State Department Panel Opens Probe Into Benghazi Consulate Attack

The US State Department has opened a panel to investigate the attacks on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including the US Ambassador.

A five-member accountability review board that has been appointed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to see whether security at the Libyan consulate was adequate and also if proper procedures were followed before, during, and immediately after the attack, reports Yahoo! News.

Clinton spoke with reporters at the State Department on Wednesday, saying:

“The men and women who serve this country as diplomats deserve no less than a full and accurate accounting wherever that leads, and I am committed to seeking that for them.”

There have been previous inquiries into attacks on diplomatic missions, which took months to complete. Two of these inquiries found fault with both executive and legislative branches that went back years and spanned both political parties. Clinton warned:

“Over the course of this review, there will naturally be a number of statements made, some of which will be borne out and some of which will not. I caution everyone against seizing on any single statement or piece of information to draw a final conclusion.”

The Seattle Times notes that Clinton stressed the fact that the investigation “will take time,” while Republicans express their impatience for full details of any potential negligence before the presidential election.

Representative Darrell Issa of California is the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, who plans to hold a hearing next week to speak with State Department officials about reported security lapses. He stated that he understands the accountability review board’s work was “critically important.” Issa stated:

“It should not, however, be used by the State Department as an excuse for delaying efforts to address problems or answer specific questions.”

The Benghazi Accountability Review Board will be led by another former Republican-appointed chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mike Mullen. Clinton added that the board will move as quickly as they can without sacrificing accuracy.