The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

December 19, 2012

Benghazi panel: Security insufficient at consulate

— WASHINGTON (AP) — The leaders of the panel that reviewed the deadly Sept. 11 attack in Libya say insufficient security staffing led to the weaknesses at the diplomatic post in lawless Benghazi.

Admiral Mike Mullen says State Department bureaus hadn't assumed shared responsibility for security and that Libyan teams assigned to back up U.S. personnel hadn't performed well. He says the mission's security fell through bureaucratic cracks because buildings had been categorized as temporary.

Retired Ambassador Thomas Pickering said "They did the best they possibly could with what they had but what they had wasn't enough."

The two spoke shortly after briefing members of Congress behind closed doors. Earlier Wednesday, three State Department officials resigned under pressure after the report blamed security problems on management failures.

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