News / USA

Clinton: Benghazi Attack Part of Broader Challenge in Africa

Clinton: Benghazi Attack Part of Broader Terrorist Challenge in Africai
X
January 23, 2013 8:35 PM
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says last September's attack on the U.S. consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi was part of wider terrorist insecurity across North Africa. As VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports, Clinton testified before Congress Wednesday about what she is doing to prevent such an attack in the future.
TEXT SIZE - +
— U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said last September's attack on the U.S. consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi was part of wider terrorist insecurity across North Africa. Clinton testified before Congress Wednesday about what she is doing to prevent such an attack in the future.

Clinton said the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including the ambassador, is part of a broader strategic challenge in the fight against terrorism.

"The Arab revolutions have scrambled power dynamics and shattered security forces across the region," she said. "And instability in Mali has created an expanding safe haven for terrorists who look to extend their influence and plot further attacks of the kind we saw just last week in Algeria."

U.S.Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies during a hearing held by the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill, Jan. 23, 2013.U.S.Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies during a hearing held by the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill, Jan. 23, 2013.
x
U.S.Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies during a hearing held by the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill, Jan. 23, 2013.
U.S.Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies during a hearing held by the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill, Jan. 23, 2013.
Clinton told lawmakers she has accepted all of the recommendations of an independent review board, 85 percent of which will be completed by the end of March.

"We are taking a top-to-bottom look, and rethinking how we make decisions on where, when, and how our people operate in high threat areas, and how we respond to threats and crises," she said.

Political fall-out over the response to the Benghazi violence focused on U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, who gave a series of television interviews shortly after the attack - linking it to Islamist protests, not a terrorist attack.

Senator John McCain called that "unacceptable." He said, "The American people deserve to know answers. And they certainly don't deserve false answers. And the answers that were given the American people on September 15th by the ambassador to the United Nations were false."

Findings of the Accountability Review Board for Benghazi

  • There were no protests before the attacks.
  • Intelligence provided no specific warning of the attacks.
  • The scale and intensity of the attacks was not anticipated.
  • Systemic failures and leadership deficiencies in the State Department resulted in inadequate security.
  • The Libyan government's response to the attack was "profoundly lacking."
  • U.S. personnel in Benghazi acted with courage in a "near impossible situation."
  • There was not enough time for U.S. military assets to have made a difference.
And McCain said Clinton must be more forthcoming about what really happened in Benghazi.

"There are many questions that are unanswered. And the answers frankly that you have given this morning are not satisfactory to me," he said.

Clinton said bringing to justice those responsible is more important than determining their motives.

​"The fact is we had four dead Americans," she said. "Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they would go kill some Americans. What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again."

Clinton said she needs Congress' help to see Libya's democratic transition through to a successful conclusion.

"Right now, Libya is still dangerous," she said. "It is still in a very unstable status. And whatever we can do for them we at least ought to agree we need to do and get out there and start delivering."

Cato Institute analyst Malou Innocent said U.S. challenges in Libya are substantial.

"Moving forward, we are still going to see a degree of chaos within Libya even as it has a veneer of a Western democracy," she said.

At the start of his second term, Innocent said President Obama is moving to put the Benghazi violence behind him.

"The Obama administration is going to try to salvage whatever it can from the Libya operation but not intervene too forcefully with ground forces or any sort of nation-building operations," she said.

Whatever can be done to reduce threats to U.S. diplomats abroad, Clinton said they accept a level of risk in their work and cannot do their jobs from bunkers.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: saleem from: Libya
January 23, 2013 11:21 PM
I think CIA gives clinton unsure updates , and she had to give a logical explanation about what happened in Benghazi-Libya . what really happened is just a muss.


by: Bukahrin from: Russia
January 23, 2013 10:40 PM
the USA is loosing all their claims to moral superiority - they used to be the champions of liberty and integrity and now they are sponsoring the Muslim Brotherhood with money and military material aid... Muslim Brotherhood - an international terrorist organization - Al Qaida - the world is stunned by their actions.


by: CcyY
January 23, 2013 9:24 PM
Clinton said bringing to justice those responsible is more important than determining their motives,but i think determining their motives is as important as bringing them to justice. Only if we make sure of their motives,will we can take targeted measures to avoid such tragedy happening again.


by: Dona from: UK
January 23, 2013 9:07 PM
truth is a foreign concept to the Clinocios... she has just authorized cutting edge military technology to the Muslim Brotherhood!!! hey, Idiot, its the Muslim brotherhood!!! you are arming a psychotic sadistic theological criminal organization. Egypt is Hamas !!! it is Al Qaeda... it is dedicated to the slaughter of the children of your beloved Israel... what the hell are you doing...???


by: new york from: new york
January 23, 2013 6:39 PM
Hilary Clinton Americas need truth from you talk truth


by: southerndemocrat from: nashville, tn
January 23, 2013 6:19 PM
McCain is such a sore loser, sore about losing to Obama, sore about Obama being re-elected. He's become a cranky old white man, the face of the Republican Party. And sadly that will be his short-lived legacy.


by: biff from: texas
January 23, 2013 6:05 PM
Hillary's comments seem so distant from Obama's campaign rhetoric which held fast to the lie that Al Qaeda had been "decimated" by the single act of killing bin Laden. I suppose now they'll tell us that GM isn't really alive...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid