Pat Kennedy is someone who had a fairly interesting career up at the State Department. It began when Kennedy was assistant secretary for security during bombings of US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. During the Clinton administration, some believe that this was when Kennedy developed a close relationship with the Clinton family by papering over certain lapses in security.
Years later, Kennedy was the Undersecretary of State for Management during the Benghazi attack in 2011 which saw him in charge of many of the day-to-day operations at the State Department. Reportedly, Kennedy was a micro-manager who reached down through the layers of bureaucracy to directly control who went where in Libya. “He made the fateful decision that reduced professional American security personnel assigned to Tripoli from 34 to 6, with tragic consequences for Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glenn Doherty, and Ty Woods,” Fox News reported.
According to SOFREP’s sources, Kennedy was busy deleting emails after Benghazi blew up into a full-fledged media scandal. One report even had him trying to pin the security lapses on a younger colleague. As the story goes, she shut him down when she was able to produce a CD-ROM backup of all of her boss’s emails that she had made.
Dodging accountability, and helping others do the same seems to be his area of expertise. Kennedy was also spotlighted when news broke that the US Ambassador to Belgium, Howard Gutman, was evading his own security details in order to procure the services of underaged prostitutes. “The ambassador was called to Washington, D.C. to meet with Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy, but was permitted to return to his post,” CBS reported. Kennedy also squashed the Inspector General investigation for Gutman.
Then there was the unproven allegation that Kennedy was asking the FBI to declassify e-mails for Hillary Clinton (remember his relationship with the Clintons goes back to the 90’s) in the wake of her email scandal. Retroactively downgrading the classification of those e-mails would place Hillary in a much better position, and in exchange, Kennedy allegedly offered to open more overseas assignments to the FBI in a quid pro quo arrangement.
Kennedy was known by many as a snake in the grass who had long avoided accountability, and who helped others do the same. It wasn’t until last week that he finally had to resign from the State Department. With the Trump administration in the White House, and Rex Tillerson nominated as Secretary of State, perhaps it was finally made clear that the old guard from the Clinton years had to pack their bags and head home.
Editorial cartoon courtesy of Robert L. Lang