Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

A man looks at documents at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, after an attack that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012. The graffiti reads, "no God but God," " God is great," and "Muhammad is the Prophet." The American ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were killed when a mob of protesters and gunmen overwhelmed the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, setting fire to it in outrage over a film that ridicules Islam's Prophet Muhammad. Ambassador Chris Stevens, 52, died as he and a group of embassy employees went to the consulate to try to evacuate staff as a crowd of hundreds attacked the consulate Tuesday evening, many of them firing machine-guns and rocket-propelled grenades. (Ibrahim Alaguri/AP)
A man looks at documents at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, after an attack that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012. The graffiti reads, "no God but God," " God is great," and "Muhammad is the Prophet." The American ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were killed when a mob of protesters and gunmen overwhelmed the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, setting fire to it in outrage over a film that ridicules Islam's Prophet Muhammad. Ambassador Chris Stevens, 52, died as he and a group of embassy employees went to the consulate to try to evacuate staff as a crowd of hundreds attacked the consulate Tuesday evening, many of them firing machine-guns and rocket-propelled grenades. (Ibrahim Alaguri/AP)

Clinton takes responsibility for handling of Libya attack Add to ...

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told CNN on Monday that she will take the blame for any shortcomings in the handling of an attack last month on the U.S. mission in the Libyan city of Benghazi.

“I take responsibility,” she said, according to the news network, which interviewed her during a visit to the Peruvian capital Lima.

More Related to this Story

According to the CNN website, she added that with the U.S. presidential election drawing near, “I want to avoid some kind of political gotcha.”

President Barack Obama has come under fire from his critics over the attack, which left four Americans dead, and Ms. Clinton’s move will be seen as an attempt to take the heat off him three weeks before he bids for re-election.

On September 11, heavily-armed militants stormed the consulate compound in Benghazi and attacked an annex housing U.S. personnel, killing the four Americans including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens.

In the immediate aftermath of the deaths, U.S. administration officials said that it appeared to be linked to protests in the Muslim world against a film shot by U.S.-based activists deemed insulting to the Islamic faith.

But it has since emerged that the prime suspects in the attack, now seen as a deliberate assault, are Islamist militants with links to al-Qaeda.

State Department officials have testified at a congressional hearing that their requests for additional security in Benghazi were turned down by their superiors within Ms. Clinton’s department.

Ms. Clinton said that the buck stopped with her on security decisions and played down the significance of the initial communication error, according to CNN, saying there is always “confusion” in the first hours after an attack.

Mr. Obama’s Republican rival in the November 6 vote, Mitt Romney, has accused the administration of giving a muddled response betraying a failed Middle East policy, and some of his supporters have gone so far as to allege a cover-up.

The candidates are to meet in a crunch debate on Tuesday, and Ms. Clinton’s intervention appears to have been timed to deflect attention from the White House as voting day looms and the polls show the race on a knife edge.

Follow us on Twitter: @globeandmail

In the know

Most popular video »

Highlights

More from The Globe and Mail

Most Popular Stories