The State Department is insisting that secretary of state John Kerry’s decision to reinstate four employees put on administrative leave in the wake of of last year’s Benghazi attack was the right call. A spokeswoman said that Kerry, after revewing the Accountability Review Board’s report on the attack and the “totality of the careers” of the four employees, determined that the the action taken against them was “not warranted.”
“These are people with real lives, real careers,” deputy press secretary Marie Harf told reporters on Tuesday. Asked who should be held accountable for the attack that resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens, Harf responded that the terrorists themselves are at fault. “The people who were ultimately responsible were the terrorists who perpetrated the attack on us,” she said, though she conceded that “things could have been done better.”
The State Department, Harf insisted, is interested in “moving forward” and will make changes to prevent future attacks from happening, including posting more Marines at high-threat posts and providing more training for security personnel.
The Daily Beast reported on Monday that Kerry had asked the four employees to return to work today. The employees will not serve in their previous positions, but will be transferred to new posts within the department.