Who’s the first person that comes to mind when you hear that a woman was responsible for denying Benghazi security requests?
Hillary Clinton right?
That’s not surprising, but that’s not the woman I’m talking about.
I’d talking about Charlene Lamb.
Not only was she the one that denied numerous requests from Benghazi for increased security, but she also kept the security forces there understaffed.
But she’s doesn’t carry the guilt alone.
Her superior, Under Secretary Kennedy approved all of her decisions. He’s also responsible for the status of the Benghazi post as a temporary facility.
But let’s get down to the reason you started reading… Shall we?
Who is Charlene Lamb?
Simply put, she’s the Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Programs.
She was one of several state department officials signaled out for blame by the Accountability Review Board.
Why Was She Signaled Out?
She routinely denied requests for more diplomat security agents, and ignored her subordinates’ attempts to “improve the staffing challenges” at Benghazi.
Simple put: she was the one responsible for the lax security.
What Decisions Security Decisions Did She Make?
Due to the nature of the Benghazi outpost, five DS (Diplomatic security) agents were earmarked for compound.
But Lamb never honored that allotment.
In mid-February, in conversations with DAS Lamb, it became quite — she made it quite apparent that she wanted three agents on the ground in Benghazi. [page 55]
Even after an IED attack on the compound wall, Lamb still resisted the full complement of DS agents.
She was also against “continuing the mission of the Department of Defense (DOD) Security Support Team (SST), a cadre of 16 special operators.”
These SST operators were usually stationed in Tripoli, but routinely stayed in Benghazi. The presence of SST team was an “important part of [the Benghazi] security” and was “essential” for the embassy to function properly. [page 57]
Why Did She Refuse Security Requests?
DS agent refusal: One of Lamb’s main reasons for denying the full complement of Diplomatic Security agents was that they were being poorly utilized.
One of her principle concerns was the reliance of DS agents to drive the special mission compound’s armored vehicles, a role typically fulfilled by locally employed staff in other countries. [page 56]
SST team refusal: It’s not fully known why she resisted allowing an SST team to stay in Benghazi, but it is known that many of her colleagues, and Benghazi staff were surprised by her decision.
Who’s Ultimately to Blame?
Charlene Lamb, unlike Raymond Maxwell, did make decisions that affected the security status of Benghazi. But the blame can’t rest solely on her.
The Accountability Review Board “downplayed” the role Lamb’s superiors played in her decision making.
Her superiors had the final say on the matter. This is especially true with the SST team refusal.
Who’s ultimately to blame?
Let’s just say I’m reserving a whole article for that guy…