Clinton honors slain diplomat, says security being bolstered globally
The United States ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, was killed in a rocket attack on the American consulate in the city of Benghazi on Tuesday, September 11, 2012.
November 8th, 2012
11:19 PM ET

Clinton honors slain diplomat, says security being bolstered globally

By Jill Dougherty

In an emotional speech honoring the slain U.S. ambassador to Libya, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States is taking "immediate steps to bolster security and readiness at our missions across the globe."

Clinton said the State Department and the Defense Department already have dispatched joint teams to review high-threat posts "to determine whether improvements are needed in light of the evolving security challenges we now face."

U.S. diplomats serve in more than 275 posts in 170 countries around the world, Clinton noted Thursday.

Three investigations into the circumstances of Christopher Stevens' death are under way: by the FBI, Congress and the State Department's Accountability Review Board. "We will apply its recommendations and lessons learned to our security around the world," Clinton said.

The review board is expected to issue its report by early to mid-December, according to the State Department.

Also: Obama administration officials to brief Congress on Benghazi attack

"We now have a formal accountability review board investigating the terrorist attack that killed Chris, and we will certainly apply its recommendations and lessons learned to improving security everywhere," Clinton said. "It's appropriate that we do so based on facts and evidence. Chris's family, his colleagues at the department, and the American people deserve nothing less."

Clinton made her remarks at the Common Ground Awards, presented annually by the international organization, Search for Common Ground, for outstanding accomplishments in conflict resolution, community building and peace building.

Stevens' sister, Anne, received the award in honor of her brother.

The ambassador's death has become the focus of intense partisan fighting.

Lawmakers want answers to many outstanding questions surrounding the September 11 armed assault on the diplomatic facility and a CIA annex in Benghazi.

Specifically, they want to know who was responsible, whether it was planned, the intelligence reporting on the threat to Libya prior the attack, and whether security was adequate.

Clinton said, "In the rush of headlines, it is easy to forget that at the center of this national tragedy was such a real person with passion and principles, with humor and irony, with ambition and humility - with friends and colleagues and loved ones."

She described Stevens as a "true son of the West, who hiked and jogged and danced his way through the hills and forests of northern California."

"His mother liked to say he had sand in his shoes. Always moving and running and working, seeking out new challenges and adventures."

Clinton said Stevens "understood not just the science of diplomacy but the art. He heard the music and the words. And he was committed to his mission of helping others find their own freedom."

He "found a second home amid the shifting deserts and crowded cities of the Middle East," she said.

Stevens, she said, "would have been the first to say that the terrorists who attacked our mission in Benghazi on September 11 did not represent the millions of Libyans who want peace and deplore violence."

Accepting the award for her brother, Anne Stevens said he remained an optimist who took great joy in seeing the Libyan Revolution succeed.

"For us, this award is a wonderful recognition for the work Chris did and the man he was.
While we are incredibly saddened that he is gone, we hope that his legacy will live on and encourage others to continue to work toward the goals that Chris believed in."

Speaking with CNN's Erin Burnett Thursday evening Anne Stevens said her brother encouraged her and her siblings to excel at everything thing they did. "He set a high bar for our family and inspired us," she said.

The State Department prepared her brother well for potential problems, Anne Stevens said. "You cannot eliminate the danger entirely."

soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. lizzytalorburton

    The head of the CIA is forced out and he won't be testifying Thursday? Why? and Hillary Clinton will be travelling? so afraid of the truth, So the 2 top people won't be answering questions under oath. I wonder why? If they had nothing to be ashamed of and afraid of, they would be talking a blue streak, like Obama did the same night Bin Laden died!! And Obama, why isn't he testifying? Because he's the President? .What gives him the right not to answer questions? He's not a King, he's a President Some President - asleep when the Americans were being tortured and murdered. He has no character, no empathy, no nothing People you will get what you voted for.All the high crimes and misdemeanors continue. Obama, Clinton and all the people covering up for him should be in jail and fired.This is ten times worse than Watergate, in Watergate, nobody was murdered and too many people have been murdered on Obama's watch.

    November 11, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Reply
  2. Rocky

    she's a real Miss Piggy without any qualifications for Secretary of State (no protection for Ambassador Stevens) and much less for President? How could she be head of he Military Commander in Chief? You gotta laugh at that and the high school kids and rock n' rollers would vote for her too. Welcome to the new generation of multiculturals ignorant of government AND THE LAW. They think they're voting for a rock star not a President. Obama portrayed himself as a rock star to them, taking advantage of their immaturity for the votes. We never had a President who is such great pretender.

    November 10, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Reply
  3. danny

    if you ask her a quistion about this 'the answer will be likeone of bill's. read my lips i know nothing

    November 10, 2012 at 8:30 am | Reply
  4. Rocky

    How could Anne Stevens stand next to Hillary Clinton? I would have spit in her face if I were her. Disgusting after the way she didn't provide protection for the Ambassador, he begged and pleaded for it. He was so scared and then he was murdered. She just ignored his pleas. How does Hillary Clinton sleep at night? Does she feel vindicated or justified because Anne Stevens accepted the honor for him? These people in Obama's administration must be dead inside.

    November 9, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Reply
  5. jonny

    Honor the others killed as well trying to save people, they are heros as well and deserve the same. Nov 11 in canada is a big day for remembering our vets and these people will be on our minds as well.

    November 9, 2012 at 8:25 am | Reply
  6. Steve

    Too little, too late.

    November 9, 2012 at 12:39 am | Reply
  7. Rocky

    Honor him - why didn't she save him? He begged for help and she ignored all the e-mails, notes, etc.

    November 8, 2012 at 11:45 pm | Reply

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