A new report reveals that the State Department’s Benghazi investigation failed to hold senior officials accountable for the deaths of four Americans. Josh Rogin reports.
The State Department’s investigation into the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi was not independent and failed to hold senior State Department officials accountable for the failures that led to the death of four Americans, according to a new investigative report compiled by the House Oversight Committee.
The Administrative Review Board, chosen by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, unfairly placed the blame for the terrorist attack on four mid-level officials while ignoring the role of very senior officials in Clinton’s State Department for decisions about security in Benghazi, according to the new report led by Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA). Also, the structure of the ARB and the culture in Clinton’s State Department raised questions about the independence and integrity of the review, according to Issa’s committee.
“The ARB blamed systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies within two bureaus, but downplayed the importance of decisions made at senior levels of the Department. Witnesses questioned how much these decisions influenced the weaknesses that led to the inadequate security posture in Benghazi,” the report stated. “The ARB’s decision to cite certain officials as accountable for what happened in Benghazi appears to have been based on factors that had little or no connection to the security posture at U.S. diplomatic facilities in Libya.”
The Daily Beast first reported in May that the four officials removed from their jobs and placed on administrative leave as a result of the State Department’s ARB report on Benghazi had never been told what they were accused of, never been given any opportunity to appeal their punishments, and never were officially fired. One of the officials, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Ray Maxwell, had little to no role in Libya security policy and was not even alleged to have been connected to the security failures leading up to the Benghazi attack.