June 13, 2014

Today’s New IG Report Reveals That Security Problems Plaguing Benghazi Were Widespread

Hillary Clinton

The State Department Inspector General released a report today that “exposed severe deficiencies” in the State Department’s vetting of local security guards used at United States’ embassies and consulates throughout the world. The Inspector General concludes “that inadequate [State Department] oversight of the local guard vetting process places embassies and personnel at risk.”

This failure extended to the outpost in Benghazi.  The  report notes that the local guards hired to protect the diplomatic facility had been hired using a “casual recruiting and screening process.”

Because of growing security threats at diplomatic posts, the U.S has increased the use of local guards. However, before guards can work they must undergo a background check for security purposes. The Inspector General examined vetting compliance of the local guards from 2010 to 2013, during much of Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, and found a systemic failure to comply with the vetting process.

Out of all six diplomatic posts sampled, none had fully complied with the mandated vetting requirements. This enabled hundreds of local guards to guard United States’ diplomatic posts without being properly vetted. In some instances guards protected these facilities for two years before they were properly vetted.  One individual who had a criminal history and used multiple false identities was able to secure a position as a local guard.  The Inspector General writes that, had the State Department conducted proper oversight, this individual’s criminal history would have been discovered before he assumed his post.

Shockingly, this isn’t the first problem the Clinton State Department had with local guards. The Inspector General warned of problems with local guards in a previous report. In Pakistan, a high-threat post like Benghazi, the Inspector General wrote the State Department was using local guards that hadn’t completed a background check causing the Inspector General to warn it created a “security risk.”

After the local guards attacked the Benghazi diplomatic facility in 2011, and the Inspector General warned of problems in 2012, it seems Clinton never bothered to fix the issue. Unlike our diplomatic personnel serving abroad, Clinton probably feels safe in her two mansions.