News / USA

Kerry: Congress Shares Blame for Benghazi Security Failure

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry, D-Mass., leads hearing about attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, Capitol Hill, Dec. 20, 2012.
Senate Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry, D-Mass., leads hearing about attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, Capitol Hill, Dec. 20, 2012.
Carla Babb
The chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations committee says Congress bears some responsibility for the mistakes leading to the deadly September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
 
Speaking Thursday as the Senate committee questioned Deputy Secretaries of State William Burns and Thomas Nides, Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) said "gridlock and excesses" prevented Congress from properly authorizing and funding legislation. The State Department had said it lacked funding for increased security.
 
U.S. embassy compound following overnight attack, Benghazi, Sept. 12, 2012.U.S. embassy compound following overnight attack, Benghazi, Sept. 12, 2012.
x
U.S. embassy compound following overnight attack, Benghazi, Sept. 12, 2012.
U.S. embassy compound following overnight attack, Benghazi, Sept. 12, 2012.
"Adequately funding America's foreign policy objectives is not spending, it's investing in our long-term security and more often than not it saves far more expensive expenditures in dollars and lives for the conflicts that we fail to see or avoid," he said. "We need to invest in America's long-term interest in order to do the job of diplomacy in a dangerous world."
 
Nides noted that the department had already converted a panel's 29 recommendations into "60 specific action items," some of which would be completed by the end of this month.

Findings of the Accountability Review Board for Benghazi

  • There were no protests before the attacks.
  • Intelligence provided no specific warning of the attacks.
  • The scale and intensity of the attacks was not anticipated.
  • Systemic failures and leadership deficiencies in the State Department resulted in inadequate security.
  • The Libyan government's response to the attack was "profoundly lacking."
  • U.S. personnel in Benghazi acted with courage in a "near impossible situation."
  • There was not enough time for U.S. military assets to have made a difference.
"We get this right about 99 percent of the time. We'd like to be at 100 percent, without question," he said. "We have over 275 posts around the world, and our men and women are in danger all over the world, and we attempt to do this 100 percent."

The top State officials have asked Congress to increase funding to provide better security at high-risk embassies and consulates. Nides said all the assistance for the State Department equals less than one percent of the federal budget.
 
Funding vs. mismanagement
 
But Senator Bob Corker, a Republican, lashed out the State Department officials for focusing on funding rather than mismanagement. He pointed to a security team on the ground in Tripoli whose stay was not extended by the State Department despite an extension request and funding from the Defense Department.
 
"I assumed they would have traveled and been there [to Benghazi] when we had our ambassador there," he said. "I just don't understand. You talk about money, but you had 16 people there free from the Defense Department. They requested that they stay, and you denied that. I don't understand that."
 
The hearing comes after a report from an independent Accountability Review Board concluded that security at the U.S. mission in Benghazi was "grossly inadequate" at the time of the attack. The findings prompted a personnel shake-up at the State Department.
 
A State Department spokeswoman said Wednesday Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accepted Eric Boswell's decision to resign as Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security. The spokeswoman also said three other people had been "relieved of their current duties."
 
The Benghazi attack killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stephens. He was the first U.S. ambassador killed in the line of duty since 1988.
 
Clinton recovering
 
Clinton had been scheduled to testify Thursday before the House and Senate committees about the attack. However, she is under doctor's order to rest after becoming ill last week.
 
The accountability board said senior-level "systematic failures and management deficiencies" within two State Department bureaus led to the failed protection of the consulate.
 
The panel's recommendations include increased security at temporary facilities in high-risk areas.
 
The group also urged the State Department to lengthen the duty assignments for program and security personnel at high-risk posts. It said the "short-term, transitory nature" of staffing at the Benghazi mission had resulted in "diminished institutional knowledge" and lack of continuity.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

There are Western concerns Islamic State militants soon may unleash offensive in kingdom that could create upheaval - though nation has solid intel, grip on banking system More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

A steady deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mike from: Vermont
December 20, 2012 10:47 AM
The question is, do you have more Marines in Paris, Berlin, and Tokyo and Rome, places that have not been ‘hot spots’ for over 50 years, then you do in places like Benghazi and Cairo? It doesn’t take billion dollars to redeploy troops.

And since it is a simple as redeploying troops, it means the Man in charge of those troops has no clue on how to place them on the map. Which equals negligence.

A child playing the board game Risk or Ruse on the Xbox knows better than to do this. The level of incompetence is ridiculous.


by: ali baba from: new york
December 20, 2012 6:07 AM
It is blame game and point finger for who has to blame. the fact that US support the rebel and the rebel has connection of Islamic international terrorism .the genus policy maker believe Gadhafi has to go like Mubarak has to go. The outcome is a disaster .the us policy maker substitute dictator with Islamic psychopath .now they blame an f official for inadequate security measure,. They have to blame the policy maker for implementing a radical Islam form of Gov.. in addition ,the man who mastermind the attack is a Egyptian and financial times write an article .about it .he was released by the another radical from of Gov. from Egypt prison . the Egyptian authority knew that these people are psychopath and possibility to commit another terrorism attack is almost certain. they release him and plan the attack and execute it. please do not blame an official for inadequate security measure. blame the policy maker for not understanding what radical Islam is . we need president Gorge w bush to fix the problem

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid