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tv   Your World With Neil Cavuto  FOX News  January 23, 2013 1:00pm-2:00pm PST

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level as accountable for the security failures of the beach gaza mission. you have said the numerous cables requesting and begging for additional resources sent by ambassador stevens everyone never seen by state officials above assistant secretary or deputy assistant secretary lamb but i know you care about the people that work with you in the department. given the fact your testimony is you never saw any of the multiple requests and no one above assistant secretary level saw the requests does that give you concern about the flow of information in the department and maybe some your people ability to get your attention. you said you get hundreds of thousands of cables all the time and the cables directly to you.
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you should have people that can prioritize and get to you the help and security that is necessary. president truman had a placard that said the buck stops here i know you have taken responsibility but i hope this is not another exercise in finding lower level bureaucrats that you will throw under the bus and get somewhere with this not about a game of gotcha ya. >> congressman, that is what i'm intent on doing. the a.r.b. has made the finding. the reason they are created is to take a dispassionate, independent view of what happens and come up with recommendations
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that are the responsibility of the department to implement. the a.r.b makes very clear that ambassador steven would knew more about libya than our government did not see a direct threat of an attack of this scale despite the trend of security problems we faced. i have to add, neither did the intelligence community. the a.r.b. makes that very clear that the intelligence community also did thought really zero in on the connection between the deteriorating threat environment in eastern libya and benghazi and a direct threat on our compound.
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we have work to do, to take in the information, making sure it gets to the right people and it isn't somehow stovepiped or stalled. that it does rise to decision-makers. i am committed to improving every way i can on what a.r.b. toll us to do on assessing our intelligence. i predict we will see all kind of threats not just to our government facilities but to private sector-facilities. in tunisia, although we protected our embassy, our school was badly damaged. we have to take a broader view. the a.r.b. gives us a start. it is not the whole story.
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>> thank you secretary clinton for yourto securing america's place in the world the past four years. and your contributions to world peace. the first question these do with accountability review board report that identifies specifically people who were found to have engaged in the department and systematic failures and deficiencies. i want to be clear. you were not one those people, is that correct? >> that is correct. it was said great a report in the 1990's the secretary should take an active role in security. have you done that at state department? >> i am very attuned to the environment in which threats are occurring, the intelligence that is available.
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>> is there anyone now in existence who is responsible for reviewing the itineraries of ambassadors in advance in order to determine whether there is a threat to their safety? >> the general answer is "no." ambassadors are given what is calls chief of mission authority. ambassadors especially those who we asked to go to dangerous posts. most of them make their own decisions. chris stevens did not ask anyone for permission to go to benghazi. robert ford who served as owe around to syria went out on numerous occasions to talk to the opposition before we pulled him out of damascus. we had very brave ambassadors like crocker, one of our very
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best, who would be very difficult to say, you cannot go do this although you decided you should. what we are trying to do is to create a more ongoing discussion between our ambassadors, our bureaus back in the state department who are regional experts and our security. >> with regard to ambassador stevens it was bray of him to go do benghazi on date he did. was there anything on the 10th or 11th that specifically required his personally presence? >> he certainly thought so. he did discuss this with his own security people. we do have regional security officers in the posts. that is who an ambassador turns to. he believes it was important to
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go before benghazi. there were a number of meetings and some public events he had on his schedule. as the a.r.b. points out high was given great deference by the rest of government. do you have any concept of the number of troops it would take to create a secure environment to benghazi september 10 and 11? >> no, the number of diplomatic security personnel requested in the cables was five. there were five that night. there was a mutual understanding with the annex that had a much more armed presence because of
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the work they did if the region. it is very difficult to anticipate what might have been one of the rso's would served in libya said the kind of attack the compound suffered was not anticipated. we got used to preparing if car bombs and suicide bombers and things like that but this was of a different nature. we last two of our best and had one of our diplomatic security officers badly injured and he is still at wall december -- wall december -- walter reed. even the an next suffered losses that night.
