Last Updated:October 31 @ 12:30 pm

Kerry wants Congress to share blame for Benghazi

By United Press International

John Kerry, Benghazi hearing - (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

UPI - Congress shares the blame for the attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others, Sen. John Kerry said Thursday.

Kerry, D-Mass., chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, pointed out the Accountability Review Board report released Tuesday on the attack recommended spending $2.3 billion on security for U.S. embassies and consulates in the next decade.

The attack in Benghazi on Sept. 11 killed Stevens, information officer Sean Smith and two security officers, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, both former Navy SEALs. Four senior State Department officers resigned or were fired Tuesday.

"Congress also bears some responsibility here. Congress has the power of the purse," Kerry said. "We use it for any number of things, but it's our responsibility. And for years, we have asked our State Department to operate with increasingly lesser resources to conduct essential missions. And because of the gridlock and excesses in the Senate and Congress itself, we have not even been able to pursue the regular order of authorizing legislation. That must change, and in the next session of the Congress, I hope it will."

Thomas Nides, deputy secretary of state for management and resources, said the department is re-evaluating security. He said the historic practice of depending on host countries for security does not work in places like Libya where a weak government is dealing with often violent political unrest.

Deputy Secretary of State William Burns also testified. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, suffering from a stomach virus and the aftermath of a concussion, was absent.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee was also scheduled to hold a hearing Thursday, titled "Benghazi Attack, Part II: The Report of the Accountability Review Board," chaired by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla.

Clinton said in a letter Monday to the heads of both panels she would answer their questions in January.

The testimony by Burns and Nides comes a day after four State Department officials were removed from their posts after an independent review board criticized "grossly inadequate" security at the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi.

The highest-ranking official, Eric Boswell, head of the Diplomatic Security Bureau, resigned effective immediately, the State Department said late Wednesday. The three others were responsible for other aspects of embassy security and planning for Libya and the Middle East, the department said, without naming them.

They were relieved of their responsibilities and were expected to be reassigned, a senior administration official told The Washington Post.

Two of the three were identified by The New York Times as Charlene Lamb, deputy assistant secretary responsible for embassy security, and Raymond Maxwell, a deputy assistant secretary responsible for North Africa.

The report by the Clinton-appointed Accountability Review Board criticized officials in the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, the State Department's security and law enforcement arm, as having displayed a "lack of proactive leadership."

It also said some officials in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs "showed a lack of ownership of Benghazi's security issues."

The report did not criticize more senior officials, including Clinton or Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick F. Kennedy, who has vigorously defended the State Department's Benghazi decision-making before Congress.

Review board Co-chairman retired U.S. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters Wednesday the board did not find any officials who had "engaged in willful misconduct or knowingly ignored his or her responsibilities."

But he said, "We did conclude that certain State Department bureau-level senior officials in critical levels of authority and responsibility in Washington demonstrated a lack of leadership and management ability appropriate for senior ranks in their responses to security concerns posed by the special mission."

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18 Comments

  1. CharlieComment by vietnamvet
    December 21, 2012 @ 10:03 am

    When the question of funding came up in the early days of reporting on Benghazi, it was revealed that the State Department had about a billion dollars on hand for use at embassies.

    Kerry is just trying to take pressure off of Clinton and the administration like the good little soldier he is.

    Kerry served in Vietnam, you know …
    Yeah! He really did! Just ask him, he’ll tell you.
    Over and over and over and …

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    • Grouchy OneComment by Grouchy One
      December 21, 2012 @ 10:45 am

      yep, and then he was so ashamed of that service he tossed his ill-gotten medals over the fence and trashed the US Military as an entity. I can’t stand the sight of him and the thought of yet another narcissist in Washington is nauseating.

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    • dfinchComment by dfinch
      December 21, 2012 @ 12:09 pm

      Four months was the extent of Kerry’s tour in Vietnam. It was reported that $30 billion was moved from the security fund in Iraq to Libya. Where’s that money? Who’s pocket has it lined. Kerry is an *** and needs to back off of congress.

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  2. Mort_fComment by Mort_f
    December 21, 2012 @ 10:09 am

    Kerry is correct! Congress IS to blame, but it is a blame for not impeaching the usurper in the White House.

