State Department, GOP spar over Benghazi accountability

By Bradley Klapper

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 18 2013 1:20 p.m. MDT

In this Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012 file photo, a man looks at documents at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, after an attack that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

Ibrahim Alaguri, Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration says it held four employees responsible for mistakes in the run-up to last year's Benghazi attack even though they are still working for the State Department.

Patrick Kennedy, the department's undersecretary for management, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that relieving the four of their responsibilities and assigning them lower-profile jobs amounts to "serious accountability."

House Republicans rejected that assessment. Rep. Ed Royce, the committee chairman, said no one "missed a paycheck." Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said the department only shuffled "the deck chairs."

GOP members also raised several older complaints about the administration's handling of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack. They centered on the administration's initial explanations and why the military didn't intervene.

Several noted that a year after Benghazi, no militants have been brought to justice.

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