The star of FAUX News Fraudcasting’s ‘Benghazi! Benghazi!! Benghazi!!!’ not the stellar employee he imagines himself to be in his own mind

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

It appears that the star of FAUX News Fraudcasting's much anticipated over-hyped and over-sold extravanganza of "Benghazi! Benghazi!! Benghazi!!!", Gregory Hicks, is not the stellar employee he imagines himself to be in his own mind. As Dana Milbank reported yesterday:

[T]his whistleblower spent a good bit
of time tooting his own horn. “I earned a reputation for being an
innovative policymaker who got the job done. I was promoted quickly and
received numerous awards,” Hicks informed the lawmakers. “I have two
master’s degrees. . . . I speak fluent Arabic. . . . I fast became known as the ambassador’s bulldog because of my decisive management styles. . . . Incoming charge Larry Pope told me personally that my performance was near-heroic.”

It turns out that State Department staff who actually worked with this guy have a far different opinion of his value as an employee. Think Progress has this EXCLUSIVE: Embassy Staff Undercut ‘Whistleblower’ Testimony On Benghazi:

Staff who served in Libya with Gregory Hicks, the GOP’s primary
“whistleblower” in this week’s hearing on the Benghazi terror attacks,
undercut his story that State Department officials demoted him as
retribution for speaking out, instead telling ThinkProgress about a man
who one described as “the worst manager I’ve ever seen in the Foreign
Service.”

Throughout his testimony on Wednesday, Hicks seemed certain that any
critique of his leadership style while serving as deputy chief of
mission in Libya was based solely around anger related to his stance on
Benghazi. He also blamed his subsequent assignment after being pulled from Libya in mid-Oct. 2012 on his speaking out against the Obama administration’s response to the attacks.

[The State Department disputes diplomat's charges of retaliation]

However, ThinkProgress has talked to staffers based in Libya who
counter Hicks’ portrayal of both his own performance and the State
Department’s alleged response to him speaking out
. A meeting between
Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Beth Jones
and Hicks took place in Tripoli prior to his removal from Libya, but not
under the same circumstances Hicks sought to portray. Counter to Hicks’
story of an unwarranted reassignment, the staff was upset with Hicks’
performance since he was first assigned to Tripoli on July 31
, and told
Jones as much prior to her meeting with Hicks.

“[Jones] and her aide had one-on-one meetings with us to see if
[Hicks] could be guided into being a better leader,” a State Department
employee posted to Libya told ThinkProgress. “Literally every single one
of us begged for him to be removed from post,” said the employee, who
spoke to ThinkProgress on the condition of anonymity, as they were not
cleared to discuss personnel issues with the press
.

A second State Department employee present in Libya before and during
the Benghazi attacks confirmed the meetings occurred. Assistant
Secretary Jones’ meetings with the staff prior to Oct. 2 were “entirely”
focused on Hicks’ performance, according to this second employee, who
also believed that Hicks should be removed from his position. “The group
of us who were here during the attacks, we sat here two nights ago and
watched [the hearing] with our jaws dropped,” the staffer said,
referring to Hicks’ claim that he was demoted out of retribution for
speaking out
.

[Hicks testified his “jaw dropped” when he heard U.N.
Ambassador Susan Rice claim on TV that there had been a protest
at the Benghazi consulate. These State Department employees are using his words to describe their reaction to his testimony.]

“He was removed from here because he was a disaster as a manager,”
the second employee went on to say, expressing the belief that Hicks’
reassignment had “nothing to do with him being a whistleblower, it had
everything to do with his management capacity or lack thereof.”
This
statement contradicts the narrative promoted on conservative media outlets that Hicks was being forced to remain silent and being punished for speaking out.

* * *

In testifying before the House Oversight Committee
on Wednesday, Hicks gave some of the most riveting testimony yet on
what occurred in Tripoli the night of Sept. 11, 2012, when a diplomatic
mission in Benghazi, Libya was attacked. That detailed account was
prefaced by Hicks’ written testimony, which included claims that his
superiors praised his performance during the night of the attack, which now rings slightly hollow given the critiques of his colleagues.

When speaking about the night of the attacks, the employees
ThinkProgress spoke with described Hicks as being in a daze while other
senior Embassy officials organized the evacuation from Tripoli to
Germany.
“At one point [Hicks] wandered past the huddled State evacuees,
muttering to himself, and just sank into a couch,” the first employee
relayed to ThinkProgress.

Prior to today, the State Department attempted to chart a middle path
on Hicks, seeking to neither give credence to his claims of retribution
nor portray him as lacking as a leader. Speaking in the daily press briefing
yesterday, State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell told reporters
that Hicks’ reassignment was merely part of the Foreign Service
Assignment System. “He’s now, per the standard procedure with all the
other members of the Foreign Service, working through a preference list
that he submitted, and he’s under consideration for positions in the
next rotation,” Ventrell said. “So this is all part of the standard
procedures.”

* * *

In the run-up to the hearing, Republicans including Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) pointed to Hicks
as a model for future whistleblowers on Benghazi, citing State
Department threats of “retaliation” as evidence of Hicks’ bravery in
coming forward. Members from both sides of the aisle pledged to protect
Hicks from any future retaliation from Foggy Bottom, with Rep. Jackie
Spier (D-CA) going so far as to ask him what his dream post would be. It
will be interesting to see if those pledges remain in place following
this new information about Hicks’ time in Libya.

I can imagine Roger Ailes telling this guy, "Do what I tell you kid and I'll make you a star." How long before Gregory Hicks quits his job at State and starts working the right-wing conspiracy theory circuit hawking his book about how he was done wrong? Never let the facts stand in the way of a good conspiracy theory. There are always plenty of rubes out their willing to buy your book.

UPDATE: This probably merits a separate post, but ABC News, which I consider FAUX News lite, is a mainstream media network following the lead of FAUX News Fraudcasting on "Benghazi! Benghazi!! Benghazi!!!"  In a so-called "exclusive" report today, "ABC is left with a major exclusive dissecting the distinction between input and editing" of the talking points to Susan Rice. Yet another "nothingburger." ABC's "Exclusive" Benghazi Report Shows Nothing New.

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