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>> the representative from pennsylvania. >> good afternoon. in august of 2012, prior to the beach gaza attack the library of congress published a report on behalf of a division of d.o.d. called al qaeda and libya profile that outlinedback quarterback's growing presence if libya particularly east libya where benghazi is located. something especially alarming was the mention that al qaeda groups in libya have adopted the black flag which symbolizes commitment to violent jihad promoted by jakarr al qaeda. i hold a picture of the picture identified to be prominent issuing of this flag in libya. a hold a picture of the same type of flag in tunisia where
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the protesters were outside the embassy. i have a flag in cairo where demonstrations took place at the embassy. another picture in jordan of the united states embassy where protests took place. in bahrain over 2,000 protesters burned numerous united states and israeliing ins. again, at embassy. in kuwait, embassy 500 demonstrators chaned "obama we are osama bin laden." the flag again and fineally in libya, the flag was blown and carried through the streets this, as well. my question, madam secretary, were you aware of the d.o.d. report prior to the terrorist attack in benghazi? >> i was certainly aware of a
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number of reports from threw our government. i don't know the specific report you refer to. there were d.o.d. reports and intelligence and community reports and state department reports talking about the decreasing or the increasing threat enenvironment in eastern libya. that was what we were trying to address with the libyans. remember, the election in july in libya brought to victory what we would consider moderates, people who had a very different view of the kind of future certainly than al qaeda or the militants but there is going to be a struggle in this region and the united states has to be as effective in partnering with the non-jihadist whether they fly a black flag or any other flag.
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>> i understand this but this is pointed out to be affiliated with al qaeda terrorist whose attack and kill united states citizens citizens and other citizens from the united states around the world. did anyone in your department, were they aware of the report and photos prior to and should they have brought this to your attention? >> what i am trying to say congressman, i am well aware there were people claiming to be associated with al qaeda that were attempting to influence militias, attempting to exercise more authority along with a number of other groups that didn't necessarily work under that flag but had the same militant jihadist mentality. i was certainly aware of that. so was chris stevens. so is our team in libya. >> but the flag kept coming up and you did not thing that was important enough to increase security when after how many
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embassies had the flag shown in demonstration. i would think it would demand an increase in security and those below you that might have then this should have brought it to your attention. i come from industry, i come from government and there are victims that have to be cut loose when they are not performing. are the they people on leave, are they still being paid? author on leave and under federal law they are still being paid. >> what is the hold up? >> there are regulations and laws to be followed. >> what is the hold up from management perspective of saying you three let me down, this should have been brought do my attention i for longer need your services. >> congressman i am happy to give you an answer because personnel discussions are not appropriate for public setting but we have taken every step that was available and we will continue to did so and we are looking if additional authority. to finish up on points you made, we had good security at all of
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those embassies other than if tunisia because of the newness of the government and when they were asked to respond they did. i go back to the point made on the other side of the aisle we are dependent on host governmentss' support. where it does not exist unless we invade or have a big military presence we are doing the best we can with our diplomatic security and private security guards and any other help we can get. >> thank you madam secretary for the work you have done here in the united states and across the world. i have to say that because it is true. i don't think my wife, my 16-year-old daughter, or my nine-year-old daughter, she would turn on me and not let me in the house if i didn't say
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that, you are a hero to many especially women you bring out the deep aspirations they have in ways i have never seen before so thank you for your service i was reading about a murder, i was a jazz -- jesuit and i was in salvador and there were several priests that were murdered and a husband keeper and her young 15-year-old daughter who i knew because i worked with them, and i felt pain when i heard they died after i had left the jesuits.
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so you being a superior of the people who died i am sure felt the same way. that is why i am glad we brought up the names. it is important to mention the names of ambassador stevens, because many of white house have faith believe they did not die in vain. i am proud you are here bravely standing before us trying to figure out what to do. i am troubled by the reliance on local security. in san diego we have the marine corps and the navy and good security and service people. why don't we rely more on them? >> that is an excellent question and you brought back sad peopleries talking about the losses that occurred in el salvador. we rely primarily on host nation
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support but we have to take a harder look at the commitment and the capacity of the host nations. we have private security guards, some armed and unaveraged and marine guards at many places, 150, who at least are demonstrating a line of defense. we have to do more. when you ask, why do we rely on these? in part, because we don't have military assets everywhere. if you look at the statements by admiral mullen who was our chairman of our joint chiefs he said we have to work together more closely between state and d.o.d. but it is unrealistic to tether our military to every high risk post.
