Late last night we received word that Hillary Clinton – not President Obama – was accepting full responsibility for the security lapses that led to the successful assassination of four Americans in Benghazi.
Falling on the sword for the administration during a tough re-election bid, Clinton today told a CNN reporter “I take responsibility” for security ahead of the attacks.
Notice consistent use of the phrase ‘the buck stops with her’.
This is clearly an attempt to deflect criticism being aimed at the White House ahead of the second Presidential debate scheduled for tomorrow night.
Now, U.S. Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Kelly Ayotte have responded to the ‘laudable gesture’, pointing out the unlikelihood that the President was unaware of the rising security risks in Libya.
“We have just learned that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has claimed full responsibility for any failure to secure our people and our Consulate in Benghazi prior to the attack of September 11, 2012. This is a laudable gesture, especially when the White House is trying to avoid any responsibility whatsoever.
“However, we must remember that the events of September 11 were preceded by an escalating pattern of attacks this year in Benghazi, including a bomb that was thrown into our Consulate in April, another explosive device that was detonated outside of our Consulate in June, and an assassination attempt on the British Ambassador. If the President was truly not aware of this rising threat level in Benghazi, then we have lost confidence in his national security team, whose responsibility it is to keep the President informed. But if the President was aware of these earlier attacks in Benghazi prior to the events of September 11, 2012, then he bears full responsibility for any security failures that occurred. The security of Americans serving our nation everywhere in the world is ultimately the job of the Commander-in-Chief. The buck stops there.
“Furthermore, there is the separate issue of the insistence by members of the Administration, including the President himself, that the attack in Benghazi was the result of a spontaneous demonstration triggered by a hateful video, long after it had become clear that the real cause was a terrorist attack. The President also bears responsibility for this portrayal of the attack, and we continue to believe that the American people deserve to know why the Administration acted as it did.”