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“If it was justified in the case of Secret Service agents consorting with prostitutes in Cartagena, it’s certainly justified in Benghazi where four Americans were killed,” Mr. Lieberman said.

“I hope [the inspector general will] go forward with his own investigation.”

Mr. Geisel’s office is developing a “scope of work” plan for an inquiry, which would “address the senators’ concerns,” said spokesman Douglas Welty.

“We are trying to do the most efficient and effective investigation, but … there might be some duplication [of the Accountability Review Board probe] to ensure independence and oversight.” said Mr. Welty.

Mr. Kraft, who retired in 2004 and recently wrote the first unclassified guide to the organizational structure of the U.S. counter-terrorism effort, questioned the need for multiple investigations at this time.

“It takes time for the FBI, the intelligence community and the State Department accountability board to get the facts and determine who did it — especially in a difficult environment like Libya,” he said.

” I hope that the multiple investigations focus on different aspects and do not trip over each other or divert the guys on the ground from doing their digging.”

Judith Yaphe, a research fellow at the National Defense University and a former CIA counter-terrorism analyst, saying different agencies were often at “cross-purposes” when investigating terror attacks,
“We tend to fall over each other out there,” she said.

“History repeats itself,” she added. “Those lessons that needed to be learned [from previous attacks] — the mistakes we made, the problems we have — they haven’t changed.”