News / USA

Clinton Takes Responsibility for Diplomatic Security

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivers a speech after meeting Peru's President Ollanta Humala in Lima, Peru, Oct. 15, 2012.U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivers a speech after meeting Peru's President Ollanta Humala in Lima, Peru, Oct. 15, 2012.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivers a speech after meeting Peru's President Ollanta Humala in Lima, Peru, Oct. 15, 2012.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivers a speech after meeting Peru's President Ollanta Humala in Lima, Peru, Oct. 15, 2012.
Chris HannasKate Woodsome
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is taking responsibility for diplomatic security surrounding a deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya last month, following Republican criticism of President Barack Obama’s handling of the events. 
During a visit to Peru on Monday, Clinton said it is her job to be in charge of security for U.S. diplomatic staff around the world.
“Look, I take responsibility. I’m in charge of the State Department, 60,000-plus people all over the world, 275 posts. The President and the Vice President certainly wouldn’t be knowledgeable about specific decisions that are made by security professionals,” Clinton told CNN.
The top U.S. diplomat also said circumstances surrounding attacks like the one on September 11 that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans are not always clear at the time.
The attack, and the Obama administration's response, have become an issue in the U.S. presidential campaign. Republican candidate Mitt Romney has criticized Mr. Obama for not providing more security at the consulate in Benghazi.
Clinton said she did not want the attack to be part of a political "blame game."
Bruce Miroff, a professor of political science at the State University of New York at Albany, said Clinton’s remarks are part of an attempt to “neutralize” Mr. Romney’s criticism.
“Romney has been arguing that the Obama administration has presented a weak position in the world. And that he would be a much stronger president in projecting American leadership,” Miroff said.
He added that the Republican contender has had difficulty selling that idea because President Obama has been able to tout his administration's success in killing al-Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden.
Until now, Miroff said, “Romney has been lacking for specifics on the idea that the Obama administration has presented a weak foreign policy.”
The Obama administration initially said the assault came after a protest against an anti-Islam film made in the United States, but now says it was a terrorist attack.
Clinton said there is an “intense effort” in the government to find the perpetrators.
“First, we will get to the bottom of what happened. Secondly, we will learn whatever lessons can be gleaned in order to protect our people. And third, we will track down whoever did this and hold them accountable, bring them to justice,” she told ABC News.
In a separate interview with FOX News, Clinton defended the Obama administration’s fight against terrorism, saying it has degraded the core of al-Qaida, although its affiliates still pose a threat.
“This Administration knows all too well that we face extremists, wannabe al-Qaida types, new groups popping up that want to do harm to their own people, to the United States and our friends and allies. And we are as vigilant as we possibly can be around the clock,” she said.
Republican Senator John McCain and two other senators from his party said in a statement late Monday that Clinton's comments were a "laudable gesture," but that responsibility for the security of U.S. diplomatic staff overseas ultimately lies with the president.
Vice President Biden said last week during a debate with Mr. Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan, that he and Mr. Obama did not know about requests for extra security at the consulate.
Testimony before a congressional committee earlier in the week showed the State Department had turned down several requests for more security at the site. A State Department official told lawmakers that the correct number of security officers were in Benghazi at the time of the attack.
Mr. Obama will have an opportunity to defend his administration’s actions in New York Tuesday evening during his second presidential debate against Mr. Romney.

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Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
by: Mike from: South Africa
October 19, 2012 8:32 AM
I think the following article gives a good summary of this event and how it is being handled...

