News / USA

Republican Senators Criticize Benghazi Embassy Security

Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) speaks with reporters after a vote on Capitol Hill in Washington December 17, 2012.
Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) speaks with reporters after a vote on Capitol Hill in Washington December 17, 2012.
Opposition lawmakers are criticizing the Obama administration for sending diplomats to the Libyan city of Benghazi without enough security.  It follows an independent report into the September attack on the U.S. mission there that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. 

Republican Senator Bob Corker says State Department officials knew Ambassador Chris Stevens and his team were going to Benghazi at a time of growing instability and problems with local militia who had been providing security.

"You were aware of the security risk there.  We have read the cables.  You were fully aware.  And either you send people there with security or you do not send them there," Corker said.

An independent report into the violence found "a pervasive realization among personnel who served in Benghazi that the special mission was not a high priority for Washington when it came to security."

Corker says State Department officials are stuck in the past at a time of changing threats. "What I saw in the report is a department that has sclerosis, that does not think outside of the box, that is not using the resources that it has in any sort of creative ways, is not prioritizing," he said.

Testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Thomas Nides says there is an ongoing worldwide review of overall security, especially where national forces are fragmented or may be weak.

"For more than 200 years, the United States, like every other country around the world, has relied on host nations to provide security for embassies and consulates," Nides stated.  "But in today's evolving threat environment, we have to take a new and harder look at the capabilities and the commitments of our hosts."

Nides says Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accepts all of the report's  recommendations and is working to ensure they are acted on quickly. "We have got to learn from this," he said. "We have got to hold people accountable, which we are doing.  And we have to change processes to make sure we are getting it right."

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says Secretary Clinton has accepted the resignation of Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security Eric Boswell.  Three other officials have been "relieved of their current duties."  Nuland did not name the other individuals.  All four had been on administrative leave.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio asked why more senior officials were not aware of security lapses in Benghazi, saying he is puzzled about the report placing a lot of blame on lower-level assistant secretaries.

"And why I find that quite puzzling is that because Benghazi, and Libya in general, is not some remote outpost.  It is not Luxembourg.  I mean this is a country that we were involved in militarily not so long ago in a high-profile intervention," Rubio stated.

Rubio says he is looking forward to Secretary Clinton answering questions about Benghazi.  She was scheduled to appear before the committee Thursday, but State Department officials say she has been ill for nearly two weeks.  Corker says Clinton's testimony must be heard.

"I think it is imperative that she come before this committee, and I think it would be really a shame to turn the page on this and go to a new regime without her being here," Corker.  So I do look forward to that happening whenever her health permits."

Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair John Kerry says Clinton will appear in January.  She may have stepped down as secretary of state by then.  Kerry is the leading candidate to replace her.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infectionsi
X
November 28, 2014 3:31 PM
South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infections

South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.

All About America

AppleAndroid