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tv   Squawk Alley  CNBC  October 22, 2015 11:00am-12:01pm EDT

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mention, congressman, that the diplomatic security professionals who were reviewing these requests along with those who are serving in war zones and hot spots around the world have great expertise and experience in keeping people safe. if you go on cod els, they are the ones who plan your trip to keep you safe. they did that for me. most importantly, that's what they do every day for everybody who serves our country. i was not going to second guess them in keeping people safe for theirs. the changes that were recommended by the accountability review board are ones that we thought made sense and began quickly to implement.
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the arb after conducting madam secretary, more than 100 interviews, identifies specific employee -- specific employee at the state department who denied these requests. it was deputy assistant secretary of the bureau of diplomatic security charlene lamb, and, again, she did come before the oversight committee. the arb report was very critical of her. it was also critical of her two supervisors. principal assistant secretary and for diplomatic security. the oversight committee found the same answer as the arb. it found this official denied these requests, and it found no evidence that you approved or denied them.
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>> the next day, the next day, the chairman of the oversight committee darrell issa went on national television and accused you of the same thing. can we play that clip, please? >> swu state was just wrong. she said she did not participate in this, and, yet, only a few months before the attack she outright denied security in her signature in april 2012. >> do you remember that allegation, madam secretary? >> i do. >> well, when the washington post fact checker examined this
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claim, they gave it four picnoios. they called it a whopper. it turns out the republicans had a copy of that cable, but they didn't tell the american people that your so-called signature was just a stamp that appeared on millions of cables from the state department every single year. is that right? >> that's correct. >> now, madam secretary, my goal has always been to gather facts and to defend the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. last year i asked our staff to compile an ask and answer database, and this specific issue was answered thoroughly. on monday we put out another report, and this issue was addressed yet again. but the republicans want to keep this attack going so they are now trying to argue that we have new emails that raise new
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questions. the truth is we have reviewed these emails, and they don't contradict previous concludes. they confirm them. we reviewed emails from ambassador stevens, and it showed he called for more security. nothing we have obtained, not the new interviews or the new emails, changes the basic facts we have known for three wreerz. secretary clinton, let me ask one final question, and please take as much time as you want to answer this. there's no evidence to support republican claims that you personally rejected security requests, so some have argued that since you knew the danger was increasing in libya, you should have been in there making detailed decisions about whether there should be five, seven, or even nine security officers at any given post. madam secretary, i know you have
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answered over again. you might want to just elaborate and just -- i have 1:07. >> well, thank you, congressman. i think there has been some confusion. i welcome the opportunity to try to clarify it with respect as you rightly point out. the lamz that were made about the cables, i think, you have explained the fact which is that it's the long-standing tradition of the state department for cables from around the world to be sent to and sent from the state department under the signature over the signature of the secretary of state. it's a stamp. it's just part of the tradition. there are millions of them, as you point out. very few come to my attention.
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very few regarding benghazi did. the other point, i thank you for raising so perhaps i can speak to this one as well. there is, of course, information that we were obtaining about the increasingly dangerous environment in libya. across the country but in particular in eastern libya, and we were awir of that, and we were certainly taking that into account. there was no actionable intelligence on september 11th or even before that date about any kind of planned attack. there were a lot of debates apparently that went on within the security professionals about what to provide because they did have to prioritize. the accountability review board pointed that out. the state department has
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historically and certainly before this terrible incident not had the money we thought would be necessary to do what was required to protect everyone, so, of course, there had to be priorities, and that was something that the security personnels dealt with. i think that both admiral mullen and ambassador pickering made it clear that they thought that the high threat post should move to a higher level of skut any, and we had immediately moved to do that. >> thank you. >> thank the gentleman. the chair would now recognize the gentlelady, ms. brooks. >> good morning. >> good morning. >> thank you for being here today. in drawing on what you just said, that very few but no requests for benghazi came to your attention i would like to show you something.