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  3. gimmesometruthComment by gimmesometruth
    December 21, 2012 @ 10:21 am

    Senator Kerry, from the Peoples Republic of Massachusetts, has NO moral authority to be blaming Congress for ‘Bengazi-gate’. To this day, no one from the Obama administration has given a credible account of what transpired in Bengazi on 9-11, and why Amb. Stevens was conducting meetings there instead of Tripoli. We all know by now that security was removed from this dangerous location by the State Dept. at the same time that risk appraisals indicated danger increasing. Was Congress responsible for the 7 hour lapse of response time, or the order to ‘stand down’ rather than rush to aid the consulate under attack? America can do better than have a certified USA hater, like Kerry, as our Sec. of State.

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    • Cape ConservativeComment by Cape Conservative
      December 22, 2012 @ 10:38 am

      America can do better than have a certified USA hater, like Kerry, as our Sec. of State.

      Like two peas in a pod…serving under a like-minded president!

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  4. jenerseaComment by jenersea
    December 21, 2012 @ 10:24 am

    Mike Mullen, Obozo’s main Homosexual Activist doing his best now to cover up for Obozo and company. Mullen spent his whole last year on duty campaigning for the homosexual minoity push. Why would anyone want to trust him? Kerry trying to make vets forget about how he badmouthed them during Nam.

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    • msgtazComment by msgtaz
      December 21, 2012 @ 11:28 am

      Do Not worry, VietNam Vets want forget Kerry badmoughing us.We the People.

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  5. Grouchy OneComment by Grouchy One
    December 21, 2012 @ 10:42 am

    Typical sKerry. Is it any wonder that he is going to be another of obama’s goons?

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  6. stickmanComment by stickman
    December 21, 2012 @ 11:12 am

    It appears to ME that if Congress holds any of the blame – “Kerry, D-Mass., chair of the Foreign Relations Committee” Is one of the primary suspects in Congress to lay the blame on – and HE is going to be the NEXT Sec. of State. This administration is stupid.

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  7. fabianComment by fabian
    December 21, 2012 @ 11:18 am

    Two ways to look at the problem; the Dem way, flush more money at the problem. The other way, why is it vital for the country’s interests to have an embassy in Benghazi?

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    • Grouchy OneComment by Grouchy One
      December 21, 2012 @ 11:21 am

      I’m still unclear on how we came to have an embassy there to begin with. Close it and every single other embassy that has ever been threatened down and just look at all the money we would save — and probably lives as well before they get all through.

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  8. Grouchy OneComment by Grouchy One
    December 21, 2012 @ 11:19 am

    And by the way, this business about Hillary Clinton being “dehydrated” is nuts. Millions of other people have been dehydrated and recovered as soon as they are hydrated. Why is Ms. Clinton so different from everyone else?

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    • Cape ConservativeComment by Cape Conservative
      December 22, 2012 @ 10:42 am

      We can all look forward to repeated “I don’t recall” utterances ala her testimony when those missing records were found in the personal residence of the WH.

      If I were her, I’d bury myself inside one of my mansions and never show my face in public again…SHAME SHAME SHAME on her!

      This Benghazi massacre proved that NEITHER she nor Obama was prepared to take that 3 a.m. call. And we have to endure another four years of such poor judgment!

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  9. Jim ForsytheComment by Jim Forsythe
    December 21, 2012 @ 11:53 am

    What an idiot!

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  10. wedeyComment by wedey
    December 21, 2012 @ 1:36 pm

    John Kerry is just another loud-mouthed democrat. Yes, congress has control of the purse strings but maybe the spenders could do a little bit better with all the waste that goes on in government. If we don’t have the money to protect them, then they should have been brought home. They had multiple problems at this facility in Benghazi and I am sure that most members of congress were never aware of it.

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  11. Pingback: Congress Conducts Hearings on Benghazi Attack Findings | Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED)

  12. Jack ReacherComment by Jack Reacher
    December 21, 2012 @ 7:08 pm

    This walking and talking Hemorrhoid, John Kerry is once again making headlines as being the dumbest SOB in the country. Blame Congress, for what? What could Congress have done that would cause the US State department act like the moronic idiots that they’ve always been?

    Here’s a suggestion: Take a thousand ten dollar bills and burn them in an attempt to see the image of Howdy Doody appear as you look through the smoke. Oh? It would be better use of the taxpayer funds that the State Department receives.

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  13. gsreaganComment by gsreagan
    December 21, 2012 @ 9:26 pm

    Kerry is an IDIOT! His liberal attitude on Climate Change is no different than Clintons and BHOs. He has no clue as what to do as his wife tells him what to do. Put someone with some backbone in the position … someone that can tell the UN to go back to the EU.

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  14. Pingback: Weekly Wire – December 24: Egyptian Constitution Passes in Second Round of Referendum; Oman Holds First Municipal Elections | Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED)

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