October 15th, 2012
07:47 PM ET

Clinton: I’m responsible for diplomats’ security

From Elise Labott, reporting from Lima, Peru

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday tried to douse a political firestorm around the deadly assault on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya, saying she is responsible for the security of American diplomatic outposts.

"I take responsibility" for the protection of U.S. diplomats, Clinton said during a visit to Peru. But she said an investigation now under way will ultimately determine what happened in the attack that left four Americans dead.

The attack on the night of September 11 killed Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, and three other Americans at the American consulate in Benghazi.

The Obama administration has been heavily criticized after Vice President Joe Biden said during last week's vice presidential debate that the White House did not know of requests to enhance security at Benghazi, contradicting testimony by State Department employees that requests had been made and rejected. After the debate, the White House said the vice president did not know of the requests because they were handled, as is the practice, by the State Department.

Clinton said President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are not involved in security decisions.

"I want to avoid some kind of political gotcha," she added, noting that it is close to the election.

Clinton also sought to downplay the criticism that administration officials continued to say the attack was a spontaneous product of a protest over an anti-Muslim film, a theory that has since been discarded. In the wake of an attack, there is always confusion, Clinton said. But the information has since changed, she said.

The secretary of state also described the desperate scene in the State Department during the hours of the attack on the night of the assault. It was an "intense, long ordeal" as staff tried to find out what had happened.

Clinton said her mission now is to make sure such an attack will never happen again, but also that diplomacy, even in dangerous areas like Benghazi, is not stopped.

"We can't not engage," she said. "We cannot retreat."

soundoff (552 Responses)
  1. gcarroll

    Clinton said she never seen the security papers that deny security for benghazi but now we know she signed some of them she lied under oath another clinton

    April 24, 2013 at 9:53 am | Reply
  2. leemaytoni

    Reblogged this on Toni M Lee.

    November 23, 2012 at 9:36 am | Reply
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  4. Robert Luton

    Interesting to follow this debate from the perspective of a foreigner, not living living in the United States, but from an allied country with a keen interest in the future of the States.

    I, and most of my fellow citizens, would consider a Romney (Republican) win a disaster for the long haul back of restoring the image and status of the United States with the rest of the world. Whatever you may think of Obama, his election was seen by the vast majority of foreigners as a positive sign that Americans had forsaken the past in more ways than one.

    To a foreigners eye, it was soon clear that a Republican lead House was not going to cooperate and was simply going to place obstacles in Obama's path wherever they could. And, I am ashamed to say, a former Aussie citizen who now runs the Fox network, is fueling the Republican agenda. Murdoch and his acolytes in Fox should be pilloried from post to post for interfering in and trying to influence US politics as he had in Australia for so many years, and still tries despite a well entrenched questioning public.

    As for Obama not delivering on his promises from the 2008 campaign, nobody was going to meet the expectations of Americans suffering from the second biggest financial crisis of the last century, particularly given the financial mess Bush and the Republicans left from the previous administration. If you think Obama is negatively affecting the US deficit and general standard of living with whatever programs he manages to get through Congress, you ain't seen nothing yet if Romney gets in with his profligate promises and gunboat diplomacy.

    Blaming Obama for all the maladies that have affected America in recent times, shows many of you just looking for a scapegoat instead of getting a better understanding of global realities and understanding the complexities. The world is in a mess and needs leadership, but not the type the Republican party is promoting.

    October 26, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Reply
    • cowboy

      I wish our american brethren were as attentive to our politics as most of the rest of the world. Our economy is ready to rebound but it's unable to do so because of Europ's problems. Reguardless of what Oboma does, I don't think our economy can improve much until Europe makes some progress. My fear is that if Romny is elected and the economy takes-off he will get credit. The Republicans would make him an icon like Regan, when in reality Oboma did the work . Our world is so interconnected in it's economics we are dependent on one-another.

      October 27, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Reply
    • Phillip Manson

      The Libyan incident affirms Fox's gossipy nature. Consulate security is the responsibility of the host country. Libyan rescue squads were dispatched to the beseiged Americans but were like the attackers, not trained in military techniques. The first attack was just to burn the consulate. The two deaths there were from smoke inhalation. The second attack was on the security American force in the building a mile away and four hours later. Two Americans were killed from mortar fragments. Both attacks indicate armed individuals operating with little military command after the initial assaults since afterwards there was immediate fading into the general population.

