Three Resign After Devastating Benghazi Report

After an independent investigation blasted State Department leadership for lax security in Benghazi, three officials have resigned.

After an independent investigation blasted State Department leadership for lax security in Benghazi, three officials have resigned.

AP (“State Dept. security chief, 2 others resign over Benghazi“):

An administration official says the chief of the State Department’s security service, one of his deputies and an official from the agency’s Middle East bureau have resigned after a damning report that found systematic management failures responsible for a lack of security at the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.

The official said Eric Boswell, the assistant secretary of state for diplomatic security, and Charlene Lamb, the deputy assistant secretary responsible for embassy security, stepped down under pressure after the release of the report. The third official worked for the Bureau of Near East Affairs, but wasn’t immediately identified, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to discuss personnel matters publicly.

The report said poor leadership in both bureaus left the Benghazi mission underprotected.

CNN Security Clearance (“Three resign for Benghazi security failures“):

Three State Department officials, including two who oversaw security decisions at the diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, resigned in the wake of a review of security failures there, senior State Department officials told CNN Wednesday.

The independent review of the September 11 attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi released Tuesday cites “systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies” at the State Department.

The attacks killed four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.

The failures resulted in a security plan “that was inadequate for Benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place,” the 39-page unclassified version of the report concludes.

Despite all the criticism, the board found no U.S. government employee had engaged in misconduct or ignored responsibilities, and it did not recommend any individual be disciplined.

Eric Boswell, assistant secretary of diplomatic security, and Charlene Lamb, deputy assistant secretary of state for international programs, submitted their resignations, a senior official said. A third official in the Near East Affairs bureau also resigned, the official said.

Boswell and Lamb oversaw security for the Benghazi mission. Lamb testified before Congress about the security precautions. Documents show Lamb denied repeated requests for additional security in Libya.

Lamb, in particular, has been set up to take the fall over the incident going back to early October. One wonders, though, whether the refusal to grant additional security was her decision alone or whether it was backed higher up in the chain.


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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Geek, Esq. says:

    This strikes me as exactly the right outcome. They screwed up, repeatedly, and a tragedy was the result.

    Hopefully, the emphasis will be on lessons learned and implemented rather than blame assigned from this point forward.

  2. stonetools says:

    Frankly, its not really clear that these people were doing anything wrong other than following policy. But hey, the Republicans wanted their pound of flesh. I don’t remember anyone having to resign after deady embassy attacks during the Bush Administration, but things were completely different, then, I’m sure.

    My guess after this is that no embassy or consulate personnel are going to want to meet with, or move among, ” natives” without the protection of a fully armed Marine squad and close support from a couple of Apache helicopters.After all, security is paramount, amirite?

  3. legion says:

    Rest assured, the wingnut core will only take notice of this long enough to scream that it’s not enough & that Clinton and Obama still both need to be impeached.

  4. Drew says:


    Given your background and experience, are you in a position to make an intelligent guess about your “higher up in the chain” query?

  5. C. Clavin says:

    I’m trying to remember how many officials resigned after 9-11.
    Oh yeah…none.

  6. C. Clavin says:

    Boswell has been sucking on the Government tit for years…and was appointed to this post during the Bush years.
    Anyone know about Lamb?