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this pile represents the emails that you sent or received about libya in 2011, from february through december of 2011. this pile represents the emails you sent or received from early 2012 until the day of the attack. there are 795 emails in this pile. we've counted them. there are 67 emails in this pile in 2012. i'm troubled by what i see here. >> i see daily updates, sometimes hourly updates from your staff about benghazi and chris stevens. when i look at this pile in 2012 i only see a handful of emails to you from your senior staff
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about benghazi, and i have several questions for you about this disparity because we know from talking to your senior advisor that is they knew and many of them are here today seated behind you, they knew to send you important information. issues that were of importance to you, and i can only conclude by your own records that there was a lack of interest in libya in 2012. let's first focus, though, on this pile and what was happening in libya in 2011. we have an ambassador to libya. you have told us and you told us in your opening you hand picked chris stevens to be your special representative in benghazi, and you sent him there. by your own e-mails, most have provided last february a few provided just a few weeks ago they show that in march of 2011 -- so we're in march of 2011 -- had you chrissteins join you in paris where you were meeting with the leader of the libyan revolution.
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after paris that is when, as you talked about chris stevens went into benghazi, i believe, in april 5th of 2011 on that cargo ship. how long was he expected to stay? what were his orders from you from you about benghazi specifically? >> he was asked to go to benghazi to do reconnaissance to try to figure out who were the leaders of the. >> what their goals were, what they need, what happened if they were successful? it was, as i said, the hard-nosed 21st century diplomacy that is rooted in the old-fashioned necessary work of building relationships and gathering information. >> we were in discussing it with him unsure as to how productive
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it would be. >> whether it was appropriate for him to stay -- that was based on chris's own assessment. we knew we were sending someone who understood the area who understood the language, who understood a lot of the personalities. >> because of the historical study he wanted do, and we were going to be decided by what he decided. >> i would like to draw your attention to an e-mail. it's an e-mail found at tab one. >> the current game plan is for mr. stevens to move no later wednesday, but the bottom of the e-mail says the goal of this one-day trip is for him to lay the ground work for a stay of up
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to 30 days. i believe initially the goal was to go in for 30 days. were you personally briefed on his security plan prior to him going into libya? >> yes. >> at that time if i'm not mistaken, gadhafi's forces were still battling the rebels, correct? >> that's right. >> so what were -- were you personally briefed before you sent mr. stevens into bern ghazi? >> i was personally told by the officials who were in the state department who were immediately above chris who were making the plans for him to go in, that it was going to be expeditionary diploma as where i. he was going to be required to make judgments on the ground about what he could accomplish and including where it would be safe for him to be and how long to stay.
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i think the initial decision was, you know, up to 30 days and reassess, but it could have been ten days. it could have been 60 days, depending upon what he found and what he reported bab. >> what what was determined about the danger of benghazi. who were those officials? >> well, there were a number of officials who were advising. >> that were -- well, with respect to the security, this was a particular concern -- >> i'm sorry. what was that person's name? >> assistant secretary jeff feldman. >> thank you. >> and it was also a concern of the assistant secretary for diplomatic security as well as other officials within the state department. sgroits fair to say, congresswoman, we all knew, a risky undertaking, and it was something that was, as i said in my opening statement, more reminiscent of the way diplomacy was practiced back in the 19th century because we didn't have
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the internet. we didn't have instantaneous communications. you would send diplomats and envoys into places and not hear from them for maybe months. this was obviously not of that kind. it was a risky undertaking and one which chris was called for and was anxious to undertake. >> it was so risky i would like to pull up another e-mail from the op center that was forwarded to you on sunday april 10th. he had been there about five days. >> were you aware of that concern from the first five days that -- did anyone share that? >> we were aware because we were really counting on chris to guide us and give us the information from the ground. we had no other sources.
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you know, there was no american outpost. there was no, you know, american military presence. eventually other americans representing different agencies were able to get in to benghazi and begin to do the same work, but they, of course, couldn't do that work overtly, which is why we wanted a diplomat who could be publically meeting with people to try to get the best assessment. it was always going to be a constant risk, and we knew that. >> then when we go to 2012, libya, benghazi, chris stevens, the staff there, they seem to fall off your radar in 2012, and the situation is getting much
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worse in 2012. it was getting much worse. let me just share for you in your records that we have reviewed. there is not one e-mail to you or from you in 2012 when an explosive device went off at our compound in april. not a single e-mail in your records about that explosives device. my question is this was a very important mission in 2011. you sent chris stevens there, but yet, when our compound is attacked in 2012, what kind of cultu culture. >> i conducted it in meetings. i read .
