The Hillary Clinton State Department “made up” a new term to describe the U.S. foreign mission in Benghazi, Libya, in order to avoid complying with security standards, according to a congressional witness.
U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) asked Todd Keil, a member of the Independent Panel on Best Practices, to define a “special mission compound” during the the first public Benghazi House Select Committee hearing Wednesday.
“Um, I don’t know,” Keil replied. “To be honest, from our review, Under Secretary Kennedy, in authorizing that, made up that term in order to avoid the OSPB security standards.
OSPB stands for Overseas Security Policy Board, and here’s its function, according to the Department of State:
The Overseas Security Policy Board (OSPB) is an interagency body created to assist the Secretary in carrying out the statutory security responsibilities prescribed by the Omnibus Diplomatic Security and Antiterrorism Act of 1986. The OSPB provides a mechanism for collective consultation with other Federal agencies, and has been assigned responsibility to develop security polices and standards. OSPB security standards are threat-indexed countermeasures (i.e., actions, devices, procedures, or techniques that reduce vulnerability). Missions must conform to OSPB approved security standards found in the Foreign Affairs Handbook (FAH) 12 FAH-6 in order to maintain appropriate security of the mission.
The examination continued:
Roskam: So what does it mean if something is simply then, redefined? What does it mean if something is said, “Well, we’re just going to declare this as something other than that which is to be regulated”? That means you have no regulation, isn’t that right?
Keil: That’s correct, sir.
Stated differently, because the foreign mission in Benghazi was neither an embassy nor a consulate, but rather this newly-invented “special mission compound,” it no longer had to comply with the security requirements set for embassies and consulates.
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) blasted former Secretary Clinton for ignoring repeated requests to beef up Benghazi’s security, while at the same time purchasing “$100,000 for an electrical charging station” in Vienna, “$650,000 on Facebook ads,” and “$700,000 on landscaping for the Brussels embassy,” according to the National Journal.
Watch the Roskam/Keil exchange below, via Digitas Daily.