State Dept. Inspector General investigating State Dept. Board that investigated #Benghazi

US Consulate, Benghazi

They’d like answers, too.

But, don’t worry. According to a State Department spokesman, this is just part of a standard review of “the process.”

Yeah, sure it is.

The State Department’s Office of Inspector General is investigating the special internal panel that probed the Benghazi terror attack for the State Department, Fox News has confirmed.

The IG’s office is said by well-placed sources to be seeking to determine whether the Accountability Review Board, or ARB — led by former U.N. Ambassador Thomas Pickering and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen — failed to interview key witnesses who had asked to provide their accounts of the Benghazi attacks to the panel.

The IG’s office notified the department of the “special review” on March 28, according to Doug Welty, the congressional and public affairs officer of the IG’s office.

This disclosure marks a significant turn in the ongoing Benghazi case, as it calls into question the reliability of the blue-ribbon panel that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton convened to review the entire matter. Until the report was concluded, she and all other senior Obama administration officials regularly refused to answer questions about what happened in Benghazi.

But State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell disputed the characterization of the review, saying it is “simply false” to assert the panel is being investigated.

And that smoke you see is not indicative of a fire.

That’s why whistle-blowers who wanted to testify before the ARB are lawyering up in advance of next Wednesday’s House hearings — just “normal process:”

In an interview for the Fox News program “Geraldo” taped Thursday afternoon and set to air this weekend, Joe diGenova, a former U.S. attorney, told host Geraldo Rivera that he is legally representing a career State Department officer whom the board failed to interview. DiGenova called the ARB a “cover-up.”

DiGenova and his wife Victoria Toensing, a former Justice Department official who represents another State Department whistle-blower in the Benghazi case, said their respective clients will testify next Wednesday at a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee being chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif.

The review board’s report was rightly regarded at the time as a whitewash, making scapegoats of senior officials well-below Hillary Clinton’s level and attempting to appease the public with severe punishments laughable wrist-slaps.

Jim Geraghty is right that this could be deadly to Hillary’s 2016 prospects, but there’s something else to bear in mind: if the question of “cross-border authority” discussed yesterday is is true, then what the whistle-blowers have to say –and perhaps wanted to say to the ARB– may well implicate the President’s actions or non-actions that night. It’s not hard at all to imagine pressure from both the White House and Clinton’s office on the ARB to “find some responsible flunkies, fast” because there were two arses that needed covering — Clinton’s and Obama’s.

Question: IF all this turns out to be true and IF it looks like “Hillary 2016″ is about to go down like the Hindenburg, will she rat-out her former boss? It’s not as if there is any love lost between the Clintonistas and the Obama camp.

RELATED: Wait, al Qaeda operatives were at the Benghazi attack? You mean they were working for the video maker, too?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

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