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how do we make our facilities as secure as possible without turning them into a fortress because our diplomats are not soldiers? how do we have reliable private security. the february 17 brigade was a libyan government-supported militia that started defending christmas stevens when he showed up before muammar qaddafi fell. they were reliable. they were responsive. they were not particularly available during those first minutes and hours of the attack on our compound. we contracted with a private security company. unless we go to a company with massive military force we follow the rules of the country. we had to get a security force that had a permit from the libyan government all issues
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being looked at to try to fill the gaps. >> last thing, you said we have not done enough promoting ourselves around the countries, but i think you have, you have done a fantastic job and other than president kennedy i don't know anyone that had a better image if latin america so we thank you. >> thank you very much, congressman. >> mr. duncan of south carolina. >> madam secretary, members are frustrateed. frustrated over the handling of benghazi and what happened when four americans died, they are frustrateed and down right angry about being what they think being misled about what really happened there, being told this was a protest over a video not just if a couple of days but for weeks. they are frustrated when they see comments from you this morning when you said what difference at this point does it make? i tell you what difference: it
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makes a difference weapon americans think they were misled about something for political reasons. you mentioned we were clear eyed of the threats and dangers as they developed in libya. if you were clear eyed about the level of threat to our consulate in benghazi or our special mission in benghazi you should have known about stevens memo of august saying the consulate could not be defended from a coordinated attack. did he expect an attack? if you were clear eyed why didn't your department reject the request on 7 june .
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now, madam secretary, were you clear skyed about the al qaeda displeasure of who we were supporting during the summer elections, the moderate this was elected? if you were clear eyed should you have known that al qaeda was free in and around benghazi? my friend from pennsylvania pointed out there were al qaeda flags at protest and flying all over benghazi. if you were clear eyed, were you clear eyed when brits left benghazi because they had the attack? why did four americans die? what was so important that ambassador stevens would knew there was a security threat in benghazi, he went there on september 10 and 11 and gave his life for our country. what was so important to go to
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eastern libya knowing all the threats and knowing the memos were clear and you misspoke earlier when you said you didn't know of any requests that were denied for more security june 7 e-mail exchange between ambassador stevens and another who one msd team or additional msd team and the reply was "unfortunately, msd cannot support the request." this was a request made if more security and it was denied on june 7. madam secretary, you let the consulate become a death trap. that is national security malpractice. you said you take responsibility. what does "responsibility" mean? you are still in your job. there are four people at the department of state that have culpability that have still in their jobs. i heard the answer of fire or removing personnel. i get that but this is gross
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negligence. when can we fire someone whose gross negligence left four members dead in benghazi? what does the word "responsibility" mean to you, madam secretary? >> i think i have made that very clear, congressman. let me say we have come here and made a very open, transparent presentation. i did nut have to declassify the a.r.b. i could have joined 18 of the others under democratic and republican administrations kept it classified and then just said goodbye. that is not who i am. that is not what i do. i have great confidence that the accountability review board did the job they were asked to do, made the recommendations they thought were based on evidence, taught on emotion. >> there was a lot of evidence, reclaiming my time, there was a
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lot of time that led up to the security situation. >> i am sorry, congressman. >> you mention transparency, you have not provided the call logs or memorials between the post and the time of attack, an arab transparency where you released the communications between benghazi, tripoli, and washington, dc. >> i get an answer to you on that but i will tell you once more, the reason we have accountability review boards is so we take out politics and take out emotion what happened and we try to get to the truth. this very distinguished panel did just that. we are working dill scently overtime to implement their recommendations. that is my responsibility. i will do everything i can before i finish my tenure and i would also, going back to your first point and about the concerns that people have expressed about statements made, i refer you both to the
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unclassified version of the a.r.b. where after months of research and talking to more than 100 witnesses, the picture is still very complicated about what happened that night. there are key questions, and i quote, "surrounding the identity, action s and motivation of the perpetrators" that remain to be determined and i wreck everyone read the classified version that goes into greater detail that i can thought speak to here today. >> the terrorist attack is clear what the motivation was. >> more schneider. >> thank you for opening up the a.r.b. reports and i extend my own personal gratitude for your service. you did our nation well and made our people proud. you have done an extraordinary job as our top diplomat and will be missed. the benghazi attack claims the live of four brave americans including ambassador stevens would had done so much to liberate the libyan people.
