With its commitment to to find answers tp what exactly happened in Benghazi on that night three weeks ago, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today underlined that the US govenrment will not rest until it tracks down the terrorists who killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and other consulate staff.
In her remarks in Washington DC, Ms. Clinton says active efforts are underway to determine who was responsible and bring them to justice.
“We have already formed an Accountability Review Board to examine this attack and to explore how we can prevent anything like this from happening in the future.” – Ms. Clinton
Ms Clinton says the board is beginning its work this week under the leadership of Ambassador Thomas Pickering.
The board’s mandate is to determine whether US security systems and procedures in Benghazi were appropriate in light of the threat environment, whether those systems and procedures were properly implemented, and any lessons that may be relevant to US government work around the world.
“The men and women who serve this country as diplomats deserve no less than a full and accurate accounting, wherever that leads.” – Ms. Clinton
She notes that she is committed to seeking that for them and for those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to the United States.
“No one wants to determine what happened that night in Benghazi more than the President and I do.” – Ms. Clinton
“And nobody will hold this Department more accountable than we hold ourselves, because we served with and we knew the four men we lost.” – Ms. Clinton
She says they are not just names or profiles to them. They are their colleagues and their friends.
According to Ms. Clinton, in their initial reviews over the past two weeks, the US government has worked closely with other agencies, and they have learned a number of things.
“We will continue to learn more in the days to come.” – Ms. Clinton
The United States is committed to a process that is as transparent as possible while balancing the needs of the investigations underway.
She says it will take time before they have a complete understanding of what actually did happen.
However, Ms. Clinton says she asking the board to move as quickly as possible without sacrificing diligence and accuracy.
“In the interim, we will continue to provide as much accurate information as we can to the public and to the Congress.” -Ms. Clinton
Ms Clinton said US diplomats and development experts are on the front lines, just like US troops. And the entire United States Government needs to work together to protect them.
Ms. Clinton says they will not retreat. The U.S. will keep leading, and will stay engaged everywhere in the world, including in those hard places where America’s interests and security are at stake.
“That is the best way to honor those whom we have lost.” – Ms. Clinton
Last month, the United States of America mourned the death of four American personnel in Benghazi, who died in a rocket attack on the temporary consulate.
Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya was killed along with three others in the rocket attack. The death of the US personnel sparked international condemnation.
A 21 year veteran of the Foreign Service, Ambassador Stevens died from injuries he sustained in the attack on the Benghazi office.
As the conflict in Libya unfolded, Ambassador Stevens was one of the first Americans on the ground in Benghazi.
Mr. Stevens risked his own life to lend the Libyan people a helping hand to build the foundation for a new, free nation.
The US condemns this vicious and violent attack that took their lives, which they had committed to helping the Libyan people reach for a better future.
Libya had been engulfed by fighting since a pro-democracy movement opposed to the regime of Muammar al-Qadhafi emerged in February 2011, following similar protests in Tunisia, Egypt and other countries across North Africa and the Middle East.