In one of her final actions in her position, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations committee Wednesday morning to testify about the murders of four Americans in terrorist attacks at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi five months ago.
In Clinton’s first time testifying on Capitol Hill about her role handling the aftermath of the attacks, she said she took full responsibility for what happened and shed some light on her own involvement in the State Department’s actions:
I directed our response from the State Department and stayed in close contact with officials from across our government and the Libyan government. So I saw firsthand what Ambassador Thomas Pickering and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen called ???timely??? and ???exceptional??? coordination. No delays in decision-making. No denials of support from Washington or from the military. And I want to echo the Review Board???s praise for the valor and courage of our people on the ground ??? especially the security professionals in Benghazi and Tripoli. The Board said our response saved American lives in real time ??? and it did.
The very next morning, I told the American people that ???heavily armed militants assaulted our compound??? and vowed to bring them to justice. And I stood with President Obama as he spoke of ???an act of terror.???
Much of the controversy surrounding Benghazi has had to do with the timeline of events, and the inability of U.S. Defense and State officials to prevent a second attack, hours after the first, that was responsible for two of the four American deaths. Clinton appeared to rebut the claim that a delay in American response to the attacks could have been to blame for the successful second-wave attack.
Read the rest of the testimony here.