With the “fiscal cliff” debate raging in Washington, the security failures that led to the terrorist attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which cost the lives of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, has been off of the radar. However, a report released yesterday shines some light on the mistakes made by the State Department, which is headed up by Hillary Clinton:
The failures resulted in a security plan “that was inadequate for Benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place,” the 39-page, unclassified version of the report concluded.
Veteran diplomat Thomas Pickering and former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, both members of the review board, are scheduled to brief members of the House Foreign Affairs and Senate Foreign Relations committees in private on Wednesday.
The board cited a lack of resources as at least partly to blame.
“The solution requires a more serious and sustained commitment from Congress to support State Department needs,” it said.
The board found that Washington tended “to overemphasize the positive impact of physical security upgrades … while generally failing to meet Benghazi’s repeated requests” to beef up personnel.
The report also touched on the narrative put forward by the Obama Administration for several days following the attack. Officials seemingly insisted or insinuated that the attack was a peaceful or “spontaneous” protest gone awry. The conclusion is that the ”first reference to the anti-Islam film that was initially blamed for sparking the attack was not detected on social media until a day later.”
The report, which can be read here in its entirety, has already led to the resignations of three State Department officials, including Eric Boswell, the head of diplomatic security. Hillary Clinton, who has served as Secretary of State, will step down when her replacement is confirmed by the United States Senate. Her departure is unrelated to the failures at the consulate in Benghazi.