World Bulletin / News Desk
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton assumed responsibility on Monday for last month's deadly attack on the US diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, which has become an issue in the hard-fought US presidential campaign.
"I take responsibility" for what happened on September 11, Clinton said in an interview with CNN during a visit to Peru, adding that President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden would not be responsible for specific security instructions for US diplomatic facilities.
"I'm in charge of the State Department's 60,000-plus people all over the world," Clinton said.
"The president and the vice president wouldn't be knowledgeable about specific decisions that are made by security professionals. They're the ones who weigh all of the threats and the risks and the needs and make a considered decision."
Clinton's comments followed stepped-up criticism of the Obama administration over the Benghazi attack, which Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney has sought to use to dent Obama's foreign policy credibility before the Nov. 6 election.
Republicans in particular have focused on the Obama administration's shifting explanations for the attack, which Clinton said in two separate television interviews on Monday were the result of "the fog of war."
"Remember, this was an attack that went on for hours," Clinton told Fox News. "There had to be a lot of sorting out. ... Everyone said, here's what we know, subject to change."
The administration initially attributed the violence to protests over an anti-Islam film and said it was not premeditated. Obama and other officials have since said the incident was a terrorist attack.
The Benghazi assault, and the Obama administration's response, has become a contentious election issue and Clinton's comments came a day before the second presidential debate.
"What I want to avoid is some kind of political 'gotcha' or blame game going on," Clinton told CNN.
"I know that we're very close to an election. I want to just take a step back here and say from my own experience, we are at our best as Americans when we pull together. I've done that with Democratic presidents and Republican presidents."
Romney has accused the administration of not providing adequate security to American diplomats and misrepresenting the nature of the attack, which resulted in the death of US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
Berlin 'puts Russia first under the obligation' to implement nationwide cessation of hostilities in Syria
Greece has one month to 'establish an action plan to remedy the deficiencies... (and) within three months of the same date, it shall report on the implementation'
'Our camp at Kidal was attacked by terrorists early Friday morning. We fought back but two peacekeepers were killed and 30 others injured,' a source says
About 800 farmers from Crete clashed with police guarding the entrance to the Agriculture Ministry
‘We feel that sets back the overall effort, what we're trying to achieve on the ground,’ says State Dept.
A Russian delegation headed by deputy PM visits Baghdad hoping to cultivate Iraq market for fighter jets and military hardware
Lawmakers will begin to meet on Tuesday to create zones where FARC members will be able to surrender their arms.
War of words erupt after Russia claims US struck Aleppo
Rwanda government has announced that it will be relocating about 75000 Burundi refugees reports local newspaper the New Times.
South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has re-appointed his rival Riek Machar as vice president
'If implemented fully and properly fully... this will be an important step towards relieving the killing and suffering in Syria,' UK foreign secretary says
The Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has warned of the likelihood of a permanent or "world war" if a solution for the Syrian conflict is not found and U.S. and Arab ground forces get involved in the conflict.
John Brennan claims ISIL has the ability to make small amounts of mustard or chlorine gas for weapons, and even has used the chemical weapons already
Defense secretary says US agrees with Turkey in opposing terrorism after row over refusal to denounce PKK's Syrian affiliate
Jean-Marc Ayrault, former prime minister, is picked to succeed leaving Laurent Fabius
The main opposition party's foreign affairs spokesman says union gives Britain 'louder voice' in world