Benghazi review slams State Department on security

9:14 AM, Dec 19, 2012   |    comments
A Libyan security member stands armed in front of a security forces building that was attacked by a crowd of protesters in Benghazi on September 28, 2012. Libyan demonstrators lobbed hand grenades at security forces and set cars ablaze after a rally in Benghazi in support of a hardline Salafist group which was evicted from the second city. AFP PHOTO/ABDULLAH DOMA (Photo credit should read ABDULLAH DOMA/AFP/GettyImages)
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WASHINGTON (AP) - The leaders of an independent panel that looked into the September attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya are explaining their findings to Congress today behind closed doors.

The two most senior members of the Accountability Review Board, retired Ambassador Thomas Pickering and Adm. Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, are discussing classified details of their findings with the House and Senate foreign affairs committees today.

An unclassified version of the report was released late yesterday. It says security at the mission in Benghazi was "grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place" on Sept. 11, when the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were killed. The report blames "systematic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels" of the State Department.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says in a letter that she accepts all of the panel's recommendations for improving security at high-threat embassies and consulates, and says some are already being implemented.

Tomorrow, two senior State Department officials will testify at open congressional hearings on the matter. Clinton had been scheduled to testify, but canceled last week after fainting and suffering a concussion.

The Associated Press

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