The State Department’s report on the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi describes a series of strategy and management failures, but does not assign responsibility to any individual Americans — not even to the secretary of state or the president of the United States.
“Systemic 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,” says the report, which was written by the “Accountability Review Board for Benghazi.”
“The Board did not find reasonable cause to determine that any individual U.S. government employee breached his or her duty,” state the report’s authors, all picked by the administration.
However, the report dismisses claims that the attack emerged from protests over a little-known anti-Muslim YouTube video. (View the report)
That theory was strongly pushed by Obama and Secretary of State Clinton immediately after the attack, which came only eight weeks before the 2012 election.
“The Board concluded that there was no protest prior to the attacks,” the report says.
Clinton was slated to testify to Congress this week, but has instead called in sick for the week. In her place, deputies will answer questions about the administration’s reaction to the report.
Clinton’s absence partly shields her from any public criticism that might damage a possible run for the presidency in 2016. (RELATED: Clinton calls in sick for third time over Benghazi)
Instead, the report tries to blame Congress for not funding Obama’s strategy in Libya, even though the president ignored Congress when developing and implementing the strategy in 2009 and his Libyan intervention in 2011.
“The solution requires a more serious and sustained commitment from Congress to support State Department needs,” insists the report.
The successful jihadi attack on Sept. 11 killed four Americans, seriously wounded two other Americans, destroyed the two known U.S. government facilities in eastern Libya and gave jihadi groups more time and space to expand.
So far, Obama has not launched a counter-attack or even retaliated against jihadi groups.
Instead, he has asked the FBI to investigate the attack as a crime.
The FBI does not have the legal authority or practical ability to investigate a crime in Libya without approval from the weak central government, which is already under periodic attack from the jihadi groups.
In 2009, Obama developed and announced his region-wide strategy, dubbed “A New Beginning,” which gambled that the region’s popular Islamist movements would suppress allied jihadi groups if they were allowed to gain power.