News / USA

Clinton: Internet Claim About Libya Attack Proves Nothing

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton answers a reporter's question on Libya during a joint news conference with Brazil's Foreign Minister Antonion de Aguiar Patriota, October 24, 2012, at the State Department in Washington.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton answers a reporter's question on Libya during a joint news conference with Brazil's Foreign Minister Antonion de Aguiar Patriota, October 24, 2012, at the State Department in Washington.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says an Internet claim of responsibility that followed last month's attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, is not hard evidence of who killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador.  The Obama administration's handling of the event has become an issue in the U.S. presidential campaign.

Within hours of the September 11 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, a State Department clearinghouse for publicly available information notified U.S. officials that the Islamist group Ansar al-Sharia claimed credit for the violence in posts on Facebook and Twitter.

That has raised more questions about the Obama administration's initial public assessment that the violence was linked to a protest over an Internet video defaming the Prophet Muhammad - an explanation the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations repeated five days after the attack.

Secretary Clinton says the Ansar al-Sharia Internet claim proved nothing.

"Posting something on Facebook is not in and of itself evidence, and I think it just underscores how fluid the reporting was at the time and continued for some time to be,'' he said.

Speaking to reporters at the State Department Wednesday, she said an ongoing review of those events is looking into all of the information available at the time, as well as what has been learned since.

"The independent Accountability Review Board is already hard at work looking at everything, not cherry picking one story here or one document there, but looking at everything, which I highly recommend as the appropriate approach to something as complex as an attack like this," said the secretary of state.

  • Yemeni protestors break a door of the U.S. Embassy during a protest about a film ridiculing Islam's Prophet Mohammed, Sana'a, Yemen, September 13, 2012.
  • Yemenis protest in front of the U.S. Embassy during a protest about a film ridiculing Islam's Prophet Mohammed, Sana'a, September 13, 2012.
  • Egyptian protesters burn tires as they clash with riot police outside the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt, September 13, 2012.
  • An Egyptian protester throws back a tear gas canister toward riot police outside the U.S. embassy in Cairo, September 13, 2012.
  • A policeman stands in front of a police car set on fire by protesters in front of the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt, during clashes between protesters and police, September 13, 2012.
  • White House staff are pictured after they lowered the U.S. flag to half staff on the roof of the White House in Washington, September 12, 2012, following the death of U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens.
  • President Barack Obama delivers a statement with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, September 12, 2012
  • A burnt car is parked at the U.S. consulate, which was attacked and set on fire by gunmen, in Benghazi, Libya, September 12, 2012.
  • An exterior view of the U.S. consulate, which was attacked and set on fire by gunmen yesterday, in Benghazi September 12, 2012.
  • An interior view of the damage at the U.S. consulate, which was attacked and set on fire by gunmen yesterday, in Benghazi, Libya, September 12, 2012.
  • Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, was killed along with three of his staff on September 11, 2012 during a demonstration at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.  This photo was taken at his home in Tripoli, June 28, 2012.
  • A vehicle sits smoldering in flames after being set on fire inside the US consulate compound in Benghazi late on September 11, 2012.
  • An armed man waves his rifle as buildings and cars are engulfed in flames after being set on fire inside the U.S. consulate compound in Benghazi, Libya, late on September 11, 2012.
  • U.S. Consulate in Benghazi in flames during protest, September 11, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and some of his party's lawmakers in Congress have accused the Obama administration of misleading Americans about the violence that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others.

White House press secretary Jay Carney says "there were emails about all sorts of information that was becoming available in the aftermath of the attack,'' and that U.S. intelligence officials moved to "assess strands of information and make judgments about what happened and who is responsible.''

Secretary Clinton says no one wants to get to the bottom of what happened more than the Obama administration.

"What I keep in mind is that four brave Americans were killed and we will find out what happened, we will take whatever measures are necessary to fix anything that needs to be fixed, and we will bring those to justice who committed these murders,'' she said.

