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

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine May Be in Use by Jan.

WHO assistant director Dr. Marie Paule Kieny says clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, US and Africa 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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid