State Department to review Benghazi investigation
(CNN) — A review board responsible for investigating the September attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Libya is now getting its own review.
The office of the State Department's inspector general is doing a special review of the "effectiveness and accountability" of the Accountability Review Board (ARB) process, according to Doug Welty, a spokesman for the IG's office.
Along with reviewing the board in general, the inspector general will do a subsequent audit of the board's investigation of the deadly Benghazi attack, which is done as a matter of course after every probe.
The attack last September 11 killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. The Obama administration handling of security at the facility and its post-attack response have come under close Republican scrutiny.
Welty said neither the special review of the ARB process, nor the individual Benghazi audit, are tied to recent reports that certain key witnesses were not interviewed.
However, he couldn't rule out that this would be examined as part of a total examination of the Benghazi investigation.
"We are not making a value judgment whether the ARB recommendations were valid," Welty said. "The recommendations were made. What we are doing in subsequent audits is looking to see if recommendations were implemented, if not -- why not, and what the status of their implementation are. We also review the process' effectiveness and accountability."
Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ordered a review of the attack. Such reports are mandated by Congress when Americans working on behalf of the U.S. government are killed overseas.
Released in December, the report cited "systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies" at the State Department.
As a result, four State Department officials were disciplined immediately after the report's release. One resigned, while three others were placed on administrative leave and relieved of their duties.
Veteran diplomat Thomas Pickering and former Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen led the review board.
A separate report on Benghazi led by former Sen. Joe Lieberman and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine asked the State Department to look into the review process.