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despite the risk he returns as our ambassador because he knew the important work of building a new libya remained unfinished. america's diplomatic corps dedicated their lives to promoting america's interest abroad and put themselves in danger to seven their country. we know the jobs are not without risk we must do more to support our diplomats. i am pleased the state department conduct add serious investigation and i appreciate you have stated you will accept each of the 29 review board recommendations. the state department is increasingly operating if high threat locations throughout the world requiring our diplomats to be stationed further afield and closer to danger on the ground. this raises the security risk based by our diplomats and development experts but places a strain on existing resources. as we move forward how will the state department evaluate the benefits to u.s. interests from having an official presence in a
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given location versus the security faced by the diplomatic myths in how do you expect the department will weigh the physical and technological personnel and political costs opposed to the gain of operating in front-line states? last, what changes do you think the demands will require as far as people and other resources. >> very important questions and i cannot do justice to them in the time remaining but we will get you additional written information. congressman, i ordered the first ever diplomacy and development review because i said i served on the armed services committee where we get every four years a quade drone -- a review to lay the ground work. i wanted to do the same for the state department. in that document we began a difficult analysis of how to
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ball and mitigate risk versus presence. it was one of the most challenging aspects of the process for the qdr and we have an effort underway. if you talk to many of our ambassadors especially the experiences ambassadors, they do caught in want to be told by washington where they can go, when they can go, what they can do. they have been in the foreign service 10, 20, 30, or more years and they have a better sense of evaluating risk. at the same time, we do have to be conscious of and make difficult decisions about how to protect not just ambassadors but all of our personnel and their families in the high risk posts. it is a constant debate, congressman. we have authorized departure the we have ordered departure. we take it very seriously when
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we do it. when we left benghazi on the night of the 11th and the 12 the there were others there. tucks and the italians. people evaluate risk overtime and it is important to do what we can to minimize it. some of that will be done by technology. some of it will be done by hard security and some of it will be done by soft power but trying to get the balance right is very difficult. >> as we hook forward to the steps taken how do we ensure, will we be available to provide the resources to the high risk posts? >> very difficult. that is a question of new streamlined processes and protocols sufficient security, both hard and soft, and
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resources. we have to ask you, based on our best assessment about what we need to do our jobs. sometimes you have a budget process and no one has predicted you will have a revolution against muammar qaddafi. then you have to scramble. how do you get someone this benghazi? how do you figure what to do in tripoli? i could go down the line and tell you 10 or 20 of those examples. it is more of an art than a science. as of through we don't have hard parameters but we are trying to develop the best we can. >> madam secretary i understand you have a meeting at the white house but have agreed to stay so members can have a few more questions. we will end by 5:00 and we appreciate that. now to mr. kissinger of illinois. >> thank you for staying.
