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.
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

Unpaid Kurdish Fighters Sign of Economic Woes

Sharp cuts in Kurdistan's budget by Baghdad, falling oil revenue, coping with refugees, inflated public sector have hit regional economy hard More

Koreas Exchange List of Envoys for Family Reunion Talks

Officials will discuss date, venue and number of participants for reunion; Seoul hopes to hold event late this month More

China Targets 197 in Online Speech Crackdown

Nearly 200 punished for 'spreading rumors' online in ongoing crackdown on free speech 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.
Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 02, 2015 6:19 PM
Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.

VOA Blogs