Morning Joe, 12/18/12, 7:00 PM ET

Meacham: Secy. Clinton has an opportunity to address difficulties of security

An independent review of the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya shows "systemic failures" at the State Department. The BBC's...

Benghazi report faults State Dept., questions counterterroism strategy


An independent group has released an unclassified version of its report on the attacks on the American consulate in Benghazi that killed four Americans, finding “grossly inadequate” security at the consulate and questioning the administration’s counter-terrorism strategy.

The Benghazi attacks “Suggest they’re not take the whole picture of where Al Qaeda still is in these communities,” said The Guardian’s Katty Kay Wednesday.

“It’s still there in Libya, in Marley, it’s growing in Syria, that runs against the message that we get or that the White House wants to put out that it’s had a successful run against terrorism because of the drone strikes. If you start now seeing Al Qaeda in Libya and all these other countries, you have to start questioning whether the policy’s succesful.”

The report from the Accountability Review Board blames the State Department for “systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels [which] resulted in a Special Mission security posture that was inadequate for Benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack,” but found no government employee “engaged in misconduct or willfully ignored his or her responsibilities.”

The group, co-chaired by formen Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen and former Ambassador Tom Pickering, did not recommend any disciplinary action, instead issuing 29 recommendations on how to improve consulate safety.

Though UN Ambassador Susan Rice faced the brunt of the blame for initially blaming the attacks on protests, instead of terrorism (something the report noted there was no evidence for), Morning Joe regular Jon Meacham said Sec. of State Hillary Clinton will eventually take the blame.

“Secretary Clinton has had a great four years diplomatically,” Meacham said. “This is a terrible event and responsibility goes straight to the top. As President Kennedy taught us years ago, victory has a thousand fathers and defeat is an orphan.”

Clinton, who canceled her scheduled testimony on Benghazi after fainting last week, will reportedly testify later.

Benghazi report faults State Dept., questions counterterroism strategy