About a month after Libyan Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were murdered during a four to five-hour firefight with what has been termed Libyan terrorists, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claims total responsibility for the failure to sufficiently protect the Libyan embassy compound. Clinton said the bucks stops with her when it comes to who is to blame for a deadly assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi. “I take responsibility” for what happened on Sept. 11, Clinton said in an interview with CNN’s Elise Labott soon after arriving in Lima, Peru for a visit. However, President Obama has sidestepped the issue of why the Libyan Embassy was not given additional military support even after a cable requested the administration do so.
U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens wanted a Security Support Team, made up of 16 special operations soldiers, to stay with him in Libya after their deployment was scheduled to end in August, the commander of that security team told ABC News. According to a U.S. Officer, Eric Nordstrom, there was no reply to the cable asking for more security for Benghazi. Vice President Biden has denied any knowledge of the request. Eric Nordstrom also stated that a state department official, Charlene Lamb, wanted to keep the personnel in Benghazi, according to a memo summarizing his comments that was obtained by Reuters. Nordstrom, as well as Lamb, were interviewed by a Congressional committee investigating the attack last month on the U. S. mission in Benghazi. The top intelligence authority, the Office of National Intelligence, says that the murders were an organized terrorist attack, but the terrorists have not yet been identified.
Although Hillary Clinton has broad shoulders and attempts to take responsibility for the Benghazi massacre, since Harry Truman it has been an accepted Presidential policy that “The buck stops here” with the President. Although President Obama’s official position is that as President he is responsible for everything, many are concerned that he and Vice President Joe Biden deny any knowledge of a need for additional security or a request for additional security in Benghazi. Even though every little detail around the world does not reach Presidential attention, it is hard to believe that, with two prior attacks – one blowing a huge hole in the embassy and the Internet posts that the embassy was going to be attacked – the information did not reach the President in some kind of daily national security briefing.
By D. Lindley Young