Hilary Clinton beefs up U.S. security overseas, following Benghazi report

Published December 19th, 2012 - 05:11 GMT
Libyan civilians help an unconscious man, identified by eyewitnesses as US ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, at the US consulate compound in Benghazi, following an overnight attack on the building. Stevens and three of his colleagues were killed. (AFP PHOTO/STR)
Libyan civilians help an unconscious man, identified by eyewitnesses as US ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, at the US consulate compound in Benghazi, following an overnight attack on the building. Stevens and three of his colleagues were killed. (AFP PHOTO/STR)

US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said on Tuesday she accepted all 29 recommendations in a report into the deadly September attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and had ordered widespread changes to improve US state security overseas. 

An independent panel investigating the September 11 attack that took the lives of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, found that systematic failures at the state department led to insufficient security at the consulate.

"Systematic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels within two bureaus of the State Department resulted in a Special Mission security posture that was inadequate for Benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place," it said.

The panel's report identified the state department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security and Bureau of Near East Affairs for criticism. 

But while it found a "lack of proactive leadership" among certain senior state department officials, no individual official was said to have ignored their duties and the report did not recommended any disciplinary action.

A lack of resources was said to have hampered the Benghazi mission, with the consulate relying on armed "but poorly skilled" local militiamen for its protection.

On Tuesday, Clinton said in a letter to US congressional committees that she had instructed the State Department to implement its findings "quickly and completely".

The US Secretary of State also outlined a series of steps aimed at improving the security of US diplomatic outposts.

Clinton said the US would send hundreds of additional Marine guards to overseas posts, request more funding for security improvements and name a new state department official to oversee "high threat posts".


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