      October 27, 2012 at 2:33 am | Reply
  5. patches

    Did everyone miss this quote by Clinton:

    "I want to avoid some kind of political gotcha," she added, noting that it is close to the election."

    This is the real reason why she is accepting blame. She knows she'll still have her job if he's re-elected...but that's also a maybe. Obama may turn against her stating we can't have the head of the State Dept. making these kind of decisions, that the USA needs someone who will be on top of conflicts around the world at all times...and then put someone else in her job that paid him mucho dinero for the spot.

    October 18, 2012 at 9:53 am | Reply
    • cowboy

      Patches, it's amazing you can see to type, your head is so far up your ass. Clinton said what she did because it's true. She is not concerned about a job she has already announced that she is leaving. Only SOME STUPID FOOL OR ROMNY would think there was something they could rase a stink about. We know how your ass looks from now on try showing your face (more intelligence) in your comments. Better still, God gave you two ears and one mouth, maybe you should listen more and talk less.

      October 18, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Reply
      • patches

        Funny you said that. I read a variety of newspaper and watch MSNBC, CNN, CSpan, and yes, even Fox every day. One thing I do know is how to read and write. One thing I DON"T know how to do is treat other commentators like you do. I respect others comments and, if you were wise, you would respect other comments too instead of going into a tirade and curse them out. But I guess that's what you were taught.

        Come back when you grow up. You had nothing, NOTHING, to cotribute to my comment except to insult so, on that note, END OF DISCUSSION. Have a nice day.

        October 18, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • cowboy

      I first thought you were older and just ignorant. After reading your last reply. Inow see you as younger and trying to be involved. Though I still find you anoying but hopeful. In time maybe you will become more informed and your vision cleared. I hope i'm right in my second assumption since we have way to many of the former.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Reply
      • Bailey

        Why is it when someone doesn't agree with Democrats, they start the name calling? I like Hillary, and she should RESIGN over this! This isn't some Mickey Mouse error! And quite frankly, Obama DOES need to take blame here. ANY MORON would have provided extra protection on the 9/11 Anniversary, especially in the VOLATILE Middle East! And maybe you need to take your head out of your a(s)s! I for one, am tired of Obama blaming everyone, including but not limited to Big Bird, and binders! When does he take responsibility for anything. Between the blaming and apologizing, how the he(l)l does he have time for anything!

        October 21, 2012 at 9:44 am |
      • cowboy

        Again you are completely wrong. (not surprising) Maybe it's best to ignore you and label you a lost cause. I'm sure that no amount of effort explaining will yeld any results. You are just to stupid.

        October 21, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
      • patches

        Hey cowboy: I said I wouldn't reply to you but I just can't let this comment of yours go to waste. I thank you for the compliment on being younger, but I'm not that young, and I'm far from ignorant. I went through my liberal stage a few years back but I woke up. As for you, I believe you need to grow up as I said before and stop acting like a 10-year-old. Learn a bit about history or were you asleep during those classes? Or did you go to a liberal high school or college that changed history to suit the democrats?

        I agree with Bailey's comment that if people don't agree with democrats (I will not capitalize the word 'democrat' because I have lost all respect for them), they start name-calling and top it off by calling those that disagree with the President and/or his agenda racists. I'm quite tired of hearing it.

        I'm also tired of hearing the same speeches Obama gave when he was running for President the first time. Nothing has changed except he has to campaign harder this time because of his failed policies. Nothing will change if he is re-elected except spending will continue to hit all time highs, our military and embassy staff will not be any safer, our Attorney General will still pick and choose who to prosecute and will not own up to his part in the murders of border agents, Government will continue to grow and rules and regulations will continue to take over more of our daily lives. I, for one, love freedom. That's what our country is supposed to be about, but this administration is eating away at our freedoms little by little and some people are too blind to recognize it.

        On that note, please don't answer my questions because I already know your answers to them and as I said before, I will not lower myself to name-calling or answer any more posts by you.

        October 21, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
  6. WatrGrrl

    Isn't it interesting that Obama, once again, doesn't take responsibility for either his actions or his LACK of action? And what did Obama have to promise Hilary Clinton to "fall on her sword?" Isn't this Obama's typical pattern of either blaming someone else or letting someone else take the blame for his incompetence? I don't for a minute, believe that whatever occurs in an administration isn't the responsibility of the chief executive. Wasn't that why Obama was hired? He isn't doing the job.

