Kentucky’s junior senator, Republican Rand Paul, fired a salvo of pointed questions at Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today, as she appeared before Senate and House committees to defend her role in last year’s attack against the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which left four Americans dead.
Senator Paul referred to Secretary Clinton’s claim that she was unaware of Ambassador Stevens’ repeated requests for more security at the U.S. Embassy in Libya as “inexcusable,” and “a failure of leadership.” He went on to describe her conduct as “negligent,” and said that if he were president, he would have relieved her of her post.
“I think ultimately…you accept the culpability for the worst tragedy since 9/11,” Paul said. “Had I been president at the time and I had found that you had not read the cables from Benghazi, you had not read the cables from Ambassador Stevens,” he continued, “I would have relieved you of your post.”
Accusing Secretary Clinton of being “directly responsible” for the loss of lives in the September 11, 2012 attacks, Sen. Paul suggested, “Not to know of the requests for security really, I think, cost these people their lives.” Stating that he did not suspect Clinton of “bad motives,” the Senator concluded, “…it’s a failure of leadership not to be involved. It’s a failure of leadership not to know these things.”
Sen. Paul: “One of the things that disappointed me most about the original 9/11 is that no one was fired. We spent trillions of dollars, but there were a lot of human errors. These are judgment errors and the people who make judgment errors need to be replaced, fired, and no longer in the position of making these judgment calls.
“So, we have a review board – review board finds 64 different things that we can change. A lot of them are common sense and should be done, but the question is it’s a failure of leadership that they weren’t done in advance. And four lives were cost because of this.
“I’m glad that you’re accepting responsibility. I think that, ultimately, with your leaving, you accept the culpability for the worst tragedy since 9/11. And I really mean that.”