(CNSNews.com) - There was a lot of human error involved in the disaster at Benghazi, as a later investigation found -- but also a "failure of leadership," Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told Hillary Clinton on Wednesday.
He noted that an independent Accountability Review Board board made 64 recommendations for change. "A lot of them are common sense and should be done, but the question is -- it's a failure of leadership that they weren't done in advance, and four lives were cost because of this.
"I'm glad that you're accepting responsibility," Paul continued: "I think that ultimately with your leaving, you accept the culpability for the worst tragedy since 9/11. And I really mean that. 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.
Clinton testified that she did not see the cables requesting beefed-up security in Libya: "I did not see these requests. They did not come to me. I did not approve them. I did not deny them," she said.
"I think it's inexcusable," Sen. Paul told her. "The thing is, is that -- we can understand that you're not reading every cable." Paul referred to several cables dealing with relatively trivial matters.
But, he added, "I think it's inexcusable that you did not know about this and that you did not read these cables. I would think by anyone's estimation, Libya has to have been one of the hottest of hot spots around the world. Not to know of the request for security -- really, I think cost these people their lives. Their lives could have been saved had someone been more available, had someone been aware of these things -- more on top of the job."
Paul said he doesn't suspect Clinton's motives -- he doesn't think she was willfully negligent -- "but it was a failure of leadership not to be involved."