Sen. Bob Corker, the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, expressed his disappointment Wednesday with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's decision this week to reinstate four workers who had been placed on administrative leave following last year's terrorist attack on a U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
Corker, who has been a vocal critic of the Obama administration's response to the almost year-old attack in Libya, questioned how the State Department could ensure safety at its posts around the world if those responsible for ensuring security were not held accountable for failures.
"I am highly disappointed that no one at the State Department will be held accountable in any real way over the failures that led to the tragedy in Benghazi," Corker said in a news release. "I don't understand how this administration will ensure accountability at one of our most vital government departments without disciplining those who fail in their duties."
According to a Daily Beast report, four officials who had been placed on leave were asked by Kerry to return to work on Tuesday. The State Department did not specify what positions or assignments the workers would be returning to.
Technically, the workers had never been fired. Corker was critical of the fact back in May during an appearance on MSNBC's morning news show "The Daily Rundown."
"There were four individuals involved, they've been reprimanded, and they're sitting at home with full pay," Corker said at the time. "Americans all over our country are unemployed, and there are four State Department officials that candidly [show] there's just been no accountability. And I don't think it bodes well to know that people have made some mistakes and, candidly, mistakes that cost people's lives, and there's nothing happening."
The senator and former Chattanooga mayor's comments on Benghazi were his first public remarks on the matter in several months. Corker requested an additional Senate hearing on the attack in May, and he lobbied questions at Clinton during a hearing on the attack in January.
Last October, he visited Libya on a fact-finding trip.
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