In keeping with how the Obama administration usually handles these types of sticky situations, blame has been shifted, and no disciplinary action has been recommended…
WASHINGTON (AP) – An independent panel charged with investigating the deadly Sept. 11 attack in Libya that killed a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans has concluded that systematic management and leadership failures at the State Department led to “grossly” inadequate security at the mission in Benghazi.
“Systematic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels within two bureaus of the State Department resulted in a Special Mission security posture that was inadequate for Benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place,” the panel said.
The report singled out the Bureau of Diplomatic Security and the Bureau of Near East Affairs for criticism, saying there appeared to be a lack of cooperation and confusion over protection at the mission in Benghazi, a city in Eastern Libya that was relatively lawless after the revolution that toppled Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi.
Despite those failures, the Accountability Review Board determined that no individual officials ignored or violated their duties and recommended no disciplinary action now. But it also said poor performance by senior managers should be grounds for disciplinary recommendations in the future.
…it confirmed that contrary to initial accounts, there was no protest outside the consulate and said responsibility for the incident rested entirely with the terrorists who attacked the mission. (Duh)
The report also discounted speculation that officials in Washington had refused appeals for addition help after the attack had begun.
“The Board found no evidence of any undue delays in decision making or denial of support from Washington or from the military combatant commanders,” it said. To the contrary, the report said the evacuation of the dead and wounded 12 hours after the initial attack was due to “exceptional U.S. government coordination and military response” that helped save the lives of two seriously wounded Americans.
The report also called on Congress to fully fund the State Department’s security initiatives, noting that budget constraints in the past had led some management officials to emphasize savings over security despite numerous requests from the Benghazi mission and embassy in Tripoli for enhanced protection.
“For many years the State Department has been engaged in a struggle to obtain the resources necessary to carry out its work with varying degrees of success,” it said. This has led to efficiencies but also “had the effect of conditioning a few State Department managers to favor restricting the use of resources as a general orientation.”
It said the number of Diplomatic Security staff in Benghazi before and on the day of the attack “was inadequate despite repeated requests … for additional staffing.”
“The solution requires a more serious and sustained commitment from Congress to support State Department needs, which, in total, constitute a small percentage of the full national budget and that spent for national security,” it said. “Congress must do its part to meet this challenge and provide necessary resources.”
John Bolton, former Ambassador to the UN was on Fox News, Tuesday afternoon to discuss the imminent report with Bill Hemmer. He noted that the Board was appointed by the State Dept itself, in other words, the people who did the appointing, are the people whose decisions are being questioned. He said that their assertions might not necessarily withstand scrutiny.
Bolton suggested that Hillary avoided scrutiny for two months in order to wait until the report from the Accountability Review Board came out when she could tailor her testimony accordingly.
Here are the predictable answers to the questions Bolton claimed the Accountability Board should have been able to answer:
Q. Why did the State Dept reject continued requests for enhanced security before Sept. 11?
A. The Board found “systematic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels within two bureaus of the State Department and the “grossly inadequate security” was partially the fault of Congress for not fully funding State Dept. security initiatives.
Q. Could we have done more to protect our people during the attack?
A. The board found support from Washington during the attack to be “exceptional”.
Q. Who came up with this ridiculous story that the whole thing was provoked by the Mohammed video?
A. (This one’s a toughie.) “Contrary to initial accounts, there was no protest outside the consulate and said responsibility for the incident rested entirely with the terrorists who attacked the mission.”
Still no answer on who came up with the ridiculous story.
Congress will hold a hearing on Benghazi, this Thursday.
Previous pertinent entries:
Fox News EXCLUSIVE: CIA Operators Were Denied Request for Help During Benghazi Attack (Video)
October, 26, 2012 — nicedeb
Fox News’ Jennifer Griffen did a masterful job laying it all out:
Fox News has learned from sources who were on the ground in Benghazi that an urgent request from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. consulate and subsequent attack several hours later was denied by U.S. officials — who also told the CIA operators twice to “stand down” rather than help the ambassador’s team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11.
Former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods was part of a small team who was at the CIA annex about a mile from the U.S. consulate where Ambassador Chris Stevens and his team came under attack. When he and others heard the shots fired, they informed their higher-ups at the annex to tell them what they were hearing and requested permission to go to the consulate and help out. They were told to “stand down,” according to sources familiar with the exchange. Soon after, they were again told to “stand down.”
Hack-tastic: Jay Carney Ties Republicans to Diplomatic Security Budget Cuts (Video)
October, 12, 2012 — nicedeb
State Dept. Bureaucrat, Charlene Lamb told Congressman Dana Rohrabacher that the budget had nothing to do with security decisions in Benghazi: