Dear Commons Community,
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is testifying at a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the circumstances involving the attack on the American Embassy in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012, that killed four Americans. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had an emotional moment speaking in front of the Committee about the attack:
“For me, this is not just a matter of policy, it’s personal. I stood next to President Obama as the Marines carried those flag-draped caskets off the plane at Andrews. I put my arms around the mothers and fathers, the sisters and brothers, the sons and daughters, and the wives left alone to raise their children,” she said, her voice breaking.
“It has been one of the great honors of my life to lead the men and women of the State Department and USAID,” she continued. “They get up and get to work every day, often in difficult dangerous circumstances, because they believe, as we believe, the United States is the most extraordinary force for peace and progress the world has ever known.”
In response to her comment that as Secretary she was responsible, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a member of the Senate Committee, was highly critical:
“I’m glad that you’re accepting responsibility,” said Paul. “I think ultimately with your leaving that you accept the culpability for the worst tragedy since 9/11. And I really mean that.”
“Had I been president and found you did not read the cables from Benghazi and from Ambassador Stevens, I would have relieved you of your post. I think it’s inexcusable,” he said, referencing Clinton’s comments that she had not read all of the documentation surrounding the attack.
“I think we can understand you’re not reading every cable,” Paul said. He added that he didn’t suspect Clinton of “bad motives” but said that it was a “failure of leadership.”
Clinton responded, “I am the Secretary of State. And the [Accountability Review Board] made very clear that the level of responsibility for the failures that they outlined was set at the Assistant Secretary level and below.”
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) rebuked Paul in the next exchange. “If some people on this committee want to call this tragedy the worst since 9/11, it misunderstands the nature of 4000 plus Americans lost in the War in Iraq under false pretenses.”
Tough going for Hillary!