Secretary Clinton’s “Accountability Review Board” (ARB) declared multiple times in its unclassified report that although there were multiple failures in leadership, “management ability,” allocation of security resources and communication, the board could not find “reasonable cause” to discipline (or even name) one person in the State Department.
The report states that there was a breakdown in communication between Libya and Washington. It confirmed previous testimony given on Capitol Hill that the personnel in Libya did ask for increased security. However, the ARB found that those working at the embassy in Tripoli “did not demonstrate strong and sustained advocacy” for increased security at the “special mission” in Benghazi.
The report goes on to say that the diplomatic security staff in Benghazi in “the months and weeks” leading up to the attack (and on the day of the attack) was “inadequate, despite repeated requests.” The ARB found that the security of the Benghazi special mission “was not a high priority for Washington when it came to security-related requests, especially those relating to staffing.”
Amazingly, however, the ARB made sure to extensively absolve anyone in the State Department from being accused of being derelict of their duty:
The Board found that certain senior State Department officials within two bureaus demonstrated a lack of proactive leadership and management ability in their responses to security concerns posed by Special Mission Benghazi, given the deteriorating threat environment and the lack of reliable host government protection. However, the Board did not find reasonable cause to determine that any individual U.S. government employee breached his or her duty.
According to the ARB, being “proactive” in leadership and having competent “management ability” is not considered the “duty” of a U.S. government employee. The report goes on to say, essentially, that although there were “systematic failures” at “senior levels” in the State Department, they did not fire IEDs or physically attack the Benghazi facility so they are not in any way responsible for the attack or the deaths of our four American heroes:
Systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels within two bureaus of the State Department resulted in a Special Mission security posture that was inadequate for Benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place. Through the course of its inquiry, the Board interviewed over 100 individuals, reviewed thousands of pages of documents, and viewed hours of video footage. On the basis of its comprehensive review of this information, the Board remains fully convinced that responsibility for the tragic loss of life, injuries, and damage to U.S. facilities and property rests solely and completely with the terrorists who perpetrated the attack.
The report closes by saying that those in “critical positions of authority” (though the unclassified report notably fails to mention any names) “demonstrated a lack” of leadership and management “appropriate” for the Department’s “senior ranks.” But, no one should be held responsible for these attacks except for the terrorists themselves. The ARB states that it could not find “reasonable cause” to fire, or even discipline, any member of the State Department:
The Board found that certain senior State Department officials within two bureaus in critical positions of authority and responsibility in Washington demonstrated a lack of proactive leadership and management ability appropriate for the State Department’s senior ranks in their responses to security concerns posed by Special Mission Benghazi, given the deteriorating threat environment and the lack of reliable host government protection. However, the Board did not find that any individual U.S. Government employee engaged in misconduct or willfully ignored his or her responsibilities, and, therefore did not find reasonable cause to believe that an individual breached his or her duty so as to be the subject of a recommendation for disciplinary action.
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