Clinton gets accountability report on Benghazi attacks

Mon Dec 17, 2012 3:18pm EST
 

By Andrew Quinn

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday received an official review of the September attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, setting the stage for testimony on an incident that prompted a political furor and sharp questions about security at U.S. diplomatic facilities overseas.

The State Department said Clinton - who is convalescing after suffering a concussion last week - received the report from the Accountability Review Board formed to probe the attack which killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

"The ARB has completed its work. Its report has gone to the secretary this morning. She now has it," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

The committee has been meeting in private and State Department officials have declined to discuss almost all specifics of the Benghazi attack pending its reports.

The findings are expected to cover questions on whether enough attention was given to potential threats and how Washington responded to security requests from U.S. diplomats in Libya.

A determination that top State Department officials turned down those requests, as Republican congressional investigators allege, could refuel criticism of the officials - and possibly even end the careers of some of them.

Clinton had been expected to testify to Congress on December 20 on the report's results, but is under doctors' orders to remain at home this week.

Deputy Secretary William Burns and Deputy Secretary Thomas Nides will testify in her stead at Thursday's open hearings of the Senate and House foreign affairs committees, Nuland said.   Continued...

 
The U.S. Consulate in Benghazi is seen in flames during a protest by an armed group said to have been protesting a film being produced in the United States September 11, 2012. REUTERS/Esam Al-Fetori