Clinton to CNN: ‘I Take Responsibility’ in Libya Attack



Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told CNN in an interview Monday that she-not the White House-takes responsibility for the security situation in Benghazi, Libya, ahead of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack there that  claimed the lives of four Americans, including the ambassador.

“I take responsibility,” Clinton told CNN in one of a series of television interviews she gave after arriving in Peru. The comments from America’s top diplomat came on the eve of President Barack Obama’s second debate with Republican challenger Mitt Romney, a face-off that seemed likely to include questions about the administration’s handling of the bloody assault.

“I want to avoid some kind of political gotcha” with just three weeks before the election, Clinton said, underlining that she-not Obama and Vice President Joe Biden-has the final word on security at America’s diplomatic posts overseas.

The White House took heavy fire from Republicans for blaming the attack on Muslim anger at an Internet video ridiculing Islam-even though intelligence officials from the U.S., France, Britain and Italy had quickly labeled the assault an act of terrorism.

And Biden stoked the controversy when he said, in his debate with Republican rival Paul Ryan last week, that “we weren’t told” of requests for more security on the ground. State Department officials had testified that such requests had been denied by Washington.

U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens was slain in the onslaught, making him the first American ambassador killed in such an attack since 1979. Romney has led Republican charges that the strike is a symptom of Obama’s “unraveling” foreign policy.

In the CNN interview, Clinton blamed “confusion” after the attack for the initial focus on the video, which has fueled angry demonstrations across the Muslim world. The State Department has said it never blamed demonstrations for the bloodshed in Benghazi. The White House has said that the intelligence community initially believed that the film had played a role.

Clinton also said that while she would work to improve diplomatic security, “we cannot retreat” from the world. “We can’t not engage,” she said.

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  1. Very nice that she was stiff-armed into making this statement. However, It’s not the security at the embassy that is at fault – it’s the naive and self-destructive policies that enabled this attack. They saw America as week.

    And think about it, what was our response? An apology!, and an arrest of one of our own! for utilizing his freedom. These policies are at fault, and these policies are direct Mr. Hussains

  2. She was rather irresponsible leading up to these atrocities. She also kept pushing off blame until forced by the also-blameworthy White House.

  3. Then let’s put her on trial for murder. She just admitted that she is directly responsible for the brutal death of an american ambassador.

  4. Obama should not hide behind Clinton. It is
    his responsibility.

    Notice how Obama takes credit for Bin Laden
    take down but refuses to take responsibility for the debacle in Libya.

    His Middle Eastern policy is a failure and
    on that basis alone he deserves to be voted out
    of office.

  5. I think that makes it even worse for Oboma. So what she is saying is that she is resposibale for the safty of the American people not the President. very nice.