An emotional and frustrated Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton traded barbs with legislators on Capitol Hill in her appearances Wednesday before Senate and House committees searching for answers in the attacks in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012, that killed a U.S. ambassador and three security personnel.
Clinton's day began first thing on Wednesday morning when she appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and will end later in the day before the House committee.
"I take responsibility," Clinton told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "Nobody is more committed to getting this right. I am determined to leave the State Department and our country safer, stronger and more secure." more >>
The State Department report on the Benghazi attacks of Sept. 11 in Libya that killed an American ambassador and three others revealed some damaging information, concluding that "systemic failures" left U.S. facilities unprotected. It could also leave Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with some political baggage should she choose to run for president in 2016.
Many political pundits view Clinton, who is expected to step down from the top diplomatic post as soon as President Obama is set to name a replacement, as the leading Democrat to win the White House in 2016. Now that the report places much of the blame at the feet of the State Department, it could spell trouble for a potential campaign.
She was expected to testify in Thursday's open congressional hearings, but claimed she fell ill and suffered a concussion in a fall that has left her out of the public spotlight for the time being. more >>
The White House sent United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to gauge the response of Senate Republicans to her potential nomination to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She met behind closed doors with Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C), all of whom have been critical of her over comments she made following the Sept. 11 attacks in Libya.
Rice, who was accompanied by acting CIA Director Michael Morell, tried to explain to the senators why she blamed the attacks that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others on an amateur video posted on YouTube.
The meeting lasted approximately 90 minutes but seemed to elicit more questions than answers. more >>
Congressional leaders are seeking answers on why government agencies withheld information that the nation's security may have been compromised over the affair between former CIA Director David Petraeus and his biographer, Army Reserve Officer Paula Broadwell. In other words, they want to know who knew what and when.
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) says news of the affair was like "a lightning bolt."
In an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Feinstein questioned why committee chairmen and vice-chairmen of the Intelligence Committees in both chambers were not notified sooner. more >>
From battleships to bayonets, President Obama tried to give Mitt Romney a lesson in foreign policy in Monday night's final presidential debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla. However, just hours before the debate began, the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll found Obama's national security lead over Romney had dwindled to a dead heat at 47-46 percent.
"One of the two candidates was responsible for killing Osama bin Laden and enjoys popularity overseas, while the other one bungled a European trip and has a thin résumé when it comes to international issues," wrote Sean Sullivan in Monday's Washington Post. "But based on the latest numbers, it would be difficult to tell one from the other."
Like in the second debate, Obama came out aggressive from the get-go, spending most of the night attempting to give Romney a lesson in foreign policy. It seemed somewhat of a flashback when four years ago, GOP nominee John McCain, a decorated war hero with years of foreign policy experience sought to school the new Illinois senator with no foreign policy experience. more >>
White House and State Department officials continue to take severe criticism for overestimating compound security at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya – with one email exchange between a reporter and a State Department aide deteriorating into expletives after the reporter continued to poke holes in the administration's story.
Even after administration officials were forced to change their story about the origin of the outbreak in Libya from one of happenstance to admitting the attacks were planned, some reporters continued to press the issue of how secure the U.S. embassy in Benghazi was, or if there was any at all.
One Sunday morning email conversation between BuzzFeed correspondent Michael Hastings and Philippe Reines, a longtime personal aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may have brought the tension on this issue between the media and Obama administration to head. more >>