Clinton on Libya attack: ‘I take responsibility’

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she takes responsibility when it comes to security concerns in Libya in the run up to the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi that killed four Americans including a U.S. ambassador.
Clinton conducted a number of interviews with news outlets in Lima, Peru, on Monday, where she is part of a conference on entrepreneurship for women.

“I take responsibility,” Clinton told CNN’s Elise Labott. She added that she didn’t want to play the political blame game so close to the election. "I want to avoid some kind of political gotcha," she said.
The Obama administration has been widely criticized for its handling of the attack and its messaging in the wake of the incident. Following the attack, the Obama administration said that a controversial YouTube video spurred the violence.
The administration later walked that back, saying they gave out the intelligence that was available at the time.

At the vice presidential debate last Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden said that he and the president were not aware of security concerns.
At a hearing last week, two security officers formerly stationed in Libya testified that their request for increased security had been denied.
Fox News reporter Wendell Goler asked Clinton why those requests had been denied.
Clinton again said she was responsible for the State Department and the more than 60,000 department officials around the world. She added, “The decisions about security assets are made by security professionals."
Clinton also said that she wanted to wait for the conclusion of an ongoing investigation before she addressed the accuracy of the intelligence in the wake of the attack.

Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense under President George W. Bush, said Clinton is responsible for security but the White House remains culpable for blaming the attacks on the YouTube video.

“The buck, with respect to providing security, is certainly within her area of responsibility, and it was a failure,” Rumsfeld told Sean Hannity on Fox News. “On the other hand, the responsibility for the way the White House has tried to cover this up and manage it....I think the responsibility for that as well as the responsibility for the secretary of state not providing appropriate security does in fact fall with the president.”

Updated at 10:04 p.m.

More in News

Libya embassy email warned State Department not to emphasize video

Read more »