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Senator Collins' Comments on ARB Report in Benghazi


Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) issued the following statement today in response to the Department of State Accountability Review Board report on the
attack in Benghazi.

"The ARB report makes an important contribution in the examination of the attacks in Benghazi that killed four Americans. It confirms some of the preliminary findings of those of us who have been investigating these attacks for the past three months. The report, for example, makes clear that the security in Benghazi was inexcusably inadequate for such a high-risk region, that key State Department officials were unresponsive to pleas for stronger security, and that the attack was the work of terrorists and not the result of any protest outside the embassy.

"The ARB cited the recurrence of several of the problems identified in the 1999 review of the bombings of our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. For too long, State Department management has allowed security to be stove-piped rather than conducted as a shared leadership responsibility.

"One of the key questions for the Board was what security measures should be in place at remote locations with fragile governments that are unable or unwilling to fulfill their Vienna Convention responsibilities to protect our diplomats. There was an over-reliance on the rule of law when Benghazi was operating under the rule of militias outside the effective control of the Libyan government. The ARB's findings and recommendations regarding the security posture in high-risk, high-threat locations are some of the most significant lessons from this report."

Senator Collins is the Ranking Republican on the Homeland Security Committee. She and Chairman Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.) are conducting an independent, bipartisan investigation of the attack.

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