It is reported that Turkey has extradited to Tunisia a suspect in the Benghazi attack, but State Department officials would not comment on whether U.S. authorities are trying to question that individual.

You May Like

Russia's 'V-Day' Glory Over Nazis Overshadowed by Ukraine

Critics say Soviet-style display of power, nationalism don't recognize tragic scars of warfare that still influence politics, fighting in Ukraine More

Tensions Simmer in Hong Kong in Lead Up to Vote

Many Hong Kong citizen say if the reform plan will be a step back for the pro-democracy movement if passed More

Multimedia Obama Calls for New Commitment to Help Minority Youths Succeed

President introduces My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, foundation supporting better education and job prospects More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: Bob from: NC
October 24, 2012 8:30 PM
Clinton continues the LIES of obama and his admin. The wh watched our people being murdered by radical muslims but did nothing about it except cover up another obama mistake He is guilty of murder!

by: Lou Volpe
October 24, 2012 5:44 PM
Would some reporter or news organization ask Clinton or Obama IF, as they say, claims by a terrorist organization, which took responsibility for the attack and posted to Facebook and twitter were unreliable, as was so much conflicting information, as they claim, THEN WHY DID THEY LIE about this attack, stating unequivocally that it was a result of some video that NO ONE SAW? Since their defense in this tragedy is that they did not have conclusive evidence, then please present the conclusive evidence that the administration used to deceive the American public for 2 weeks!
In Response

by: Vince from: Washington
October 25, 2012 6:19 PM
You should follow the progress in the investigation instead of claiming they lied about the attack. Claims of deception are worthless statements showing a lack of research effort.

by: DougW659 from: Chicago
October 24, 2012 5:40 PM
I just wish Hillary would just come out and say "You would have to be a monumental idiot to suggest that an internet claim of responsibility for an attack is in any way proof of anything. We get internet claims of responsibility every time there is a traffic accident involving a government official. Suggesting that this constitutes 'knowledge' of who launched the attack is right up there with believing JFK's brain is being kept alive by Elvis on his secret island in the South Pacific."

by: Dee from: Los Angeles
October 24, 2012 5:38 PM
There were warnings and pleas for help from Ambassador Stevens before the attack. There was a drone overhead that recorded the incident in real time...then there were emails notifiying the white house and state dept of the incident within half an hour of it's occurrance and of an organized terrorist group claiming responsibility. Neither Barrack or HIllary did anything to save those men. Barrack went to sleep and to a Las Vegas party/fundraiser the next day. Then he trotted out the story of the silly youtube movie causing protests. How stupid do these people think we are?

by: MACDONALDBANK from: DC
October 24, 2012 5:38 PM
Religious Republican zombies are coming out of the woodwork -- descending on America! Scary or what?
Romney; would be the equivalent to the Taliban -- in his treatment to women and the gay community -- with his extreme cultist attitude … if ever elected!
Religion; is the biggest bully on the block!
IRS codes prohibit churches from endorsing or opposing political candidates!
The IRS … should immediately tax churches -- that break that rule!
Churches -- are opposing gay rights -- based on a cult! Tax them or shut them down!
Roman Catholic; Baptist & Mormon churches who were involved in Proposition 8; against the gay community – should be shut down immediately and/or have their tax exemption status revoked!
Church manses; mansions; corporate jets and Christian college campuses … should face taxes or be shut down -- based on corruption and/or being involved in cultism!
Mormons are nothing more than homophobic bigots and lustful religious lunatics; who harvested women … attempting to scrutinize themselves; into eternity – without success!
Romney as President; would mean the darkest & meanest period in the United States of America’s history. Homophobic -- witchcraft would rule the government from Rome & Salt Lake City …!

by: commenter from: USA
October 24, 2012 5:33 PM
Here is what we know for sure:

1. An Al-Queda affiiate took credit for an attack 2 hrs after it occurred, on 9/11.

2. No news organization in Libya or anywhere else had yet reported the attack -- none were even aware of it yet, not nearly that early-on.

