The Ottumwa Courier

AP National

August 21, 2013

State officials cleared in Benghazi security gaps

WASHINGTON (AP) — Four State Department officials have been cleared of security failures that led to an attack last year on a diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, authorities said Tuesday.

State spokeswoman Marie Harf said the officials, who held senior positions at the Bureau of Diplomatic Security and the Bureau of Near East Affairs during the Sept. 11, 2012, attack, will be reassigned to new jobs.

She said an internal State review concluded "there was no breach of duty" by any of the four, who have been on paid administrative leave for months.

The State Department is not investigating any other employees. But the Benghazi attack has been under intense scrutiny by some House Republicans who have suggested the Obama administration is trying to cover up the circumstances and aftermath of the attack that left Stevens and three other Americans dead.

A review in December by the independent Benghazi Accountability Review Board described a security vacuum in Libya after rebel forces toppled the decades-long regime of strongman Moammar Gadhafi. It singled out the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security and the Bureau of Near East Affairs for lacking cooperation and being confused over protection at the diplomatic post in Benghazi.

Among the four officials are Eric Boswell, assistant secretary of state for diplomatic security; Charlene Lamb, deputy assistant secretary responsible for embassy security; and Raymond Maxwell, deputy assistant secretary of state who oversaw the Maghreb nations of Libya, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. The fourth official's identity was not disclosed.

Tuesday's announcement drew a sharp rebuke from House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, who has been leading a congressional probe of the government's response to the attack.

"Instead of accountability, the State Department offered a charade that included false reports of firings and resignations and now ends in a game of musical chairs where no one misses a single day on the State Department payroll," Issa, R-Calif., said in a statement.

He called the government's response to the attacks "more of a public relations strategy than a measured response to a failure in leadership."

Issa has repeatedly questioned the State Department review's findings in December, which he says were developed in secret and appear to have failed to include interviews with witnesses.

He said he will expand his investigation to include the department's decision to not discipline the four officials.

1
Text Only
AP National
  • With Israel at war, US lawmakers give full support WASHINGTON (AP) — As the war in Gaza escalates, U.S. lawmakers are pressing the Obama administration to take no action that puts pressure on Israel to halt its military campaign against Hamas. Many even have criticized the administration's effort to

    July 29, 2014

  • Abuse suspect dead; two marshals, NY policeman hurt NEW YORK (AP) — A California man who skipped town after being accused of molesting a boy was killed and three law enforcement officers trying to arrest him were wounded in a daytime shootout inside a small smoke shop in one of New York's most bustlin

    July 29, 2014

  • Study: 35 percent in US facing debt collectors WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 35 percent of Americans have debts and unpaid bills that have been reported to collection agencies, according to a study released Tuesday by the Urban Institute. These consumers fall behind on credit cards or hospital bill

    July 29, 2014

  • Despite good news, benefit programs face problems WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite some good news, Medicare and Social Security still face long-term financial problems as millions of baby boomers reach retirement. Social Security's disability program is already in crisis as it edges toward the brink of ins

    July 29, 2014

  • 10 Things to Know for Today Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR ENTERS FOURTH WEEK — DURATION, DEATHS MATCH FIRST CONFLICT Heaviest bombardment in Gaza yet as Israeli aircraft, tanks and nav

    July 29, 2014

  • NYC uses food trucks to bring summer meals to kids NEW YORK (AP) — Within minutes, the line at the food truck parked on a busy Queens thoroughfare extended several people deep. Hipster foodies looking to sample vegan pizzas or fusion tacos? Nope, these were children, agonizing over whether to pick th

    July 29, 2014

  • Avoiding plane crashes as air traffic doubles NEW YORK (AP) — More travelers are flying than ever before, creating a daunting challenge for airlines: keep passengers safe in an ever more crowded airspace. Each day, 8.3 million people around the globe — roughly the population of New York City — s

    July 29, 2014

  • Analysis: Clinton impeachment shadows GOP lawsuit WASHINGTON (AP) — The last time Republicans unleashed impeachment proceedings against a Democratic president, they lost five House seats in an election they seemed primed to win handily. Memories of Bill Clinton and the campaign of 1998 may help expl

    July 28, 2014

  • After six weeks, finally a deal on VA health care WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans health program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records covering up delays. Congressi

    July 28, 2014

  • US: Russia has fired rockets into Ukraine WASHINGTON (AP) — Stepping up pressure on Moscow, the U.S. on Sunday released satellite images it says show that rockets have been fired from Russia into neighboring eastern Ukraine and that heavy artillery for separatists has crossed the border. The

    July 28, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National