Benghazi Report Triggers Resignations

Wednesday, December 19, 2012 - 5:07pm

Three top State Department officials resign after report detailing security failures is released.

Three top State Department officials resigned Wednesday, hours after an independent report pinpointed failures that led to the deadly consulate attack in Libya.

Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans lost their lives in that attack.

The report found the deadly September 11th attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi was the result of catastrophic security and management failures.

"The security posture at the special mission compound was inadequate for the threat environment in Benghazi and in fact grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place that night," said Admiral Mike Mullen, vice chairman of the Accountability Review Board tasked with studying the attack.

"They did their best that they possibly could with what they had, but what they had was not enough," added board chairman Ambassador Tom Pickering.

Hours after the report was released Eric Boswell, the Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security, resigned, along with Charlene Lamb, a deputy assistant responsible for embassy security.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, unable to testify before Congress because she's recovering from an illness, had previously taken responsibility herself.

The State Department is promising sweeping changes.

"We accept each and every one of the board's recommendations and have already begun to implement them," Deputy Secretary of State William Burns said in response to the reports.

Senator John Kerry, believed to be the president's pick to be the next Secretary of State, says beefing up facilities and staff in world hot spots won't be easy or cheap.

"There's a need to put about $2.5 billion a year over a number of years," Kerry said.

After receiving classified briefings on the report, Republicans still want more.

"There was a failure of leadership - at a very high level," said Senator John Barrasso.

Libyan authorities were also blamed for failing to help secure the compound.

The U.S. Military was cleared.

Congress will be holding public hearings on the report on Thursday, and State Department officials are expected to be grilled on what went wrong and what's being done to make american diplomats safer.

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