Welcome to 'Cargo Pants-Gate'

Talk about pulling a Seymour Hersh, Hayes Brown at Think Progress is trying to discredit Gregory Hicks, a Benghazi whistleblower, by attacking his managerial style and professionalism. By the way, all the sources cited in the piece are unnamed.

Hicks gave testimony to Congress last week about Benghazi, and highlighted how he knew from the beginning that this was a terrorist attack.  He said his “jaw dropped” when the Obama administration blamed a YouTube video for the attack.  Well, for liberals, he’s an awful manager, so his testimony is worthless.

According to the Brown’s May 10 post, a couple unnamed State Department staffers dished on Hicks.  Concerning Hicks’ claim that he was demoted, due to political reasons, after the attack:

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.

“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.

The same employees also told ThinkProgress of several troubling incidents involving Hicks and the staff at the Tripoli Embassy both before and after the September 11, 2012 assault in Benghazi. During the aftermath of Benghazi, Hicks showed a lack of diplomatic protocol that both staffers found extremely questionable given the tense times. This includes going to a meeting with the Libyan Prime Minister Mohammed Magarief in a t-shirt, cargo pants, and baseball cap. “I’m too upset to wear a suit,” Hicks allegedly told a staffer. “I want the Libyans to know how upset I am about this attack.”

Well, David Freddoso, who responded on the same day, at Conservative Intel. Briefing aptly noted that Hicks was a State Department employee for twenty-two years, but the Obama lapdogs just realized – from an anonymous source – that Hicks was a bad manager?

Hicks was removed in October 2012. So this provides a nice reminder that even if the State Department’s senior leadership couldn’t be bothered to provide adequate security in Benghazi or Tripoli, or to get an investigation underway into the attack in a timely fashion, there was plenty of time to settle bureaucratic scores in the weeks immediately following the attack. After all, do YOU want to be represented by someone who shows up to meetings in…cargo pants?

On the issue of  cargo pants, Freddoso caustically  said, “if that doesn’t prove this guy’s “testimony” is a total wingnut sham, then I just don’t know what will.”

So, the left is taking something that could embarrass or smear one’s reputation, and try to make that frivolous angle the story for the media to eat up.  So, the managerial style of a State Department employee discredits his knowledge of the attack?  It’s pathetic – and it’s always been that way.

During the Monica Lewinsky Scandal, the left used the same tactics in smearing Rep. Henry Hyde and others in Congress were pushing hard for impeachment. Liberals decided to slap him with his past indiscretions.  Hyde did have an extramarital affair with Cherie Snodgrass in the late 1960s.  Salon was the site that ran with the story, and explained why they did it:

It will be argued that Hyde’s 30-year-old affair cannot be compared to Clinton’s, because Hyde’s sexual intrigue was not carried out in Washington and because he did not lie under oath. Clinton is not being investigated because he had an affair, those who argue this insist, but because he lied about it. This is, we submit, either absurdly naive or disingenuous: Lying and having an affair can’t be separated. To have an affair is by definition to lie about it — an affair is a lie. Consequently, the notion that Clinton’s lies about the nature of his relationship with Lewinsky could constitute an impeachable offense is blatant politics, hiding under a legal fig leaf.

It’s true that an affair is a lie, but Hyde wasn’t the President of the United States, nor did he allegedly lie under oath. It’s a whole other ballgame when you allegedly perjure yourself in a legal deposition.  Additionally, Hyde’s tryst didn’t carry an obstruction of justice charge with it.  Just because someone else did something of a similar nature back in the day, doesn’t excuse the most powerful man in the world, who purportedly abused his power.  That’s not an argument.

This attempt to discredit Hicks’s testimony for being a bad manager – from people we don’t know – carries the same undertones.  Then again, let’s say Hicks was a bad manager, you still have the Benghazi talking points undergoing twelve revisions, and removing the word “terrorism” from the final draft.  It also omitted al-Qaeda’s involvement, but Hicks wore cargo pants!

(H/T/ David Freddoso)

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