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i appreciate it and appreciate your service to your country. as mentioned we look forward to your next steps. let me just say i am an air force pilot. i have a few concerns to lay out. the first thing i was told as a pilot in the military, color country will never look you behind if you find yourself down enemy line, your country will move heaven and earth to get you. if you are in armed conflict rest assured your country will do everything in its power to come save you from that armed conflict. as a representative of the administration i have to ask you this: from the initial attack to the second attack there was a lull of seven hours. i will say this i was one of a handful of republicans to vote to support the president's position in libya. we did the right thing there. i did it with the knowledge we would have the military forces if blaze to be able to rescue personnel in a tough situation. if that intervening seven hours military assets of what we know
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we can talk about were not put in place. the airbase is 1,144 miles, which is an f-15 airbase and ape could -- and airplane could have been put in the air and there are nonviolent things the ape could have done. originally when you briefed us i remember and this has been hammered a little bit, but when you preferred us you said this was a result of a video and i remember you got upset about it when someone suggested it was a terrorist attack, that was our briefing. but we find out now it wasn't. we find out now it wasn't a video it was a terrorist attack. when we talk about the issue of the drone and the surveillance overhead, if there was a drone overhead i would assume there would be a levering -- link you would watch it live or someone
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under you could watch it live or the link was down. another question, when it comes to, i watched your testimony in the senate, you said part of the reason we have a delay in understanding what was going on we did not have immediate access to the security cameras but at the same time you had mortars being reported as being fired on security personnel. if i would hear mortars are being fired i would immediately assume regardless of whether i could see what was going on, regardless if i could see the security footage this is more than a spontaneous demonstration the other question and i am laying a few out, the foreign response team, was that your decision not to deploy that right away? what that an issue of logistics? finally, as a believer which i think you believe we are in a time where it is very important for american leadership to be
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out in front to prevent a resurgence of al qaeda activity, and there is so. concern about security in the most hot zone in the world i worry about a leave from behind strategy and if we have no asset on alert that can respond in seven hour lull in two different attacks in the most hot spot, one of the most hot spots in the country or in the world, on 9/11 the anniversary, is the lead from behind strategy failing? i really want american leadership to be strong. i believe in freedom. i believe we are the people that can take freedom around the globe. with that i give back you the
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remaining minute. >> i thank now your service, congressman. there was a lot packed into that. let me see what i can cover quickly and get theist to you in writing. d.o.d. took every action it could take starting from the time the president directed secretary panetta and chairman dempsey to do so. again, i turn to the a.r.b. because that is a factually based finding. the board found no evidence of any undue delay in decisionmaking or denial of support from washington or from military combatant commanders. quite the contrary. the safe evacuation of all u.s. government personnel from benghazi 12 hours after the initial attack and then to germany was the result of exceptional response and saved the lives of two severely wounded americans. having said that it is very important we do more to coordinate with d.o.d. along the
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lines of what you are talking about. who knows what will be facing us in the next months and years. with respect to the video, i did not say it was about the video of libya. with respect to predator feed or video of the attack, we could not see that at the state department. >> that eventually got to us. i will give you more information about that. i think it is important to understand how this happened. as you know, congressman, the
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annex was not under our -- my authority. so information was flowing in to another agency. more than one other agency. those people were incredibly brave but overwhelmed as well. >> mr. kennedy of massachusetts. >> thank you, mr. chairman, madam secretary, thank you for what i can only describe has a truly exemplary career in public service. and dedication to public service. >> thank you. >> i look forward to what the future holds for you as well. i have two broad-based questions for you if i can, madam secretary. you now have obviously held this office for four years. we have seen the recent headlines throughout emerging threats from algeria and mali across northern africa, spreading out through the middle east around pakistan and afghanistan.
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i was hoping you might want to share important lessons that you learned from the time you spent in this post and enlighten us on what congress can do to help respond and get in front of the threats as you move forward. related to that, if i may, assuming that you are goingbe to say what you said a couple of times of increasing engagement at the ground level, how do we do that in areas that are unstable? where we need to depend on local governments or local security forces? that quite frankly we have seen don't have the ability to provide type of security that our diplomats will demand? >> congressman, wonderful to see you here. i thank you for your interest to looking in to the future. let me make a couple of point points.
