AirTalk for December 19, 2012

The Benghazi report’s political fallout

Kevin Lamarque/AFP/Getty Images

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivers a speech at Dublin City University in Ireland on December 6, 2012. Clinton is dedicated to revealing as much information as possible about the 9/11 attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

The Accountability Review Board, an independent investigation panel, has concluded that the State Department’s failures resulted in poor security at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. According to the report, there were systemic problems at the management level, which opened up the diplomatic mission to vulnerabilities.

Twenty-nine recommendations were made to improve security, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton approved all of them. While the report comes down harshly on the State Department’s flaws, it did not single out any individual officials as shirking or violating their responsibilities, and thus made no call for disciplinary punishment. The Accountability Review Board is mandated by law whenever an official is killed during a diplomatic mission overseas, but its findings are not required to be made public or sent to lawmakers.

Despite this, Clinton is dedicated to revealing as much information as possible. But is that such a smart move? Three department officials have resigned in the wake of the report. Why? How were they involved? Most importantly, what’s going to happen to Hillary Clinton? If she was harboring any presidential ambitions in 2016, what are her chances now? How will this play out politically for both parties?

Guests:

Anne Gearan, Diplomatic Correspondent for the Washington Post

David Mark, Politix, Editor-in-Chief and author, “Going Dirty: The Art of Negative Campaigning” (2006, Rowman and Littlefield Publishers)


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