Rand Paul accuses Clinton of 'failure of leadership' during Benghazi attacks

01/23/2013 02:13 PM

U.S. Senator Rand Paul on Wednesday accused U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of “failure of leadership” during the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, saying that her performance was grounds for dismissal.

“Had I been president at the time and I found that you did not read the cables from Benghazi, you did not read the cables from Ambassador Stevens, I would have relieved you of your post. I think it is inexcusable” Paul told Clinton during Paul’s first hearing on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

In a press release, Senator Paul’s office included the video of the exchange from CSPAN Wednesday morning:

Paul called the attack the worst against the United States since Sept. 11, 2001.

Clinton told Paul that four officials identified by the Accountability Review Board (ARB) have been removed from their jobs and placed on administrative leave during the administrative process to determine the next steps.

“The reason why this is complicated is because under federal statute and regulations, unsatisfactory leadership is not grounds for finding a breach of duty. The ARB did not find the individuals breached their duty,” Clinton told Paul (at 3:45 of the CSPAN video).

Paul said the review board and Clinton still have failed to address the issues that left the country vulnerable, specifically stationing military guards at embassies under the Defense Department’s control.

“Somebody needs to take leadership and with that leadership should be that you shouldn’t send them in with no marines, you shouldn’t send them in with the same ambassador or embassy staff you would have in Paris,” Paul said of the consulate’s office in Benghazi. (4:45)

Jacqueline Pitts

Jacqueline Pitts joined the cn|2 political team in June 2012. A graduate of WKU, Jacqueline grew up in Nashville, TN and is looking forward to having a front row seat to Kentucky politics. Follow Jacqueline on Twitter @Jacqueline_cn2. She can be reached at 502-792-1114 or jacqueline.pitts@twcnews.com.

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