    October 16, 2012 at 9:42 pm | Reply
    • cowboy

      For weeks I have listened to this garbage. Stephens was the only one to blame. He was in charge of all the personal in Libya. He gave the orders!!! When the extra security personal he had requested didn't arrive; he needed to change his plans and stay in Tripoli. By going to Bengazi without the security he knew he needed was a foolhardy mistake. The outpost in Bengazi should have been under a heightened security aleart because of the 9-11 annervisery.

      October 16, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Reply
    • Jay Reardon

      You have obviously never worked in any large organization where there is a chain of command and subordinates have significant responsibilities as part of their job portfolio. When a platoon commander of 45 Marines screws up and gets his Marines killed or wounded, you don't blame the 4 star Commandant of the Marine Corps. Now the Marines have 200,000 employees - how many employees do you think the federal government has? And you expect the president to be micro-managing every one of them? The stupid burns. Stop watching and believing so much TV and get an education.

      October 17, 2012 at 3:41 am | Reply
  7. WatrGrrl

    Yeah, I wonder what Obama had to promise Hilary to get her to "fall on her sword" and take responsibility for HIS incompetence and HIS lack of action? Maybe a Supreme Court position? Isn't it interesting that Obama

    October 16, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Reply
    • cowboy

      watrgrrl you are an idoit. Only people like you and Romny would try to place blame for political reasons. This was an atack on a sovern U.S. outpost.

      October 16, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Reply
    • cowboy

      watrgrrl you are an idoit. Only people like you and Romny would try to place blame for political reasons. This was an atack on a sovern U.S. outpost. The ambassador was the most at fault but everyone refuses to place the blame on the dead. If Oboma is elected we will probably bring the culprits to justice, not so if Romny wins.

      October 16, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Reply
  8. John

    Blaming Obama for the terrorist attack against our ambassador is like blaming Bush for 9/11. It's wrong. We were attacked and should be pulling together instead of trying to politicize a tragedy. Shame!

    October 16, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Reply
    • Poleski

      No one is blaming Obama for the attack. He is being blamed for trying to cover it up. He has failed at that too. Clinton is being blamed for not protecting our people during the attack. The people there and the security people who were ordered to leave were asking for ADDITIONAL SECURITY HELP. Try to think.
      Democrats have to lie. If they tell the truth they can’t get elected.

      October 16, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Reply
      • John

        The same kind of nonsense was circling around about W 11 years ago. I've seen no evidence of anyone trying to cover anything up, only confusion and mixed intel data (can you remember WMD's in Iraq? That turned out to be garbage). As for lies, I think both sides have been quite adept at telling a tall tale. Even Fox News claimed Paul Ryan's acceptance speach at the Republican Convention set a new standard for lies and misrepresentations. If Democrats aren't as good at it as Republicans, it's because they've had less practice.

        October 16, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
      • patches

        Wrong again, John . In the news on 1/17/2003:
        U.N. weapons inspectors in Iraq discovered empty chemical warheads in “excellent condition.” U.N. chief weapons inspector Hans Blix issued a stern warning to Baghdad to cooperate “or else.” And those believed to be behind the ricin attacks in the United Kingdom were linked to both al-Qaida and another terrorist group based in Iraq.

        Blix said: “Everyone wants to see a credible and verified disarmament of Iraq. We feel Iraq must do more than it has so far in order to make inspections a credible avenue (to disarmament). The other major avenue is in the form of armed action against Iraq. For my part we are trying our best to make inspections effective so we can have a peaceful solution.”

        He added: “It’s clear Iraq has violated the bans of the United Nations in terms of imports. We have found things that have been illegally imported, even in 2001 and 2002.

        To top off the day’s developments, the deadly poison ricin discovered at a makeshift lab in a north London apartment last week is linked to a group of Algerian extremists with ties to al-Qaida and Iraq, according to news reports.

        October 18, 2012 at 9:48 am |
      • Ryche

        The hearings have stated that intel knew within 24 hours that it was a terrorist attack. Why was Obama himself saying 8 days after the attack that it was because of a movie on YouTube. Why is nobody talking about all the riots that happened after Obama publicized this movie... Obama lied and people died. FACT.

        October 16, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
      • cowboy

        ski, you republicans have a way of always winding up on the wrong side of every arguement. The President won't stampede everyone when the reports he is getting are confusing at best. He isn't all hat and no horse like G. Bush. He gets his facts stright before he opens his mouth. He called it right when he said Romny shoots then aims.

