An independent panel set up to investigate the September attack on the US consulate in Benghazi has come down hard on the State Department for lax oversight on security. But, the AP reports, it does not single out any individual or recommend disciplinary action. Hillary Clinton, at home this week recovering from a concussion, has accepted all 29 recommendations. To start, the department will ask Congress to transfer $1.3 billion from funds originally allocated for military operations in Iraq to pay for more Marine security guards in Libya. The New York Times lists some of the faults laid out by the panel, led by retired ambassador Thomas Pickering and former Joint Chiefs chairman Mike Mullen:
- The State Department relied on small-time local militias to guard the consulate, instead of more experienced personnel.
- The department ignored requests for more guards and safety improvements made by officials at the embassy in Tripoli.
- The department waited for specific warnings of attacks instead of taking more proactive steps.
- Two key bureaus, Near Eastern Affairs and diplomatic security, did not coordinate security plans.