Report Says Security Still Not Tops After Benghazi
State Department security officials still lack access to all the intelligence they need to secure high-risk diplomatic posts, and the department has yet to implement other of its own recommendations for improving security after the Benghazi terrorist attack, says a report.
"There is currently no established system for ensuring that assessments of security at high-threat and other posts benefit from inputs from all available diplomatic and intelligence sources," according to the report by the State Department's Office of the Inspector General.
The report, which reviewed the department's Benghazi Accountability Review Board's work, said State has taken steps to fill gaps in information sharing, but that technical issues that would help are still in process, "with the associated costs still to be determined and funded."
Then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton appointed the ARB shortly after the Sept. 11, 2012, attack in Libya that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. The board made 29 recommendations for improving security, and State officials under Clinton's orders parsed those into 64 individual actions, and immediately began implementing many of them, the IG report said.
The IG report said Clinton deviated from State Department norm by taking charge directly of overseeing the implementation process, and that high-level focus continued under her successor, John Kerry, and should be a model for how State handles future ARB recommendations. The IG also found no bias in the ARB process, as charged by some congressional Republicans, said USA Today.
Some of the recommendations were implemented through new policy guidelines, changes to the Foreign Affairs Handbook and changes in position descriptions and organization structures, according to the IG.
Some of the recommendations require significant funding, for construction, additional personnel, computer systems, training and additional security enhancements, it said.