During today’s hearing conducted by the House Select Committee on the Benghazi attacks, one witness admitted that the Independent Panel on Best Practices conducted after the attacks was not “independent.”
Questioned by Rep. Jim Jordan, Todd Keil, a member of the panel, admitted that Admiral Mullen revealed he was reporting ARB proceedings to State Department officials.
“I don’t think that fits anyone’s definition of being fiercely independent,” Keil said.
“You don’t think it was independent at all?” asked Jordan.
“Frankly I share your belief,” Jordan said.
Keil’s testimony drew fire from Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-WI) who used her time to criticize his statement.
“I was there the day Admiral Mullen testified, and I have to disagree with you,” Duckworth stated, referring to his testimony at the House Oversight Committe. “You may question his professional integrity, but when Admiral Mullen, a man that served in Vietnam — 43 years of military service, defending this great nation — comes before this committee and swears an oath of office and then testifies he was fiercely independent in the ARB, I would tend to believe him.”
After Duckworth was finished, Keil reminded her that Mullen testified under oath that he did discuss the proceedings of the panel with outside parties, which broke the precepts and regulations of the panel.
“It’s a statement of fact; it’s not a subjective judgement,” he said.