Four US State Dept. Officials Out Over Benghazi Attack
The US State Department's diplomatic security chief has resigned and three other officials were removed from their posts in the wake of a withering report on the Sept. 11 attack on the US diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, that left the US ambassador to the country dead.
Eric Boswell, assistant US secretary of state for diplomatic security, resigned his post, and the other three State Department officials have been relieved of their duties, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement Wednesday.
One of those removed from her post was Charlene Lamb, the deputy assistant secretary responsible for embassy security, US media cited administration officials as saying Wednesday.
Another was Raymond Maxwell, a deputy assistant secretary responsible for North Africa, the New York Times reported.
"All four individuals have been placed on administrative leave pending further action," Nuland said.
News of the removals emerged amid Wednesday's presentation of a scathing independent report blaming the State Department for inadequate security measures in the lead-up to the siege of the Benghazi compound by armed militants in which US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed.
The inquiry, which was led by retired US ambassador Thomas Pickering and former US Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Mike Mullen, concluded that "systemic failures" and "management deficiencies at senior levels" in the State Department led to insufficient security for the Benghazi compound.
The report placed the blame for the death and destruction "solely and completely with the terrorists who perpetrated" the attacks but said that "certain State Department officials" demonstrated a "lack of proactive leadership and management ability" in response to the security situation in Benghazi.
In a letter to US lawmakers released Tuesday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she accepted "every one" of the panel's recommendations and said work was already under way to rectify the security shortcomings identified in the report.
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