State Department takes partial responsibility for Benghazi attack
By forcing the resignations of three lower level officials, the State Department is seeking to sweep the independent report on the Benghazi attack under the rug.
The problem is, there is nary a criticism of top officials who should have paid more attention to the security situation in Libya.
Republicans on Thursday suggested they're unsatisfied with the report by the Accountability Review Board (ARB), which blamed lower-level officials for security lapses in Benghazi and cleared Clinton. Three officials resigned Wednesday after the report's release.
Republican questions and comments suggested a focus on Clinton.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said he was puzzled by the report, which he said "places a lot of the blame on lower-level officials." He suggested the officials who resigned were sacrificial lambs, and suggested higher-ranking officials in Washington should be held more accountable.
"Page five of the report says [security at Benghazi] was not a priority for Washington when it came to the level of security requested," he said. "I want to understand who 'Washington' is."
Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) took issue with the fact that Clinton wasn't interviewed for the ARB report, while Rubio asked if she knew on her visits to Libya about the deteriorating situation.
Burns and Nides defended Clinton, with Burns telling the House Foreign Affairs panel that cables about the deteriorating security on the ground in Benghazi never made it to Clinton's desk.
"The specific security requests that were made [by the consulate in Libya] did not get as far as Secretary Clinton," Burns said.
Benghazi has become a political problem for the former New York senator and first lady, who is seen as a possible Democratic presidential candidate in 2016 and whose tenure at State has generally won rave reviews from members on both sides of the aisle.
So much for accountability and transparency.