by ROGER ARONOFF:
Twelve years ago the bloodiest terrorist attack ever on U.S. soil occurred. But, last year, the American people received another mournful September 11th tragedy.
One year ago today, the victims of the Benghazi, Libya attacks-Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods-lost their lives at the Special Mission Compound and CIA Annex in Benghazi. Others were seriously injured. Since then, no one has been held accountable for the inadequate security at the Mission, which ignored the so-called Inman standards, or for the failure to fully anticipate the attacks given Libya’s deteriorating security environment. This in spite of numerous requests for increased security, which were ignored by top officials in Washington, D.C. Danger pay was increased for those in Benghazi, but the security was not upgraded. “The takeaway from that, for me and my staff, it was abundantly clear, we were not going to get resources until the aftermath of an incident,” said Eric Nordstrom, former Regional Security Officer in Tripoli, at a November 2012 hearing. “And the question that we would ask is, again, how thin does the ice have to get before someone falls through?”
Last month, the American people were treated to the news that Secretary of State John Kerry had cleared the State Department officials that former Secretary of State Clinton had placed on administrative leave for their failure to take appropriate action in the lead-up to the Benghazi attack. In December, 2012, The Accountability Review Board “found that certain senior State Department officials within two bureaus demonstrated a lack of proactive leadership and management ability in their responses to security concerns…given the deteriorating threat environment and the lack of reliable host government protection.” “However, the Board did not find reasonable cause to determine that any individual U.S. government employee breached his or her duty.” It was this lack of “breached” duty that compelled Secretary Kerry to end the administrative leave for these officials and return them to State, albeit into different positions.
Who, then, will be held accountable for the Administration’s failures in Benghazi?
It seems that this Administration isn’t even interested in holding those who actually perpetrated the attacks accountable. “Two weeks after the Obama administration announced charges against suspects in the Benghazi attack, a large portion of the U.S. team that hunted the suspects and trained Libyans to help capture or kill them is leaving Libya permanently,” reported Fox News last month.
“Special operators in the region tell Fox News that while Benghazi targets have been identified for months, officials in Washington could ‘never pull the trigger,'” the news outlet reported. “In fact, one source insists that much of the information on Benghazi suspects had been passed along to the White House after being vetted by the Department of Defense and the State Department-and at least one recommendation for direct action on a Benghazi suspect was given to President Obama as recently as Aug. 7.” Pentagon officials dispute these claims, saying that the group in question was not specifically tasked with finding Libyan suspects responsible for the Benghazi attack.
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