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State Dept. officials resign after release of Benghazi report: 'Systemic failures' left consulate inadequately protected; attack coordinated, not result of protest over a video

By Doug Powers  •  December 19, 2012 12:03 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

As I was about to post all that stuff below, the AP Tweeted that a State Department security chief and two others have resigned. More details on that as they come in. (Update: So far there are only details about one resignation Update II: Three resignations)

Now, to the report that precipitated those resignations, and maybe others to come…

From Fox News:

A State Department-ordered investigation into September’s attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, concluded that “systemic failures” left the facility inadequately protected, according to the independent review board’s report, which confirmed that no protest preceded the deadly attack.

The report, posted Tuesday night on the State Department’s website, also identified “leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels within two bureaus.” It suggested 29 ways the department can improve its operations, but recommended no disciplinary action.

The Accountability Review Board’s report comes after more than three months of intense debate in Washington over who was behind the attack, what motivated the attackers and why U.S. authorities weren’t able to stop the violence, which took the lives of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

The ARB’s report on Benghazi does not assign responsibility to any specific individuals, and it also doesn’t make a single mention of the YouTube video. Also, the report specifically says there never was a protest in Benghazi that day, which was another initial claim of members of the Obama administration.


Although the motive for the attack remains unclear, the report released Tuesday confirms what quickly became evident — that the attack was the coordinated work of heavily armed terrorists.

The report confirmed that the attack involved “arson, small arms and machine gun fire, and the use of RPGs, grenades, and mortars.”

The security failures, though, were singled out repeatedly in the report.

Despite clear and present threats, the review board found the security staffing at the Benghazi consulate was “short-term, transitory” and “relatively inexperienced” — and ultimately “inadequate.”

It also found “a pervasive realization among personnel who served in Benghazi that the Special Mission was not a high priority for Washington when it came to security-related requests, especially those relating to staffing.”

Clinton vowed Tuesday to address the deficiencies identified in the report.

Even though no individuals were named in the report, the fact that Susan Rice was the point-person in the “blame the video” effort makes it even clearer why she either removed herself or was removed from the list of potential secretary of state nominees.

The report may provide officials with insight as to why the attack happened and how to prevent something like it from happening again, but it doesn’t explain the reason(s) for the administration’s baffling and ever-evolving narrative:

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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