3. Nobody knew that it was a terror attack and not a video protest -- OTHER than the US security folks who were there or who were monitoring live video at DoS and DoD, plus the terrorists themseves.

How did this Al-Queda affiliate know enough to claim responsibility for a terror attack so quickly if they weren't responsible or involved in some way?

by: Gary Wige
October 24, 2012 5:22 PM
Duh! Of course a terrorist organization is going to want to take credit for a successful attack. They can get the attention that they want for someone else's dirty work. She's absolutely correct, a claim isn't proof.

by: TheIdahoKid from: Idaho
October 24, 2012 5:21 PM
Typical Politicians remark, Obumma did something, but they won't fess up, sure will be nice to get rid of Obama & the Clinton's

by: TrueAmerican
October 24, 2012 5:16 PM
Hillary Clinton does not belong in politics, She doesn't even do her job right, only thing she is good at is telling lies. Apparently we can use Facebook as hard evidence and it is used as evidence in courts, but if Hillary Clinton says its not evidence then its not evidence? Evidence a play off of evident which means clear or apparent. So it is clear and apparent that some group is claiming responsibility for a terrorist attack. Even if they did not perform this act but they claim to, they need to be held accountable by the US. Hillary Clinton couldn't even keep her husband in control how am I suppose to believe that she can help with foreign relations when her own relationship was foreign to her?? Only reason she is secretary of state is because Obama wants women to think hes about Women's Rights. If he was really about women's right dont you think he would of put a more qualified women and this position? Or at least someone qualified? She is not by any means qualified, other then the fact its a political position and politicians are liars and she is a good liar.

by: mike Delano from: Slaton Tx
October 24, 2012 5:15 PM
The Obama administration claims they want to get to the bottom of this more than anyone but they don't seem to be doing anything.
If they were not sure of what the facts were why did they send Susan Rice out issueing statements to the press saying that they were sure that the vidio was the culpert
In Response

by: realneil from: USA, Virginia
October 25, 2012 10:38 AM
Everyone assumes that the administration is doing nothing. I respectfully disagree. There is probably a whole lot of professional and competent investigation happening as we wax poetic at our keyboards. Many people are figuring this attack out down to the tiniest details. Gathering information is quiet, but serious work. It's ongoing and will never stop until all is known.
In time, the United States will carry out an attack, or series of attacks that will kill those responsible for this atrocity.
It WILL be done.
Comments page of 2
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Campaign Raises Money to 'Uncuff' Journalistsi
X
May 04, 2015 3:32 PM
Beginning Sunday – World Press Freedom Day – the Committee to Protect Journalists, a private U.S. group, is launching a campaign to bring attention to their plight and encourage efforts to free them. Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Campaign Raises Money to 'Uncuff' Journalists

Beginning Sunday – World Press Freedom Day – the Committee to Protect Journalists, a private U.S. group, is launching a campaign to bring attention to their plight and encourage efforts to free them. Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Volunteers Pull Together to Aid Baltimore Riot Victims

Calm has returned to Baltimore, Maryland, after authorities lifted an overnight curfew imposed almost a week ago to stem the rioting that followed the funeral of Freddie Gray - the 25-year-old black man who died of spinal injuries suffered while in police custody. Six police officers, three of them African-American, have been charged in connection with his death. Baltimore is now trying to get back to normal, in part with the help of volunteers who responded to calls to help those in the city'
Video

Video From Aleppo To Berlin: Band of Brothers Escapes Civil War

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled the civil war in their country and journeyed to Europe by boat across the Mediterranean. It is a terrifying ordeal with dangers at every turn. A group of Syrian brothers and their friends describe their ordeal as they try to reach Germany. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports. ...
Video

Video Rural Nepal Suffers Brunt of Quake’s Devastation

Nepal is still coming to grips with the full extent of the devastation and misery caused by last Saturday’s magnitude 7.8 earthquake. Some of the hardest-hit communities have been cut off by landslides making it difficult to assess the precise toll. A VOA News crew has been among the first to reach a few of the smaller, remote communities. Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Sindhupolchak district, east of Kathmandu, which suffered greatly in Nepal’s worst quake in more than 80 years.
Video

