Clinton Says Benghazi Security Her Responsibility
October 16, 2012
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has taken responsibility for security at the U.S. Consulate in Libya where an attack by extremists on September 11 killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.
Clinton said security at all of U.S. diplomatic missions abroad is her job.
"I take responsibility. I'm in charge of the State Department's 60,000-plus people all over the world [at] 275 posts," Clinton told CNN in an interview in Lima, Peru. "The president and the vice president certainly wouldn't be knowledgeable about specific decisions that are made by security professionals."
She said President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden had not been involved in security decisions related to the Benghazi consulate and should not be blamed for it.
"I don't we want to get into any blame game. I think what we want to do is get to the bottom of what happened, figure out what we're going to do to protect people and prevent it from happening again, and then track down whoever did and bring them to justice," she said.
Clinton told Fox News in a separate interview that "the decisions about security are made by security professionals. But we're going to review everything to be sure we're doing what needs to be done in an increasingly risky environment."
Clinton’s comments on October 15 came a day before Obama is expected to be questioned about the incident in a debate with Republican Party presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Romney has said the Benghazi attack revealed weaknesses in Obama's foreign policy and has accused Obama administration officials of misrepresenting information about the attack.
There are three separate investigations into the attack going on now: an FBI probe into the deaths of the four Americans, an independent inquiry by a panel appointed by Clinton, and congressional hearings.
Initial reports attributed the cause of the violent attack as one of a number of spontaneous demonstrations in several Muslim countries over a film produced in the United States that denigrated the Prophet Muhammad.
Within days, the White House reversed its position, saying new findings indicated the attack was intentional and coordinated.
With reporting by Reuters, AP, and dpa
Copyright (c) 2012. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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