        October 18, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Poleski

      Really John. The “nonsense” you mention from 9/11/2001 was only being put out by fools. Not a huge number of Americans that want to know what the hell was going on in Libya and why we have been lied to. You say “You’ve seen no evidence of a cover up. So you believe that Obama, Susan Rice, Clinton, and the Press Secretary didn’t know days after the attack it was terrorists and not a demonstration. Amazing stupidity. The WMD’s? Yeah I know about those. Obama wasn’t involved. He was just a State Senator who was voting PRESENT. The intelligence services said the WMD’s that THEY identified in Iraq were probably moved to Syria while we were playing games with the UN because the Democrats were fighting doing anything ourselves. If you’re so knowledgeable on Fox News just post the story Fox did on Ryan lies and misrepresentations.
      Democrats have to lie. If they tell the truth they can’t get elected.
      Lastly. In your ignorance you think there are only Democrats and Republicans who care about what’s happening to our country. I’m an Independent that sees a Socialist trying to take over the country and fools like you are trying to help him.

      October 16, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Reply
  9. b

    Hillary-"the buck stops at the oval office."
    Obama- "the buck stops with me."

    Obviously somebody is a liar.

    October 16, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Reply
  10. James Whalen

    I just read that we are respected World wide because of Obama I live in overseas and this is so not true. They say Bin ladin was killed so Obama gets credit does it matter someone else stepped in behind him? Respect is earned and he has not earned it. everyone I know say they don't want either as President and truct Obama less because of all the promises which turned to nothing being done but of course he blames Bush, and republicans, now Hillery says she is the blame and not Obama so maybe she is the President.

    October 16, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Reply
    • hello

      Actually I have been overseas, my family is overseas in Africa, Canada, and Europe; and Obama has a more favorable view worldwide then Bush had, which messed up Blair when he was prime minister. So you can spin this how you want but him ending two wars over seas and killing OSAMA went a long way around the world.

      October 17, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Reply
  11. Nick

    To all the angry republican fanatics – Obama will take your advice about taking responsibility when you tell Robme to take responsibility for his 47% comment. And no saying it was "off the cuff" does not mean he took responsibility.

    October 16, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Reply
    • b

      he did. he said you suck.

      October 16, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Reply
    • Poleski

      Sorry Nick. Romney (and its Romney fool) has nothing to be responsible for. What he said was exactly the truth but the media spun it different and with stupidity. His most important policy change to improve the economy is to change the tax system. Reduce the tax rates but also eliminate exemptions to come out with a net no change in revenue. The 47% don’t pay income taxes so it’s not an issue they would identify with. They don’t care about that but they aren’t very bright. The change to the tax system could very well mean they pay THEIR FAIR SHARE. Democrats have to lie. If they tell the truth they can’t get elected.

      October 16, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Reply
  12. Joe Clark

    Hilliary is taking a hit for the chief now so she can get a chit redeemable at a later date for a bigger and better seat at Obama's Big Table when he is re elected assuming he gets re elected.

    October 16, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Reply
  13. Chris

    So, every person who is against Obama does so for hard fast reasons per some people. Why not apply that reasoning to supporters of Obama also? What exactly has he done in 4 years? He's increased payments to welfare, built more public housing, etc. He is stealing taxpayer dollars and giving it away to people who voted for him ..... buying votes that's what he's done. What about his key staff members? Let's see, they've supplied guns to drug cartels, they've took part in murdering at least one American protector with these guns, they lie about it, they deny defense to an American Ambassador who was murdered because of their decisions. These people try to protect the President just as these liberals do, but in the end he has to stand up and take the blame for everything bad just as he does for the few things good. Time to vote him out.

    October 16, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Reply
  14. Penny Wright

    "Planned Parenthood, we're going to get rid of that." – Mitt Romney

    "I will veto the Dream Act." – Mitt Romney

    "Let Detroit go bankrupt." – Mitt Romney

    "I would never send American armed forces into Pakistan unilaterally, even after a high value target." – Mitt Romney

    October 16, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Reply
    • Poleski

      Penny Wright
      Amazing. You are soooo smart. You saw a commercial by three Actresses that combined don’t have one brain. They look good but it stops there.
      "Planned Parenthood, we're going to get rid of that." – Mitt Romney
      Romney never said that. Democrats have to lie. If they tell the truth they can’t get elected.
      "I will veto the Dream Act." – Mitt Romney
      The Dream Act was never approved by congress. Democrats have to lie. If they tell the truth they can’t get elected.
      "Let Detroit go bankrupt." – Mitt Romney
      The New York Times used that as a headline to a story. Romney never said it. Democrats have to lie. If they tell the truth they can’t get elected.
      "I would never send American armed forces into Pakistan unilaterally, even after a high value target." – Mitt Romney
      Boots on the ground fool. He never said he would not protect the USA. Democrats have to lie. If they tell the truth they can’t get elected.

