The recent Senate's report on the Sept. 11, 2011 Benghazi attack has not satisfied Rep. Frank Wolf, who today sent a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner alleging a complete lack of government accountability for the deaths of four Americans and pushing for the Speaker to convene a Select Committee to once again investigate the Libyan disaster.
"While we have our differences on the House's current approach, I think we can both agree that the current investigations, in both the House and the Senate, have not resulted in anyone being held accountable," the Virginia Republican wrote. Wolf said that in conversations he's had with some family members of three of the four victims of the attack, they were "very frustrated and disappointed" that no administration official "has been held responsible for the security failures and poor response that night."
Though some family members of the victims have voiced their frustrations several times publicly, others, including one who contacted ABC News, have previously criticized what they saw as the politicization of the deaths of the four Americans.
The Senate's bipartisan 85-page report, published last week, placed blame for the deaths of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, first and foremost on the armed Islamist militants who attacked the Benghazi facility that night, but also with the State Department run by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whose staff the report said failed to heed incessant warnings that security was evaporating there.
The committee's majority Democrats, led by Chairman Dianne Feinstein of California, concluded that the attacks were "likely preventable." The report also held Ambassador Stevens partially accountable, faulting him for declining additional military security -- a conclusion countered in a Wall Street Journal Op Ed Wednesday by Gregory Hicks, the former deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, Libya.
The Senate report was the latest of major U.S. government reviews of the events leading up to the attack of Sept. 11, 2011 and its immediate aftermath – one of the first reports being the State Department's own Accountability Review Board report, released in December 2012. While the ARB report found "systematic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels… result[ing] in a Special Mission security posture that was inadequate for Benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place," it still found no individual State Department official who had engaged in misconduct or ignored their responsibilities. It did not recommend anyone be fired.
The State Department did relieve four employees of their duties following the ARB report, but all four were mid-level officials from the Assistant Secretary level and lower, and all were allowed to stay on at the State Department. Currently one is retired, but the three others continue working for the Department at positions "that do not include responsibility for worldwide security," a spokesperson told ABC News.
"After a thorough investigation, interviewing more than 100 people… and reviewing thousands of documents and watching hours of video, the ARB found there was no credible evidence that relevant decisions on security in Benghazi rose above the Assistant Secretary level," the spokesperson said.
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