Scathing Report Rocks U.S. State Department In Wake Of Benghazi Attack
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — People have been fired at the State Department in the wake of a damning report on the lack of security at the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that led to the death of the ambassador and three other Americans.
The independent report on what went wrong at the Benghazi mission in Libya pulls no punches. It states plainly and clearly that Ambassador Chris Stevens and the others died in an attack by militants because security was “grossly inadequate to deal with the attack,” CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported Wednesday.
The report found State Department officials ignored requests from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli for better security at the Benghazi compound. It blamed the failure on two departments within State — Diplomatic Security and Near Eastern Affairs — officials from the two departments, plus a third who resigned under pressure.
“There is no question that there were people within the State Department that were remiss and did not execute in an appropriate way,” said Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.).
“I think the conclusion was very stark, very candid, very honest, and told us the following: mistakes were made, lives were lost, lessons needed to be learned,” added Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).
Among the other findings:
* There was an in intelligence “knowledge gap” about the high-threat environment and inability of Libyan militias to protect the post — they ran away.
* There were an “inadequate” number of diplomatic security agents.
* There were no technically proficient staffers — boxes of security cameras sat unused because no one knew how to install them.
“The State Department failed the Boy Scout motto of ‘Be Prepared,’” said Sen. John Barasso (R-Wyo.). “They failed to anticipate what was coming because of how bad the security risk already was there.”
“I think the Department has taken huge steps forward to address the lessons learned from Benghazi, which are important to everybody,” added Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), the Senate Foreign Relations chairman.
Hearings on the report are scheduled for Thursday on Capitol Hill. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was to have appeared but cancelled after fainting and sustaining a concussion last week.
Lawmakers still want her to testify
She has accepted all 29 recommendations to improve security at high-threat embassies.
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