Rep. Duncan: ‘What Does the Word Responsibility Mean to You, Madam Secretary?’

January 23, 2013 - 6:44 PM

Clinton Libya

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton gestures as she testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(CNSNews.com) – Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton let the consulate in Benghazi become a “death trap” by denying security requests made by Ambassador Chris Stevens, and asked Clinton, “What does responsibility mean to you?”

“There was a request made for more security, and it was denied on June 7,” Duncan said during a hearing on Benghazi before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Wednesday.

“And so, Madam Secretary you let the consulate become a death trap.

“You said you take responsibility. What does responsibility mean Madam Secretary?” Duncan continued. “You’re still in your job. And there are four people at the Department of State who have culpability in this that are still in their jobs. I heard the answer about firing or removing personnel. I get that, but this was gross negligence.

“At what point in time in our administration and can our government fire someone whose gross negligence that left four Americans dead in Benghazi,” he said.  “What does the word responsibility mean to you, Madam Secretary?”

“I think I’ve made that very clear, Congressman,” Clinton said. “And let me say that we come here and made a very open, transparent presentation. I did not have to declassify the [Accountability Review Board] ARB.”

“I could have joined 18 of the other ARB’s under both Democratic and Republican administrations, kept it classified and then, you know, just said goodbye,” she said. “That’s not who I am. That’s not what I do. And I have great confidence that the Accountability Review Board did the job they were asked to do, made the recommendations that they thought were based on evidence, not on emotion.”

Duncan then interrupted, “There were a lot of evidence that led up to the security situation. You mentioned transparency. You haven’t provided the call logs of the messages, instant messages during the attack between the post and the operation center.”

“In an air of transparency, will you release these communications between Benghazi, Tripoli and Washington?” he asked.

“I will get an answer to you on that, but I will tell you once more, the reason we have Accountability Review Boards is so that we take out of politics, we take out emotion, what happened, and we try to get to the truth,” Clinton said.

“I think this very distinguished panel did just that, and we are working diligently over time to implement their recommendations,” she said. “That is my responsibility. I’m going to do everything in can before I finish my tenure.”

The U.S. consulate in Banghazi, Libya, was attacked by terrorists on Sept. 11, 2012, and four Americans were killed, including the U.S. ambassador, Christopher Stevens. Clinton repeatedly said that she takes ultimate responsibility during her testimony before both the Senate and House committees on Wednesday.