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we have a lot of tools that we don't use as well as we should. we advocated the broadcasting arena in tv and radio considered old fashioned media are still very important in the ungoverned areas and difficult places we are trying to do business. i think we have to get our act together. i hope we pay attention to the broadcasting board of governors that is in desperate need of assistance, intervention and change. i think, too, social media is a great tool. we began industrying to use it much more in the state department and not to communicate with just leaders and officials but as you say get down in to the grass roo roots. i started two organizations to deal with countering violence
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extremism. one a new operation inside the state department that is staffed with the inner agency experts so i'm not saying anything that is classified but it's beginning to try to respond to al-qaeda and other jihadist propaganda. if they put up a video talking about how terrible americans are, we put up a video that talk about how terrible they are. we are trying to meet them in the media channels that they are communicating with we are at the beginning of an organization i helped to stand up the global counter terrorism forum. if we don't work with partners and understand more effectively how to counter violent extremism and stop recruiters, how to turn family and communities against the jihadist, there will be a constant flow of them. we have to be smarter than that. there are other things to share with you and others on the committee who are interested.
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it's not a perfect analogy but i would say that our fight against international communism against the soviet union in the cold war, we did a lot of things well. we kept people's hopes alive, communicated with freedom lover, advocate behind the iron curtain. we did it through media and we did it through the values. i think we have a similar challenge, even though it's a very different world. let's get smart about it and let's figure out how we are going to put some points on the board so to speak. dealing with the populations and the government. representative duncan's question took me by surprise because our op center does not do instant messaging st. reason you haven't got instant messaging we don't do instant messaging. i want to put that in the record and hope the staff or someone will convey it to him. >> thank you. go to mr. brooks of alabama.
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>> thank you for the time you spent with us and the senate. i'm sure it's been a long day. it's my experience that truth without creditability is meaningless. credibility once lost is difficult to reacquire. my concern is the degree to which false statements about benghazi have damaged america's credibility, not only here but also abroad. i don't focus on your statements in that regard. rather, i focus on some others. september 16, 2012, "meet the press" ambassador susan rice stated, "what happened in benghazi was in fact initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in cairo." almost a copycat of the demonstrations against our facility in cairo, which were prompted, of course, by the video." let me break the statement down to three parts if i might. it ask you to confirm based on
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the data we now have. whether her comments were true or false. is ambassador rice's statement that benghazi was a spontaneous response to cairo protest factually accurate? >> well, i think if you look at our finding, congressman, there is still we about what caused it. i don't want to mislead you in any way. that is not the weight of the evidence right now. i think until the f.b.i. completes the investigation we won't know all reasons why they showed up with weapons and stormed the compound. >> secretary clinton is ambassador's rice statement that benghazi was a copycat of the cairo demonstrations factually accurate? >> it turned out not to be because the cairo demonstrations were not ally armed and we did eventually get host nation security support. there were differences.
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but again, secretary rice conveyed information that had been provided by the intelligence community. and the interagency process. >> i'm not trying to go in to the process. i'm trying to determine what the truth is as best we know at this time. secretary clinton is ambassador rice's statement that benghazi was prompted by anti-muslim video," put on the internet in the united states factually accurate? >> i'd have to go back to my first answer, congressman and just say that we don't know all the motivations so i don't want to give a sweeping answer as to what prompting those men to come out that night and attack our compound. >> okay. well, on september 16, the very same day, u.n. ambassador susan rice made her statements to the american people and the world, libyan president mugariff said on npr, "the idea that the criminal and cowardly act was a spontaneous protest that it just spun out of control is completely unfounded and preposterous. we firmly believe that this
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was a precalculated, preplanned attack that was carried out specifically to attack the united states consulate." as we now know from everything i have read at least, the libyan president told the truth. contrast that with the statement by ambassador rice to the united nations. it forces one to wonder whether libya's intelligence but that much better than america's on september 16 or whether libyan leaders were that much more willing to be can dit or avoid misstatement misstatements. secretary clinton what evidence was there that was so compelling it caused the white house through ambassador susan rice to make the representations about spontaneous protest, anti-muslim videos and the like, despite evidence and statements of libya's own president to the contrary? she makes the statement on affirmative act on her part, where was the compelling evidence and what was it?
