, Mills called Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Beth Jones and directed her to have Maxwell leave his job immediately.
“Cheryl Mills directed me to remove you immediately from the [deputy assistant secretary] position,” Jones told Maxwell, according to Maxwell.
The decision to remove Maxwell and not Jones seems to conflict with the finding of the ARB that responsibility for the security failures leading up to the September 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi should fall on more senior officials.
“We fixed [the responsibility] at the assistant-secretary level, which is in our view the appropriate place to look, where the decision making in fact takes place, where, if you like, the rubber hits the road,” Pickering said when releasing the ARB report.
Mills had also targeted Gregory Hicks. Mills was not operating as a State Department figure, but as part of the Clinton 2016 campaign. And Maxwell seemed like he would make a good scapegoat because he had admitted to not reading the intel and was going to retire shortly.
Cheryl Mills isn’t a career State Department figure. She’s a Clinton loyalist who follows them around and covers up for them. Mills was a Deputy White House Counsel and worked at the presidential campaigns of both Clintons. Essentially, she was Hillary Clinton’s lawyer. And career diplomatic personnel are not too happy when a bigwig’s political lawyer and campaign adviser begins chucking them off a cliff to protect her political godmother.
A similar process may be happening for Obama and the CIA, which resents being used as a scapegoat for administration malfeasance. The CIA tends to be more guarded than State, but reports suggest that the trickle of figures coming forward may become a flood.
Hillary alienated her natural allies at the State Department. The people who wanted her to look good so she could make them look good and sacrificed them to cover up her mismanagement. Instead of taking responsibility, she began looking for people to blame. The resentment it has caused will not subside quickly and raises real questions about her fitness for any elected or unelected office.