WASHINGTON — A State Department audit found Wednesday that an investigation into last year’s deadly attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, was unbiased, countering claims from GOP members of Congress that it lacked independence. But the audit says weaknesses persist in how the State Department identifies threats overseas.
The assessment by the department’s inspector general backs up the Benghazi review chaired by former Ambassador Thomas Pickering and former Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, who were the subjects of a sharp examination from Republicans on the House oversight committee last week.
“The Accountability Review Board process operates as intended — independently and without bias,” according to the 43-page report, which looked at State Department reviews from 1998 through Benghazi last year.
A spokesman for Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., the oversight committee chairman, noted that the independence and effectiveness of the State Department inspector general’s office, too, has been the subject of bipartisan concern.