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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Monday night she takes sole responsibility for the security in the Sept. 11 attack on the United States diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya last month.
‘‘I take responsibility,’’ Clinton said in a written statement. ‘‘I’m in charge of the State Department’s 60,000-plus people all over the world (at) 275 posts.’’
In a CNN interview she says, “I want to avoid some kind of political gotcha.”
Clinton says President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are not involved in making security decisions and instead this it is her responsibility. Congressional hearings revealed that the State Department was aware of, and rejected, several requests for increased security in Benghazi.
“The president and the vice president wouldn’t be knowledgeable about specific decisions that are made by security professionals,” Clinton said.
Republicans have attacked the Obama administration for its handling of the situations.
“If he was informed, it is nobody’s responsibility other than the commander in chief to take corrective action,” Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina said.
Republican U.S. Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte say that Obama “bears full responsibility” for the security failures prior to the attack and misleading Americans to blame the violence on an anti-Muslim movie that went viral online and inflamed protests in the Middle East
“We have 275 posts around the world. We have more than 60,000 people. We live in a dangerous, risky … environment today in many places around the world and we are constantly calculating, particularly led by our security professionals, about what needs to be done, where assets need to be.” Clinton says.