State Department ignored facts on ground in Benghazi, House committee chair says
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 email@example.com.
Add Andrew Conte to your Google+ circles.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pa. Senate passes $30.1B GOP budget; Wolf veto likely
- In visit to Washington Wild Things, Rose talks, but not about betting
- U.S. tops Germany to reach Women’s World Cup final
- Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor to host history of baseball event
- In historic vote, Pa. Senate approves bill selling state liquor stores
- Penguins notebook: Sheary hoping to return to organization
- UConn transfer picks PSU hoops
- Forget online, Pittsburgh singles can meet mates through Dinner for 8
- Blackhawks deal Gibsonia native Saad to Blue Jackets
- When it comes to walking, Pittsburgh’s Venture Outdoors has much to offer
- The Wine Cellar: Celebrate your pursuit of happiness with a good wine