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>> congressman, i was not involved in the so-called "talking points" process. my understanding it was a typical process trying to get to the best information available. they are as i understand it working with the committee of jurisdiction to try to unpack that. i will say those including ambassador rice who spoke publicly to this terrible incident had the same information from the intelligence community. >> if i might interject. i appreciate your response so far. but if you are not familiar with any compelling evidence that would support the statements made by ambassador rice, who would know? >> well, there was evidence and it was sifted and analyzed by the intelligence community, which is why the intelligence community was the principal decideer about what went in
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the talking points. there was also the added problem nobody wanting to say anything to undermine the investigation. it's much more complex than we're giving credit for it. >> thank you for your time. >> the ranking member and i discussed going for three minutes for question from here on out. without objection that's what we'll do. mr. berra from california. >> secretary clinton, thank you for appearing before the committee today. new member of congress, i speak for all the freshmen, we are not going to get much time to serve with you, but we hope in a few years we get that chance to serve again. from my perspective, the tragedy of benghazi was the loss of the four american patriots. it was felt deeply in northern california; particularly around chris stevens. his family had deep roots in our community. the best way to honor that memory and service is to do
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our utmost to make sure the lessons of benghazi and do everything that we can to honor and protect our men and women around the world, in increasingly dangerous situation. you have been very forth right and forth coming with information and we truly appreciate that. much has been made today about the flow of information but i want to quote the former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff admiral mike mull whon said after the arb was issued as someone who has run large organizations and the secretary of state has been very clear about taking responsibility here, it was from my sper techtive, not reasonable in terms of having a specific level of knowledge that was very specifically resident in her staff. and over time certainly didn't bring that to her attention. that was admiral mike mullen.
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secretary, how many cables do you say arrive every year to the state department? # hadn't -- 1.4 million. can you tell me how long it takes to read 1.4 million cables? >> if i ever tried to read 1.4 million cables i don't think i'd be sitting here today. i'd probably be collapsed somewhere. i appreciated what admiral mullen said. when you sit on top of large organizations in his case the united states military, which is huge and in my case the state department and usa i.d., you put in place processes, and you have to trust the judgment and the good sense of the people in your organization. the 1.4 million cables, they come in the state department, you know, the tradition is they are all addressed to me. but the vast, vast majority are funneled through the processes to get to the right people. who are expected to take the right actions. 99.9% of the time people do.
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i want to reiterate that. it's incredible organization with dedicated people. particularly, our security professionals who have stopped so many attacks, protected so many people. but occasionally we see a serious problem like we sere and that is what we're trying to fix. >> thank you for your candor. >> thank you, sir. >> mr. tom cotton of arkansas. >> good afternoon, madam secretary. thank you for coming. >> we're happy to have you here and happy for your recovery. bring greetings from friends in arkansas. some of the piers on the other side discussed their ambitions for your future. it wish you would run in the democratic pay -- won the democratic primary in 2008. >> i did well. >> you did. you said on september 211, we will not rest until we track down and brought to justice the terrorists who murdered the four americans in benghazi. >> yes, sir. >> earlier today you said i hope the investigation is able
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to investigate and help those responsibilitresponsible. does the difference in that reflect the investigation? >> congressman, congratulations. good to see you here. >> thank you. >> it does not. i'm conscious about talking about f.b.i. investigation is something you have to be extremely careful about for obvious reasons. i think it's clear or i hope it's clear that president obama when he says we are going to bring people to justice, even if it takes time, he mean what is he says. obviously, the is conducting the investigation. what acts are take listen be determined in the future. >> what is the united states government position on the role of al-qaeda and islamic mugrab on attacks in benghazi? >> again, i am not going to prejudge what the f.b.i. determines. we know that there are al-qaeda related organizations. as we saw from the pictures that were held up throughout the region, including in american libbia. we know that people like we saw with the recent attacks in
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algeria like to associate themselves with al-qaeda. but we have to be careful what about that means. core al-qaeda has been depleted coming out of afghanistan and pakistan. what we are dealing with now is the jihadist who have been associated with al-qaeda and gained unfortunately very serious combat experience coming back to the countries they left to wage jihad in central asia. so whether they call themselves al-qaeda, or boca horam or ansar al-sharia, they are all part of the same global jihadist movement. there may be differences between them but the goals are unfortunately similar and pose threats to us and our partners. >> chairman and mr. poe referenced tunisian suspect released on january 8. in the "new york times."
