Clinton takes responsibility for US deaths in Benghazi
US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has taken “full responsibility” for the deaths resulting from the attacks by mobs of protesters on the US consulate in Benghazi last month.
The attacks claimed the lives of four Americans including the US Ambassador to Lybia, Chris Stevens.
Mrs Clinton’s declarations relieve the pressure on President Obama, who was accused by opponents of being responsible for the deaths of the American diplomats.
Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney and Vice President candidate Paul Ryan had criticised the President, claiming the deaths of the American diplomats were an example that the President’s Middle East strategy was not working.
In an interview with CNN during a visit to Peru, Mrs Clinton revealed that she was the official “in charge of the State Department’s 60,000-plus people all over the world, 275 posts. 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,” she said.
“We did everything we could to keep our people safe, which is my primary responsibility,” she added.
Mrs Clinton’s words came just ahead of a Presidential debate between Mr Obama and Mr Romney, after Mr Romney won the first debate according to most commentators.
The attacks, which occurred in Benghazi on the night of 11th September 2012, were part of a wider backlash in the region against the release of a controversial American film satirising Prophet Muhammad.
An investigation is now under way as to the causes of the security failure at the consulate that night.