Hillary Clinton to the Benghazi Committee: 'I took responsibility'

Hillary Clinton answers questions before a panel at the Benghazi hearing on October 22, 2015.
(Image credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

In her opening statement before the House Select Committee on Benghazi, Hillary Clinton asserted that she had already taken responsibility for the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. She painted a portrait of Ambassador Chris Stevens, one of four Americans killed that day, noting that she knew them personally. While she made it clear that Stevens was aware of the dangers of Libya and was a willing volunteer for his post, she also admitted she had a role in the tragedy:

"I was the one who asked Chris to go to Libya as our envoy," Clinton said. "After the attacks I stood next to President Obama as Marines carried his casket off the plane at Andrews Air Force Base. I took responsibility."

But Clinton also stressed that being an ambassador is dangerous work, particularly in unstable regions of the world, and that Stevens was aware of those risks. "Chris Stevens understood that diplomats must operate in many places where our soldiers do not, where there are no other boots on the ground, and where safety is far from guaranteed. In fact, he volunteered for those assignments," Clinton said. She concluded that, "I am here, despite all the previous investigations [...] to honor those we lost and to do what I can to aid those who serve us still."

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Jeva Lange

Jeva Lange was the executive editor at TheWeek.com. She formerly served as The Week's deputy editor and culture critic. She is also a contributor to Screen Slate, and her writing has appeared in The New York Daily News, The Awl, Vice, and Gothamist, among other publications. Jeva lives in New York City. Follow her on Twitter.