Video Obama Praises Work of 3 Immigrant Journalists

President Barack Obama met with three immigrant journalists at the White House Friday to praise them for their work ahead of World Press Freedom Day, May 3. In attendance: Dieu Cay (his pen name) a blogger from Vietnam recently released from prison; Lily Mengesha from Ethiopia who was harassed and detained for exposing the marrying off of young girls as child brides, and Fatima Tlisova, an ethnic Circassian from the North Caucasus region of Russia, who works for VOA's Russian Service.
Video

Video Middle East Atheist Channel Defies Taboo

In Egypt, a deeply religious country in a deeply religious region, atheism is not only taboo, it is dangerous. It is sometimes even criminal to publicly declare nonbelief. Despite the danger, one group of activists is pushing back with a new online channel that defends the right not to believe. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Black Families Use Baltimore Case to Revisit 'Police Talk'

Following Freddie Gray’s death in police custody this month, VOA interviewed black families throughout the eastern U.S. city of Baltimore about how they discuss the case. Over and over, parents pointed to a crucial talk they say every black mother or father has with their children. Victoria Macchi has more on how this conversation is passed down through generations.
Video

Video Nepal Quake Survivors Tell Their Stories

Against all hope, rescuers have found a few more survivors of the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal last Saturday. Mountain climbers and hikers trapped in remote places also have been airlifted to safety, and aid is finally reaching people in the areas closest to the quake's epicenter. Survivors and rescuers are now recounting their experience. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Lessons for Germany, Europe Remain on Anniversary of WWII's End

The 70th anniversary of the end of World War II will be marked May 8-9 in all European countries except Germany, which lost the war. How is the war viewed there, and what impact is it still having? From Berlin, VOA’s Al Pessin reports.
Video

Video Nepal Town Destroyed By Quake Counts Itself Lucky

Foreign search teams on Wednesday began reaching some of the communities outside Kathmandu that suffered worse damage than Nepal’s capital from last Saturday’s massive earthquake. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman is in Sankhu - a town of about 10,000 people - where there is relief the death toll is not higher despite widespread destruction.
Video

Video First Surgical Glue Approved for Use Inside Body

While medical adhesives are becoming more common, none had been approved for use inside the body until now. Earlier this year, the first ever biodegradable surgical glue won that approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on the innovation and its journey from academia to market.
Video

Video Somali Hotel Chain Owner Strives to Make a Difference

Many in the Somali diaspora are returning home to make a new life despite the continuing risks. Since 2011 when a military campaign against Al-Shabab militants began making progress, members of the diaspora community have come back to open hospitals, schools, hotels, restaurants and other businesses. Abdulaziz Billow in Mogadishu profiles the owner of a chain of hotels and restaurants who is helping to bring change to the once-deadly Somali capital.
Video

Video Study: One in Six Species Threatened with Extinction

Climate change is transforming the planet. Unless steps are taken to reduce global warming, scientists predict rising seas, stronger and more frequent storms, drought, fire and floods. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, a new study on species extinction underscores the need to take action to avoid the most catastrophic effects of rising temperatures.
Video

Video Child Migrants Cross Mediterranean Alone, Face Unknown Future

Among the thousands of migrants making the deadly journey by boat to Europe, there are unaccompanied girls and boys. Some have been sent by relatives to earn money; others are orphaned or fleeing war. From a shelter for young migrants in the Sicilian town of Caltagirone, VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Baltimore Riots Shed Light on City’s Troubled Past

National Guard troops took up positions Tuesday in Baltimore, Maryland, as authorities tried to restore order after rioting broke out a day earlier. It followed Monday's funeral of a 25-year-old black man who died while in police custody earlier this month. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.

Poll: Baltimore Police Charged

Poll archive

VOA Blogs