An investigation into the State Department's preparations for and management of the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, has concluded that "systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies" within the department played a major role in the devastation that took place there last September.
Four Americans were killed in the overnight raid on the compound, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens. The ensuing controversy over the incident, and the administration's handling of it, threatened to derail President Barack Obama's reelection campaign through the fall.
The new report, by an independent Accountability Review Board established by the State Department, concluded that two bureaus at the department -- Near East Affairs and Diplomacy Security -- failed to properly recognize the rising dangers of Eastern Libya despite the lack of any specific threats, and neglected the growing concerns of security analysts on the ground about the capabilities of the local Libyan guard force.
The result, the report said, was a "security posture that was inadequate for Benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place."
But while the unclassified version of the report, which was released Tuesday night, is undeniably harsh in its analysis of the State Department's management ahead of the attack, it also appears to undermine a number of the more outlandish charges made during the heat of the uproar this fall.