(CBS News) The independent investigation of the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi blames failures of leadership and management problems within two bureaus at the State Department for the missteps that eventually lead to the deaths of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three additional American personnel in Libya.
Three State Department officials, including two who oversaw security decisions at the diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, resigned in the wake of a review of security failures there, senior State Department officials told CNN Wednesday.
The two bureaus — Near Eastern Affairs and Diplomatic Security — were criticized for a security posture that was “grossly inadequate to deal with the attack,” and for failing to coordinate with other agencies to better secure the consulate.
The report notes that there was an “inadequate” number of security agents in Benghazi and that officials ignored requests from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli for better security at the Benghazi Consulate.
The report also found that there was an intelligence “knowledge gap” in which officials failed to recognize the high-threat environment in Benghazi and the degree to which Libyan militias, which ran away as the attackers approached, were unprepared to protect the compound.
The report did not single out any individuals for culpability, but the State Department will shoulder the brunt of the blame, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sending a letter to Congress indicating that she accepts all 29 of the report’s recommendations to strengthen security at diplomatic posts and recognizing the need to address “serious, systemic challenges” at the State Department.
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