By Julian Pecquet - 05/07/13 02:38 PM EDT
President Obama's nominee to be ambassador to Libya testified Tuesday that she will make hunting down her predecessor's killers a top priority.
If confirmed, Deborah Jones told a Senate panel she would "work closely with the Libyan government to see that justice is realized.”
Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed Sept. 11 in a terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. Almost eight months later, no one has been arrested in connection with the attack.
“This will, in turn, enable the defeat of volatile and deadly rogue militias,” she said, “and prevent a repeat of the tragedy in Benghazi.”
She went on to urge the Senate Foreign Relations Committee not to give up on the country, saying there remains an “extraordinary reservoir of good will for the U.S.” after the NATO campaign against Gadhafi.
Panel Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) echoed those sentiments.
“We cannot let the events in Benghazi overshadow the slow but positive progress that Libya continues to make in fulfilling the promise of the revolution,” he said.
Jones testified as House Republicans are relaunching their probe into the Obama administration's actions before, during and after the attack. Some lawmakers have threatened to hold up Jones's nomination until their questions are answered.
On Monday, House Republicans released portions of an interview with a State Department whistle-blower, Gregory Hicks, who told investigators that U.S. special forces were ready to provide support during the attack, but were told to stand down. That claim contradicts previous testimony from administration officials who said all resources in the region were deployed to save lives.