By Julian Pecquet - 01/23/13 10:42 PM EST
“You are a hero to many, especially women, and you seem to bring out these deep aspirations that they have in ways that I've never seen anyone do before.”
“Thank you for the truly remarkable job that you've done as secretary of State,” said Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla). “You have represented the interest of this nation magnificently, and I for one hope that after a bit of rest you will consider a return to public service and should that return bring you to Florida, I would look forward to welcoming you there.”
The Democrats left it up to Republicans to ask the tough questions, notably with regard to why no one has been fired for what the State Department's own bipartisan review labeled “systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies.”
The Accountability Review Board “found that responsibility stopped at the assistant secretary level, below the Department’s most senior management,” said the House Foreign Affairs Committee's new chairman, Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.). “This seems to contrast with the recommendation of the 1999 Accountability Review Board on the East Africa bombings, which said that 'the secretary of State should take a personal and active role' in security issues.
“This Committee is concerned that the Department’s most senior officials either should have known about the worsening security in Benghazi — or did know. Either way, security requests were denied.”
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) accused Clinton of allowing the dissemination of a “false narrative” that people had indeed been fired, a charge the secretary didn't answer.
Clinton said four State Department officials are on administrative leave and still getting paid.
“There are regulations and laws that govern that,” she said when asked why no one's been fired.
“Under federal statute and regulations, unsatisfactory leadership is not grounds for finding a breach of duty,” she said. “And the ARB did not find that these four individuals breached their duty.”
“Madam Secretary, we'll be working to fix that problem,” answered Royce.