4 cleared of Libya security failures
WASHINGTON — Four State Department officials have been cleared of security failures that led to an attack last year on a diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, authorities said Tuesday.
State spokeswoman Marie Harf said the officials, who held senior positions at the Bureau of Diplomatic Security and the Bureau of Near East Affairs during the Sept. 11, 2012, attack, will be reassigned to new jobs.
She said an internal State review concluded “there was no breach of duty” by any of the four, who have been on paid administrative leave for months.
The State Department is not investigating any other employees. But the Benghazi attack has been under intense scrutiny by some House Republicans who have suggested the Obama administration is trying to cover up the circumstances and aftermath of the attack that left Stevens and three other Americans dead.
A review in December by the independent Benghazi Accountability Review Board described a security vacuum in Libya after rebel forces toppled the decades-long regime of strongman Moammar Gadhafi. It singled out the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security and the Bureau of Near East Affairs for lacking cooperation and being confused over protection at the diplomatic post in Benghazi.
Among the four officials are Eric Boswell, assistant secretary of State for diplomatic security; Charlene Lamb, deputy assistant secretary responsible for embassy security; and Raymond Maxwell, deputy assistant secretary of State who oversaw the Maghreb nations of Libya, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. The fourth official's identity was not disclosed.
The announcement drew a sharp rebuke from House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, who has been leading a congressional probe of the government's response to the attack.
“Instead of accountability, the State Department offered a charade that included false reports of firings and resignations and now ends in a game of musical chairs where no one misses a single day on the State Department payroll,” Issa, R-Calif., said in a statement.
He called the government's response to the attacks “more of a public relations strategy than a measured response to a failure in leadership.”
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.
- Drownings in Rio Grande spike as enforcement surges
- Boston police officer improving after surgery to remove bullet near ear
- Doctors push end-of-life care talks
- Pence: ‘Not going to change’ religious freedom law
- 2 bodies found at site of gas explosion in NYC apartments
- Before leak, NSA mulled ending phone program
- Despite high gas costs, Northeast resistant to pipelines
- Mining for tourists? A dubious economic savior in Appalachia
- Global warming is slowing down the circulation of the oceans — with potentially dire consequences
- Refunds hijacked in unique manner
- Stephen King waits for apology from Maine governor