The review by the Accountability Review Board said the temporary, lightly defended compound where Stevens died lacked disciplined oversight of its security operations. The diplomatic post’s ad hoc nature, with inexperienced staff members working there for short periods, “resulted in diminished institutional knowledge, continuity, and mission capacity,” the report said.
Finally, the report said State Department officials in Washington ignored requests from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, the Libyan capital, for additional guards and better security for the Benghazi compound, which served as a temporary U.S. consulate for eastern Libya. It also said that there had been worrisome incidents in the weeks before the attack that should have led to increased security, but the report did not identify any specific threats to the compound on Sept. 11.
The Associated Press reported Wednesday that the State Department’s chief of security and two other officials are resigning from their positions, following the report. An unidentified administration official told the wire service that Eric Boswell, the assistant secretary of state for diplomatic security, and Charlene Lamb, the deputy assistant secretary responsible for embassy security, had stepped down under pressure.
AP reported that the third official who resigned worked for the Bureau of Near East Affairs, but wasn’t immediately identified, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to discuss personnel matters publicly.
The report said State Department security personnel on the scene and CIA officers at a nearby annex used as an operations base had responded in a timely and appropriate manner, and it absolved the U.S. military of any blame, saying there was not enough time for a military response that would have made any difference.
Despite the broad security failures, the report did not single out any individual officials as violating procedures and did not recommend any disciplinary action.
The report also concluded that, contrary to initial reports by the Obama administration and by media outlets, there was no protest outside the outpost ahead of the attack and that the assault on the diplomatic compound and the CIA annex was carried out by terrorists.
Stevens and another diplomat, Sean Smith, were killed inside the compound. Two other Americans, CIA contractors Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, died in the attack on the annex. Ten people were injured in the assault.