The Campaign Spot

State Department: Someone Failed on Benghazi, But We Won’t Say Who

The concluding paragraph of the unclassified version of the State Department’s internal review of what happened in Benghazi:

5. The Board found that certain senior State Department officials within two bureaus in critical positions of authority and responsibility in Washington demonstrated a lack of proactive leadership and management ability appropriate for the State Department’s senior ranks in their responses to  security concerns posed by Special Mission Benghazi, given the deteriorating threat environment and the lack of reliable host government protection.  However, the Board did not find that any individual U.S. Government employee engaged in misconduct or willfully ignored his or her responsibilities, and, therefore did not find reasonable cause to believe that an individual breached his or her duty so as to be the subject of a recommendation for disciplinary action.

So the review found “certain senior State Department officials within two bureaus” who dropped the ball on the security risks… but it won’t name them.

And no one has been recommended for disciplinary action.

The beauty of blaming “broad, systemic failures” the way this report does is that no individual must be held accountable.

UPDATE: I wrote a column for the New York Post in mid-October, discussing the Obama administration’s tradition of having top lawmakers loudly declare, “I take responsibility”… and then seeing no significant changes or actions follow from that declaration.  It’s the appearance of accountability, without all the complications and headaches of actual responsibility.

The tradition continues.

UPDATE: The AP reports, “Official: State Dept security chief, 2 others resign after report on Benghazi attack.”


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