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.

You May Like

Guatemala Mudslide Death Toll Rises to 86

Death toll is expected to continue to rise as emergency crews dig through tons of earth for an estimated 350 people still missing More

Debris Found in Search for Missing Ship

Objects located Sunday have not yet been confirmed to be from the 240 meter container ship, El Faro, which disappeared in the eye of Hurricane Joaquin, according to US Coast Guard More

Survivor: Gunman Spared 'Lucky One' to Give Police Message

Law enforcement official says a manifesto of several pages was recovered; contents not revealed More

This forum has been closed.
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.

Comments page of 2

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs