The authors of a report slamming State Department actions surrounding the Benghazi murders in September said Wednesday they don’t believe Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should be investigated for failures in leadership.
The report, released last night, found that no U.S. government employees had actually had a breach of duty, but that senior leadership in two bureaus within the State Department demonstrated a lack of leadership and appropriate management when faced with the crisis.
Retired U.S. Ambassador Thomas Pickering, co-author of the report, said because of the level of knowledge and actual involvement in decisions related to Benghazi, blame for these failures rests with the second tier of State Department leadership.
“We fix (responsibility) at the assistant secretary level, which is in our view the appropriate place to look,” Pickering said. He said it would be easy to hold the agency leader, in this case Clinton, responsible for all failures without actually pinpointing where the breakdown in leadership or decision-making occurred.
Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, the other co-author, said that though Clinton has verbally taken responsibility for breakdowns in the State Department response to the attacks, “It was from my perspective not reasonable” that she did so.
Clinton so far has been able to keep far removed from the Benghazi scandal. While she was expected to testify before Congress on the matter for the first time Thursday, deputies will now appear in her stead following a recent concussion.
Meanwhile, assistant secretary of state for diplomatic security Eric Boswell and deputy assistant secretary for embassy security Charlene Lamb resigned today in connection to the Benghazi report.