Benghazi attack: US security chief Eric Boswell quits

 

Adam Brookes reports from Washington

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A senior US security official has quit and three others are suspended after a damning report into a deadly attack on a US mission in Benghazi.

The state department said diplomatic security chief Eric Boswell resigned and three other unnamed officials had been put on administrative leave.

US envoy to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other officials were killed in the attack on 11 September.

An internal report said "grossly inadequate" security led to the deaths.

However, the report did not suggest disciplinary action be taken against any individuals.

Political fallout

"The Accountability Review Board identified the performance of four officials, three in the Bureau of the Diplomatic Security and one in the Bureau of Near East Asia Affairs," state department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement.

"The secretary has accepted Eric Boswell's decision to resign... The other three individuals have been relieved of their current duties."

Benghazi report: Key findings

  • There were "systematic failures at senior levels" within two bureaus of the state department, but no individual official ignored their duties
  • Reliance on armed "but poorly skilled" local militiamen and contract guards was "misplaced"
  • US personnel had "performed with courage and readiness to risk their lives to protect their colleagues in a near-impossible situation"
  • There was "no immediate, specific" intelligence about the 11 September attack or threats to the consulate
  • The Libyan government's response to the attack was "profoundly lacking"

US media have named one of Mr Boswell's deputies, Charlene Lamb, and Raymond Maxwell, deputy assistant secretary for the Maghreb, among those relieved of their duties.

Mr Stevens died of smoke inhalation when he was trapped alone in the burning building after armed men had stormed the compound.

Days after the attack, US ambassador to the UN Susan Rice said the attack seemed to have developed out of protests over an anti-Islamic film.

But later intelligence reports suggested it was a planned attack by Islamist gunmen.

Ms Rice was forced to pull out of the race to be the next secretary of state after being subjected to widespread criticism.

'Near-impossible situation'

The board's report found "a lack of transparency, responsiveness, and leadership" among certain senior state department officials.

But the review found no "reasonable cause" that any specific individuals had "engaged in misconduct or wilfully ignored" their responsibilities.

It also said there had been "no immediate, specific" intelligence about the 11 September attack or threats to the consulate.

The probe concluded that the US personnel had "performed with courage and readiness to risk their lives to protect their colleagues in a near-impossible situation".

But the Benghazi mission had nevertheless been hampered by a lack of resources.

Its reliance on armed "but poorly skilled" local militiamen and contract guards was "misplaced", the report said.

In a letter to Congress, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she accepted all 29 of the recommendations put forward in the report.

She outlined some steps the agency would take, including sending hundreds of US Marines guards to missions abroad and assigning a state department official to oversee "high-threat posts".

In addition, she said the state department would request more funding from Congress to make improvements to security.

 

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  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 86.

    Contract guards? Now that is a real joke. I thought Marines were responsible to guard our embassies abroad. President Obama needs to have his head examined to permit such a breach of standard practice and common sense. It cost us an Ambassador and other people as well needlessly. Perhaps the President needs to resign before more of his administration exposes their monumental stupidity, or his.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 85.

    This needs to go to the top.

    Who was on watch?

  • rate this
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    Comment number 84.

    Obama administration, especially by Sec. of State - Clinton failed to strongly defend Rice. She was the sacrificial lamb for the Benghazi attack. Instead of trying to find out what went wrong and prevent future occurrence, Republicans were busy trying to score political points. They have been on a witch-hunt to find a Democrat in a Republican-Watergate type scandal since Nixon.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 83.

     
    "We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act," President Barack Obama said. "And make no mistake, justice will be done."

    http://edition.cnn.com/2012/09/12/world/africa/libya-us-ambassador-killed/index.html

    I hope President Obama makes good on those words.

    If U.S. diplomats can be murdered with impunity, things have gone far awry.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 82.

    Then their Polio.

    It it's not eradicated from Pakistan and Nigeria it will harm 200,000 children every year, killing perhaps 20,000.

    The West is trying to eradicate it but there is opposition to immunization from the Taliban.

    What's that about?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 81.

    How can anyone pretend that a policy of non intervention will secure the safety of westerners when power voids are filled by salafhists who want to destroy western culture. Look at the Arabian countries with oil wealth and at how they treat their own people. Even if you took UK/US policy out if it you'd be left with tribal cultures who derive their morality from anachronistic theocratic mysticism

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 80.

    Anti-Americanism, the last socially acceptable hate speech left in Europe I see. If this were a British or French consulate this forum would be all in tears instead the BBC only lets Europe comment on anything involving the US. We had little to do with Libya after all this was Europe's baby, your war. I don't get to say this often but Americans we more bystanders then Europe was on this one.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 79.

    Whatever, happened in benghazi was tragic.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 78.

    This was an undefended consulate, not an armored, defended embassy.

    GOP voted many times to defund State. Even if State wanted, they couldn't afford security.

    She quit. Susan Rice wasn't forced out. I'm sorry she had no defenders, like Obama or Clinton.

    And, the screamers here said not a word at 9/11, the 7 embassy attacks, 20 dead + 51 wounded under Bush.

    GOP hypocrites screaming emptily

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 77.

    Hardly a news story compare the relatively small death toll, with those inncoent people killed by drone attcaked, let alone the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan let alone other countries where the US has launched deadly attacks which they are not even at war. Where were those WMD's again. Add on support for Israel's decades old occupation and the recent shooting in the USA. Better things to do?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 76.

    I think U.S.A are accountable for war crimes mainly many many child killing's and innocent women , look at infowars today you will know why. vile they should be sanctioned them-self never mind Iran.do something about America ban the drones. it's sick.

  • Comment number 75.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 74.

    Although we find that the intelligence gathering by USA is one of the finest in the Globe through cross checking all information from all sources;we are now meeting with failure purely due to many vested interests are working together with or without the knowledge of each other to neutralised the Power Equation which is hanging in a balance now and hence the confusion.

  • Comment number 73.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 72.

    71. neill999

    Wow you picked up on Syria.

    Do you do a stage show or do you just use the gift to predict History for the benefit of all mankind.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 71.

    The USA brought this upon themselves. They supplied the rebel extremists and took the country to the verge of anarchy. The sooner the west stops meddling in the middle eastern giving guns to anyone who may bring down a middle eastern government that is not a puppet of the west the safer the world will be and the better for all!! Syria is next! Wait and see.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 70.

    I am disappointed at the inaccuracy in the report.

    "But later intelligence reports suggested it was a planned attack by Islamist gunmen.'

    All the information released and the testimony of Petraeus show that it was immediately understood to be a terrorist attact and all the rest was a smokescreen for the truth with no evidence to back it up.
    It is this that has cost Ms. Rice her job.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 69.

    Chris Stevens, a key player in the western intervention that led to the overthrow of Gaddafi, was killed on September 11th. Does al-Qaeda need to send out a clearer message than this, that if it succeeds in overthrowing Assad, it will turn on the half-wits who now wish to help it? The only thing more dangerous than being a sworn enemy of Islamist psychopaths, is trying to be one of their friends.

  • Comment number 68.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 67.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

 

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