BREAKING NEWS: So much for any presidential aspirations Hillary Clinton may be entertaining for 2016. An independent review of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that claimed the lives of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, cites “systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies” at high levels of the State Department.
New York Times: The investigation into the attacks on the diplomatic mission and the C.I.A. annex in Benghazi that resulted in the deaths of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three others also faulted State Department officials in Washington for ignoring requests from officials at the American Embassy in Tripoli for more guards and safety upgrades to the mission.
The panel also blamed American intelligence officials for relying too much on specific warnings of imminent attacks, which they did not have in the case of Benghazi, rather than basing assessments more broadly on a deteriorating security environment. By this spring, Benghazi, a hotbed of militant activity in eastern Libya, had experienced a string of assassinations, an attack on a British envoy’s motorcade and the explosion of a bomb outside the American Mission.
Finally, the report also blamed two major State Department bureaus — Diplomatic Security and Near Eastern Affairs — for failing to coordinate and plan adequate security at the mission. The panel also determined that a number of officials had shown poor leadership.
“Systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels within two bureaus,” the report said, “resulted in special mission security posture that was inadequate for Benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place.”