TribLIVE

| News


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

State Department ignored facts on ground in Benghazi, House committee chair says

Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
FILE PHOTO. Duquesne alumnus Gen. Michael V. Hayden talks about global security in the 21st Century, Friday, Nov. 9, 2012 on Duquesne Campus. He appeared at the Duquesne Club on Monday, Nov. 18, 2013.

Daily Photo Galleries

Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, 3:58 p.m.
 

A lack of security and bureaucratic confusion seemed like obvious contributors to the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Compound in Benghazi, Libya, security and intelligence experts said Wednesday.

They responded to findings of the State Department's Accountability Review Board that “systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies” led to a situation that allowed the attack to occur.

“The threat situation was going up and the security footprint was going way down,” Michael Hayden, a former CIA director, told the Tribune-Review. “That was very clear, and unfortunately, some very good people just made what clearly was a bad call.”

Hayden said he once worked with Eric Boswell, the State Department's head of diplomatic security who resigned along with two others after the report's release.

Hayden called Boswell a “serious public servant” and “a good man” who probably did “what he thought was correct.”

On Capitol Hill, where members of the House Foreign Affairs committee expect to take testimony from State Department officials on Thursday, lawmakers said they want to avoid repeating mistakes. Members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee received a classified briefing on the report.

“The State Department's dismissal of the reality and facts on the ground in Libya” left the Benghazi compound vulnerable to attack, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Florida Republican who chairs the committee, said in a statement.

She said the Obama administration must be held accountable for “its dangerous systemic and management failures” to avoid another Benghazi-type attack.

Diplomats are brave people but perhaps there are places they should not go — at least not without serious security, said Rep. Tom Rooney, a Florida Republican on the House Intelligence and Armed Services committees.

“We've got to be extra vigilant,” Rooney said. “If we're putting diplomats in places where we can't help them or rescue them in a time of despair, maybe they shouldn't be there in the first place.”

Yet incidents such as the Benghazi attack cannot be eliminated because foreign service, by its nature, carries risk, said Ronald Neumann, president of the American Academy of Diplomacy, a Washington nonprofit composed of former diplomats.

“It comes with the turf,” said Neumann, who testified about the Benghazi attack before the Foreign Affairs committee in November. “We have to do certain things in order to serve the nation's foreign policy, and some of them have risk.”

Andrew Conte is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7835 or andrewconte@tribweb.com.

Add Andrew Conte to your Google+ circles.

 

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School has interim principal
  2. Rookie Bryant sparks deep passing game for Steelers in victory
  3. Steelers use 3 late first-half TDs to stun Texans
  4. Bill Clinton to campaign next week for Tom Wolf in Pittsburgh
  5. Chevron’s $20M to improve Pennsylvania workforce
  6. 12-year-old’s donated heart joins families, lets her memory live
  7. Seven in custody after New Kensington drug raid
  8. Steelers notebook: Adams replaces concussed Gilbert
  9. Bortuzzo could provide much-needed physical presence for Penguins
  10. Rossi: Steelers’ season all about going big
  11. Sheriff’s sale delayed for historic Conneaut Lake Park
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.