      October 16, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Reply
    • Thomas

      Was any of what the above stated true? If so, commercial or not it tells a story. a very scary story.

      October 16, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Reply
      • Poleski

        None is true. All left wing spin from left wing media. He said none of those things like it’s being presented.
        Democrats have to lie. If they tell the truth they can’t get elected.

        October 16, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
  15. clb2012now

    Hillary can take responsibility for the security: Obama is responsibility for lying to America with "video did it" meme

    October 16, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Reply
    • Howard


      October 16, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Reply
      • cowboy

        Howard you have drank the koolaid and gone back for seconds. Most of the corruption left the White House back in Jan. 2009 and have been silent sense. After this next election, we may change sone of the corrupt Repersentives in the house and a few of the corrupt senators. I say change because the nature of their jobs makes them crooks. The President stands alone and its easer to hold him responsible, where the rest of our elected represenatives can hide in the crowd

        Maybe you are one of the idle rich and the corruption of the previous administration worked well for you. If so I can understand why you are upset now.

        October 18, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • L. Arnold

      Don't be so sure it wasn't the video. Read the lastest information from witnesses in Libya. There is a good article in today's New York Times with information from witnesses. Those of us who are not part of the intelligence world, or are not witnesses still need to wait for ALL the evidence to be available.

      October 16, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Reply
      • Poleski

        The New York Times and you believe it. Amazing.
        Democrats have to lie. If they tell the truth they can’t get elected.

        October 16, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
  16. gabc

    What a laugh, to bring this up now? Does anyone actually think this is true? Sad attempt!

    October 16, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Reply
  17. Geek34

    The buck stops with Hillary Clinton, I mean George Bush, I mean Romney....

    October 16, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Reply
  18. stopdrinkinthekoolaid

    no your not Mrs clinton.

    Apology NOT accepted, blame was not assigned, nor expected from you.. Do not take the fall for this miserable excuse for a boss you have. He needs to step up to the plate and take responsibility for this whole middle east mess which he has not only been complacent on, but also encouraging now at the expense of 4 American lives.

    You can relax though,.. in january there will be a change of command, and you can retire and let the new administration handle things the way they need to be handled.

    October 16, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Reply
    • hello

      you trolls are funny, your name speaks for itself, you guys are so desperate in you Anti-obama quest, are you the same person who wrote the recent comments to. Just say you don't like him

      October 16, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Reply
  19. hello


    The true facts are Obama stopped two stupid & ridiculous wars, Killed OSAMA BIN LADIN, and improved a positive view of America worldwide, I have been around the world, and family around the world, and many have a favorable view of him compared to Bush.

    Now when it comes to Hillary & Obama well I don't blame them for what terrorist did in Libya, they didn't ask for the bombs to go off and kill innocent people, even the mother of one of the men(seals) killed there said she she doesn't blame Obama or Hillary and asked Romney to stop using her son for politics: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2215823/Mitt-Romney-agrees-stop-talking-ex-Navy-SEAL-slain-raid-U-S-consulate-Benghazi-mothers-complaint-using-sons-death-political-agenda.html?openGraphAuthor=%2Fhome%2Fsearch.html%3Fs%3D%26authornamef%3DHayley%2BPeterson

    Obama is the president of America not the world police or Zeus, or a magician, and as much as the Libyan situation is bad, I don't blame Obama, if Obama is that incompetent as some of you fools say he is then the wars will still be going on and he wouldn't have killed OSAMA. Hillary took responsibility, end of story, just as many of you anti-obama maniacs accept when ROMNEY SAID 47% of AMERICANS DEPEND ON THE GOVERNMENT AND WANT A FREE PASS and is getting ready for war with IRAN, you shouldn't complain.

    I am voting for Obama, even though I am not a fanatic of him but since he stopped two wars, killed OSAMA as he said he would, and won't try and monopolize Abortion, I prefer him then the wealthy FLIP FLOPPER that keeps screaming Obama care when he did the same thing in the state of Massachusetts as governor, where I live in. The current governor of Massachusetts called him a drive by governor, which he is and Late Senator Kennedy called him governor of multiple choice which he.

    October 16, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Reply
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