Clinton: ‘I take responsibility’ for Benghazi

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gives a speech to the media at the government palace in Lima.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton assumed responsibility on Monday for last month’s deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, which has become an issue in the hard-fought U.S. presidential campaign.

“I take responsibility” for what happened on September 11, Clinton said in an interview with CNN during a visit to Peru, adding that President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden would not be responsible for specific security instructions for U.S. diplomatic facilities.

“I’m in charge of the State Department’s 60,000-plus people all over the world,” Clinton said.

“The president and the vice president wouldn’t be knowledgeable about specific decisions that are made by security professionals. They’re the ones who weigh all of the threats and the risks and the needs and make a considered decision.”

Clinton’s comments followed stepped-up criticism of the Obama administration over the Benghazi attack, which Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney has sought to use to dent Obama’s foreign policy credibility before the November 6 election.

Republicans in particular have focused on the Obama administration’s shifting explanations for the attack, which Clinton said in two separate television interviews on Monday were the result of “the fog of war.”

“Remember, this was an attack that went on for hours,” Clinton told Fox News. “There had to be a lot of sorting out. … Everyone said, here’s what we know, subject to change.”

The administration initially attributed the violence to protests over an anti-Islam film and said it was not premeditated. Obama and other officials have since said the incident was a terrorist attack.

“POLITICAL GOTCHA”

The Benghazi assault, and the Obama administration’s response, has become a contentious election issue and Clinton’s comments came a day before the second presidential debate.

“What I want to avoid is some kind of political ‘gotcha’ or blame game going on,” Clinton told CNN.

“I know that we’re very close to an election. I want to just take a step back here and say from my own experience, we are at our best as Americans when we pull together. I’ve done that with Democratic presidents and Republican presidents.”

Romney has accused the administration of not providing adequate security to American diplomats and misrepresenting the nature of the attack, which resulted in the death of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

Romney’s criticisms have sought to undercut the foreign policy record of Obama, who has been praised for the killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and the withdrawal of troops from unpopular wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Those attacks sharpened after last week’s vice presidential debate, when Vice President Joe Biden said “we did not know” of requests by U.S. diplomats on the ground in Libya for more security – a statement that contradicted testimony given two days earlier by State Department officials at a congressional hearing.

Clinton told the networks that Obama and Biden had not been involved in security decisions related to the consulate.

“The decisions about security are made by security professionals. But we’re going to review everything to be sure we’re doing what needs to be done in an increasingly risky environment,” Clinton said.

Congress has increased pressure on the State Department to release information about the attack. Obama and Clinton have both vowed a full investigation.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Gunther from 'Friends' talks Central Perk

We spoke with Gunther (James Michael Tyler) at the preview for new pop-up Central Perk, based on the cafe in "Friends."

Local

Central Perk opens in SoHo

Central Perk, of "Friends" fame, is giving out free coffee in SoHo through Oct. 18.

National

Beer sponsor Anheuser-Busch reproaches NFL over domestic abuse

Anheuser-Busch chastised the NFL for its handling of domestic violence cases, making it the first major advertiser to put pressure on the league.

Local

Sen. Krueger dishes on prospect of legal marijuana…

New Yorkers may see the legalization of recreational marijuana use as early as 2015 if State Senator Liz Krueger (D) gets her way. The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act will…

Music

FREEMAN makes Freeman a free man from Ween

For nearly 30 years, Aaron Freeman was known endearingly to his listeners as Gene Ween. But with "FREEMAN," he makes it clear that he's gone somewhere else.

Television

'Outlander' recap: Season 1, Episode 6: 'The Garrison…

Whipping, punching, kicking and a marriage contract. "Outlander" is not for the faint of heart this week with "The Garrison Commander."

The Word

The Word: Hey girl, it's a girl for…

It's a girl for Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes, who reportedly welcomed a daughter last Friday, according to Us Weekly. The super-private couple managed to…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 16: 'New Girl,'…

Check out the season premiere of "New Girl," as Jess competes with Jessica Biel for a guy's attentions.

MLB

5 top contenders for NL Rookie of the…

The outing rekindled award talk for deGrom, who appears to hold the top spot for NL Rookie of the Year honors. Metro breaks down a few other contenders.

College

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

NFL

Tom Coughlin says Giants 'beat themselves' against Cardinals

Head coach Tom Coughlin, who had a day to cool off and reflect, still sounded like he had a gnawing feeling in his gut.

NFL

Marty Mornhinweg accepts blame for Jets timeout fiasco

Jets fans looking for a scapegoat for Sunday’s timeout fiasco found a willing party on Monday: Marty Mornhinweg.

Style

Rachel Zoe: New York Fashion Week Spring 15

Rachel Zoe goes 'Glam bohemia' for Spring.

Food

Where to find SweeTango apples

Introduced in 2009, SweeTango — a hybrid of Honeycrisp and Zestar — is a sweet apple with plenty of crunch.

Style

London Fashion Week recap

London Fashion week gets in on the action with politics, heritage and summertime living.

Food

Padma Lakshmi's recipe for green mango curry

Padma Lakshmi shares her recipe for green mango curry in UNICEF's new book, "UNICHEF."