Congress Conducts Hearings on Benghazi Attack Findings
At a Foreign Relations Committee briefing to discuss findings of the Accountability Review Board report on the September 11 Benghazi attack, Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns lamented that “we have to do better.” Also speaking at the hearing, Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides noted that the State Department has already converted recommendations into “60 specific action items” to ensure a similar event does not happen again. Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) said “congress also bears some responsibility here,” adding that “we have asked our State Department to operate with increasingly lesser resources to conduct essential missions. That must change.”
In the wake of a report on the attack that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens, four U.S. State Department officials have resigned. The resigning officials include Eric J. Boswell, Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security, Charlene R. Lamb, Deputy Assistant Secretary responsible for embassy security, Raymond Maxwell, Deputy Assistant Secretary responsible for North Africa, and another official in the diplomatic security office whom officials declined to identify. Testifying in a hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, top State Department officials vowed “to improve security at U.S. diplomatic posts around the world, some before the end of the year.”
“It seems that, finally, the months after the deadly attack, soberer attitudes prevailed in the discussion of Benghazi on Capitol Hill,” said Sara Sorcher in the National Journal. However, the editorial board at the New York Times noted that “important questions about Benghazi remain unanswered – and the most important piece of accountability remains untackled.” Let’s not forget about the mess we left in Benghazi, argued Marty Fitzgerald and Umar Khan in Foreign Policy. “While heads are rolling in Washington … tensions in Libya’s second largest city continue to rise,” the article said.