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do you find it distressing they released the gentleman in light of the hundred of millions of aid we gave them in the last two years? >> at this point i do in the for two reasons. first, i had a long conversation with the high-ranking tucsonian officials about this as did director mueller of the f.b.i. when he was there in person. we have been assured that there was an effort to have rule of law, judicial process. sufficient evidence not yet available to be presented but a clear commitment made to us that they will be monitoring the whereabouts of him and we will hold them to that and watch it carefully. >> congressman from california. >> thank you, madam secretary. first, i want to compliment you on your exemplary service but more than that i want to say how much i have appreciated your openness, your thoughtfulness today, your transparency.
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what i'm struck with in this hearing is a greater appreciation of the courage of state department personnel. i think we are left with that understanding of just how courageous the personnel have been in taking on assignments that in the past never have been taken on before. you have ably presented to us why that is important. why it's important for emerging democracies that we be there. my question is similar to the one of congressman schneider's. that was, how do you make the analysis between riskbe and presence? what are some of the obstacles of making that? how do we move forward with that? how does the congress understand some of those, that kind of balance? >> this is my ongoing hope that we can get it more right
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than wrong. let me make a few points because it's an issue i hope the committee takes seriously. first of all, you have to remember that when we talk about the state department and diplomatic facilities, that covers, we are the umbrella for so many other agencies in our government. if we were not there, many of those agencies representatives would have a difficult time being there. i mean we are the diplomatic presence that permits us to pursue law enforcement objectives, intelligence objectives. military objectives and so much more. so this is not just us saying do we want the diplomats at risk? what are the equities of the rest of the government that would be effective if we decided we had to close shop because the risk was too great? i want to stress that, because i don't think you can
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understand at least from my perspective how difficult the calculation is without knowing that it's not just about the state department and usaid. secondly, i don't think we can retreat from the hard places. we have to harden our security presence but we can't retreat. we've got to be there. we have got to be pickbing up intelligence, information, building relationships. and if we had a whole table of some of the most experienced ambassadors sitting here today they'd speak with a loud chorus. hemp us be secure but don't shut us down or keep us behind high walls in bunkers so we can't figure out what is going on. >> time for two more questions. we will end at 5:00. mr. cook from california? >> thank you, madam secretary.
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i want to compliment you. it has been a long, long day. to survive all the questions and everything. it's been tough. i want to talk to you about the marine security guards. and this is from somebody who spent a long time in the marine corps. but not under the cognisance, part of d.o.d.or state department. you had some things in here about the additional -- excuse me. security guards detachments. >> yes. >> the question is about whether it's prudent to task organize those assets that are organ tic to you, and perhaps put them in the area that have the high threat level? if you could answer that, i would appreciate that. >> congressman, that is a very
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astute observation. i mean, we believe that we need to increase both our marine security guard detachments as well as our diplomatic security and create more synergy and operation in the high threat post. the marine security guards as you know are very, very much a presence on more than 150 of our posts. in order to give them the facilities and support they need, they feed a marine house. saw the movie "argo" you saw the marines in there destroying the classified material when the mob was outside in tehran. they are experts at that. they are people that are totally relied on by the entire mission.
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but historically the job is not personal security. we have to figure out working with d.o.d. and particularly with the marines, you know, and most of them are very young. you know i take pictures with them everywhere i go. and usually the sergeant is older, more experienced. but most of the marines on duty are quite young. we have to figure out how we really take advantage of their presence. that is a conversation we're in the midst of with the d.o.d. colleagues. with you experience i would welcome the insight on how we use the marine detachment better. >> go to grace from new york. >> congratulations, grace. >> thank you, mr. chairman and mr. ranking member and madam secretary. it's wonderful to see you here


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