Panel Releases Report on Benghazi Attack
An independent review board released a report on the Benghazi attack of September 11, 2012 that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens. The report placed blame on “systematic State Department management and leadership failures for gross security lapses.” The report also found however, no “reasonable cause” that any individuals had “engaged in misconduct or willfully ignored” their responsibilities. The report noted failures made in the Diplomatic Security and Near East Affairs Bureaus which “resulted in a Special Mission security posture that was inadequate for Benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place.” Additionally, the report asserted there were no protests on the day of the attack. Members of the review board Thomas Pickering and Adm. Mike Mullen are scheduled to brief the House Foreign Affairs and Senate Foreign Relations committees in private on 12/19.
“The lack of accountability and detailed explanation for how these lapses occurred and who specifically failed to conduct inquiries, coordinate policy and advice on the growing terrorists problem in Libya is what you’d expect from a government department investigating itself,” fumed Jennifer Rubin in the Washington Post. This Morning Staff of The Wall Street Journal wrote that the report “is likely to rekindle Republican criticism about the administrations handling of the attack.” One of the most notable testimonies missing from the investigation is that of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who “was scheduled to testify in Thursday’s open hearings,” but cancelled due to a concussion. However, Clinton has “accepted the findings,” notes Andrew Quinn in the Chicago Tribune, and “ordered widespread changes to bolster U.S. diplomatic security overseas.”