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Tapper: "The Obama Administration Is Holding No One Responsible" For Benghazi

TAPPER: As of today, it's official, the Obama administration is holding no one responsible for what happened before the deadly attacks on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya. Last fall, it was only a matter of days after those four Americans were killed in Benghazi before evidence started appearing indicating that State Department officials paid insufficient attention to requests from diplomats and security personnel in Libya desperately asking for additional security. Around that time, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton put four State Department officials on administrative leave. But, as of today, those four have been invited back to work. Secretary of State John Kerry decided that the four do not deserve any formal disciplinary action, and a State Department official tells me that there was no breach of duty for these officials and that they are not returning to their previous positions.

What's notable about this move is that those decisions to not provide additional security personnel and assets in Libya, that's one of the only parts of the Benghazi scandal that Obama administration officials will acknowledge was a real actual problem. You can you go back and forth on talking points from the White House and whether U.S. military assets were in position to rescue the Americans being attacked, but the continual denials throughout 2011 and 2012 of additional security for Ambassador Chris Stevens and the others there in Libya, that part of the Benghazi controversy no one with any real knowledge or perspective on the tragedy can refute. How bad was it? Recall the testimony of the former regional security officer in Libya, Eric Nordstrom, who left his post less than two months before the attack. He described for Congress just how State Department officials continually shot down his requests for additional security.

NORDSTROM: You know what makes it most frustrating about this assignment? It's not the hardships, it's not the gunfire, it's not the threats. It's dealing and fighting against the people, programs and personnel who are supposed to be supporting me. And I added it by saying for me, the Taliban is on the inside of the building.

TAPPER: You heard that correctly. That's the regional security officer from Libya, the former one, describing State Department officials as the Taliban. An independent review of what happened in Benghazi noted that security was "grossly inadequate" and faulted systemic failures in leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels, though it was established that no one had been proven to have been breached his or her duty.

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