The cover-up has to involve a fall guy and the State Department is just that.
WASHINGTON — An independent inquiry into the attack on the United States diplomatic mission in Libya that killed four Americans on Sept. 11 sharply criticizes the State Department for a lack of seasoned security personnel and relying on untested local militias to safeguard the compound, Congressional and State Department officials said Tuesday night.
The investigation into the attacks on the diplomatic mission and C.I.A. annex that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three others also faulted State Department officials in Washington for ignoring requests from officials at the American Embassy in Tripoli for more guards and safety upgrades to the diplomatic mission.
The panel also blamed the State Department for waiting for specific warnings of imminent attacks to act rather than adapting security procedures and protocols to a deteriorating security environment. By this spring, Benghazi, a hotbed of militant activity in eastern Libya, had experienced a string of assassinations and attacks, including one on a British envoy’s motorcade.
Finally, the report also blamed two major State Department bureaus — diplomatic security and Near Eastern affairs — for failing to coordinate and plan adequate security at the mission. The panel also determined that a number of officials had shown poor leadership.
In response to the panel’s findings, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in a letter to Congress that she was accepting all 29 of the panel’s recommendations, several of which are classified.
Mrs. Clinton is taking specific steps to correct the problems, according to officials. They say the State Department is asking permission from Congress to transfer $1.3 billion from funds that had been allocated for spending in Iraq. This includes $553 million for additional Marine security guards; $130 million for diplomatic security personnel; and $691 million for improving security at installations abroad.