Independent Benghazi probe assails State Dept.

The State Department was sharply criticized in the independent inquiry ordered after US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other personnel were assassinated in an attack on the Benghazi consulate on Sept. 11. The report faulted the State Department for failing to supply seasoned security personnel – despite requests from the US embassy in Tripoli and the deteriorating security environment  – and instead relying on untested local militias to safeguard the Benghazi compound. The report singled out the department’s Diplomatic Security and Near Eastern Affairs bureaus for “systemic failures and leadership at senior levels.” The CIA was also criticized for failing to respond in time to calls for help from the Benghazi compound.

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