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.


  • viewer wrote on January 23, 2013 02:46 PM :

    I agree 100 percent with Sen Paul today. I thought he asked very good questions in the hearing. I like it…

  • Cat Balz wrote on January 23, 2013 03:58 PM :

    I swear to Zeus that if this mendacious witch ever becomes President that I will move to a foreign country..that’s right, I’ll move to Miami.

  • Cumberland Gap wrote on January 24, 2013 09:14 AM :

    Paul is fabulous. Another strategic example of simpleton thinking to appeal to the Fox News crowd. Realistically, the Secretary of State can not and does not read every cable from the hundreds of embassy offices received every week. It’s impossible. That’s what a large staff does many levels down the line. But, it shows how Paul is able to convince people using one liners who have no clue about how it all works.

  • viewer wrote on January 24, 2013 10:01 AM :

    This hearing was a joke. Very few even tried to get answers of what happened. They get 5 mins a piece and most tried kissing up because they know she will be next president. Im tired of the games. Again, Im thankfull Sen Paul didnt fall in line and tell Clinton how great she is. This was a failure and people got killed. Not the biggest of which , they did everything they could to cover up the facts. Hell , I still dont know what happened. It didnt come out at the hearings yesterday. All I got was Hillary is a great American from the questioning her pals were asking. Congress is bought and sold , and they dont give you your money back.

  • Cat Balz wrote on January 24, 2013 02:00 PM :

    Well, gosh CG, of course a diplomatic cable from Paraguay is the same as a plea for help from Libya where we just bombed an Al Queda hating dictator from power thanks to Hillary’s urging. Leave the little lady alone, people, we’ll just put some ice on it and all will be fine.

  • Paul Hosse wrote on January 25, 2013 08:16 PM :

    Rand Paul was dead on. As the SoS, Hillary Clinton is responsible for her department. The buck stops with her. There was no reason repeated emails, cables (some marked “urgent”), and phone calls over the preceeding months and even days should have been ignored or treated as routine, not in a place like Libya. She failed to step up and take responsibility and people died.

  • cumberland gap wrote on January 26, 2013 10:31 AM :

    Ha all the cables from embassies say they need more staff, assistance, security, and funding but u Fox news zombies say we need less spending and more limited govt. Now u say we should have more and bigger when it suits your purpose. You mislead people very effectively

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