WASHINGTON, (UPI) — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a Senate panel she did not see requests for extra security in Libya prior to the Sept. 11 attack.
She also said she did not deny any requests, and procedures were being put in place that any future secretary would see security messages.
Clinton’s voice broke with emotion as she talked about the families of the victims of the Libyan terror attack.
U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the attack on the Benghazi consulate Sept. 11, the 11th anniversary of the terror attacks on New York and Washington.
“I directed our response from the State Department,” she told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Citing an administrative review board report, she said there were “no delays in decision-making, no denials of support from the Pentagon or the administration … the board said our response saved lives and it did.”
She also stressed that on the day of the attack, “In that same period, we were seeing violent attacks on our embassies” across North Africa. She cited a demonstration in Cairo in which protesters were trying to come over the U.S. Embassy walls.
Clinton said the United States must still be represented in dangerous places.
“Let me underscore the importance of the United States continuing to lead in North Africa and around the world,” she said. ” That is why I sent Chris Stevens to Libya. … He knew the risks … [but] they cannot work in bunkers and do their jobs. That’s why we must do everything possible” to give them security.
Clinton also said the attack didn’t happen in a vacuum, citing the problems created within the security apparatus of the region caused by the various government revolutions.
Clinton, her voice breaking, said to her the attack was personal, noting she stood beside President Obama as the caskets of the four people killed in the attack, including Stevens, were returned to the United States.