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
October 17, 2012 8:18 AM
Has she, as yet, not resigned? We've waited too long to hear the announcement. That should have followed the day after. Or did the president announce that at the debate to truly dissociate himself from the failure? That is the only way to convince everybody that Hilary is saying the truth. It's either Obama axes her or RESIGN himself, for the abject negligence. She had said she'll not serve in Obama's second term if he wins, a sign that she's disillusioned..., but why has she chosen to tarnish her record at this time for the same Obama? This is placing party above the nation. RESIGN, MRS. CLINTON, or be charged.

by: clb2012now from: MD
October 16, 2012 7:21 PM
Hillary can take responsibility for the security, Obama still is responsible for lying to Americans for the "video did it" meme.

by: Raymond Murdock from: Washington DC
October 16, 2012 3:51 PM
This manifestation of Lady Hillary Clinton comes to endorsing once again the value of the American woman with principles and foundations. But mostly deep convictions. And it's not with words of criticism: contemptuous, absurd and ironic. That must be difficult at times. And I wonder how many will actually do self-examination that do for your country. When determinations and even more decisions that should be more responsible. It's easy to talk about ignorance, worse still contribute from within the chaos.I know very well what I mean. But most of the arrogance of many and disparate concepts but still living in the U.S.. They do, they have done and what they will do to contribute to the development and progress USA.

by: corlista
October 16, 2012 3:23 PM
Good God, can we EVER stop with this Bush crap? I was no fan either but he's been out of office for 4 years. This is NOT about Bush. It's about Obama. Always ready to take the glory but heaven forbid he take responsbility when things go badly. Blame Hillary all you want but she fell on her sword for Obama and anyone who can look at this beyond party ideology can see it. Obama is her superior and with an issue this huge and deadly, the ultimate responsibility belongs to him just like CEOs, military generals, managing directors, etc are all responsible for everything that happens on their watch. But then, the rules that apply to mere mortals never seem to apply to Mr. Obama. And, no, I'm not a Republican.

by: sam from: chatterjee
October 16, 2012 3:19 PM
Hillary should go to PRISON for getting these Americans killed.

by: bretfox from: Alabama
October 16, 2012 2:12 PM
Hillary if you are sincere in accepting responsibility then you MUST resign.
In Response

by: Jim Horner from: west coast
October 16, 2012 7:35 PM
Exactly! Just saying that you are taking responsibility is meaningless unless there are consequences; otherwise it’s just a shallow, cynical attempt to deflect criticism at a crucial point in the election. What are the consequences for mishandling this event in which 4 people died? Is she stepping down? Has she been demoted? Surely it can’t be just... “oops, my bad.”
In Response

by: Joe Agro
October 16, 2012 2:58 PM
Hillary is taking the fall for Obama It was his responsibility not hers....he makes call not her ...shes more presidential than he'll ever be .....

by: Kevin from: Centerport NY
October 16, 2012 2:12 PM
By Romney's logic 9/11 is all Bush's fault.

There are times when a presidential candidate should simply say "I stand with our President on this, no further comment." And take the honorable path, like just about EVERY Democrat did after 9/11. Even going too far, backing two pointless wars.

The difference between Republicans an Democrats right there.

by: vincent from: las vegas
October 16, 2012 1:39 PM
Oh well i can sleep better knowing that it was hillary that was responsible and not mr obama. Wow obama you must think we the people are blind nieve fools. We know the buck stops at the oval office mr pres anit that what you said. Well then you are at fault sir. We know that shes willing to be thrown under the bus for your relection. This lady is willing to to degragated by her husband and now mr obama.classy lady.

by: Emem from: Nigeria
October 16, 2012 12:46 PM
It's not acceptable. Clinton knows fully well the repercussion on the Obama campaign and debate today. She is not supposed to take responsibility on behalf of Obama. She's not in Defense and certainly not the President. Americas choice is the world's burden. vote right.
In Response

by: Gail
October 16, 2012 2:51 PM
Marko, yes this is the point!!! obviously Obama is a failed leader if he is not taking responsibility. This election is between two people.. guess what Bush is not one of them. What makes maters worse is that this administration lied to the Americans and UN for almost 2 weeks, blaming it on a youtube video. CORRUPT!!
In Response

by: Marko
October 16, 2012 2:15 PM
Who in the Bush administration took responsibility for 9/11?

We're still waiting for SOMEONE, ANYONE, with the backbone that Hilary Clinton has shown us.

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