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>> you were in my office, i did not have a computer. i did not do the vast majority of my work on e-mail, and i bet there's a lot of s wr d bloomenthal's emails from 2011 too. i think there were -- i don't want you to have a mistaken impression about what i did and how i did it. most of my work was not done on e-mails with my closest aides, with officials in the state department, officials in the rest of the government as well as the white house and people around the world. >> whether a bomb blew through a wall, no emails, no emails at all, but i am interested in
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knowing who were you meeting with, who were you huddling with, how were you informed about those things because there is nothing in the emails that talks about significant attacks. there was a lot of information in 2011 about issues and security posture and yet, nothing in 2012. >> i was shared the highest level of lassfied information that i was to be aware of on a daily basis. thatsz where a lot of information, including threats and attacks on our facilities was shared. i also had a weekly meeting every monday with all of the
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officials, the assistant secretaries and others, so i could be brought up-to-date on any issue they were concerned about. during the day i received hundreds of pages of memos, many had of them classified. some of them so top secret that they were brought into my office in a locked briefcase that i had to read and immediately return to the courier, and i was constantly at whe use in the situation room meeting with the national security advisor and others. i would also be meeting with officials in the state department, foreign officials and others. there was a lot going on during every day. i did not e-mail during the day, except on rare occasions when i was able torque but i didn't conduct the business that i did primarily on e-mail. that is not how i gathered information, assessed information, asked the hard questions of the people that i worked with. >> it appears that leaving benghazi with respect to all of that danger leaving benghazi was not on an option in 2012, and i
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yield back. >> if i could quickly respond. there was never a recommendation from any intelligence official in our government, from any official in the state department or from any other person with knowledge of our presence in benghazi to shut down benghazi even after the two attacks that the compound suffered, and perhaps, you know, you would wonder why, but i can tell you that the thought was it was vital to our national interests. >> gentleman of indiana yields back. immediately recognize mr. -- >> thank you, mr. chairman. i just want to clarify. i was asking secretary clinton the question a moment ago. >> i mentioned an e-mail that will had gone from chris stevens to secretary lamb. what i meant was a cable. i just want to make sure the record was clear. >> record will reflect that.
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>> q and a continues with hillary clinton in front of the house select committee on benghazi. the line of questioning pivoting, obviously, to the degree to which hillary clinton was among those assessing the risks in libya prior to that attack. specifically bringing out piles of emails that related to those security assessments in the years prior to the attack both in 2011 and in 2012. joining us this morning from capitol hill house republican and freedom caucus member joining from washington d.c. congressman, good morning to you. >> good morning. >> are you hearing any new information? >> i am not. i did not search on the committee, obviously. >> if you were on the committee, what would you be asking right about now? >> well, the repeat comments
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about things other than emails are interesting. there are so many items there that the committee has tried to go through, data dumps at last minute trying to get to the bottom of it. it shouldn't take three years to figure out what happened. it was a terrorist attack by a radical islamic jihad it's, and we want to make certain that never happens again, and we want to get the truth and the bottom of what actually occurred there. forget the politics. let's get to the truth of the matter. >> her lines of defense so far have been american diplomacy needs to be in dangerous parts of the world where there's not always boots on the ground. that chris stevens was aware of those risks. that he, himself, was contributing to the risk assessment and a lot of that stuff was done on secured phone calls. not on e-mail. in fact, she says she didn't even have a computer in her office. do you buy that? >> i buy what she is saying. i will see if the record matches that up. the committee has done great work. i'm not aware of everything they're doing.
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obviously not on the committee. much of that is intelligence we can't see. at the end of the day, i will have to match up the truth with what hillary did say to us, and the committee will look at that. >> finding out the truth of the matter of what occurred three months ago. >> are you sensing that the committee in any way is pulling any punches after what mccarthy said on fox a few weeks ago? >> sfroo i don't think so. they have been looking at the information, the emails, again, for over a year. then suddenly receiving more, and the more they look at it, apparently the more questions they have. this will take some time. it's an appropriate avenue for the administration.
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it has nothing to do with the facts of the matter, but what occurred there aring, again sdsh in a terrorist attack on american soil and four americans died in their families have very few answers. we need to make certain number one we know what happened, and number two, how do we avoid this in the future? >> i understand have you thrown your support behind someone who is not paul ryan, but there's a lot of attention on him right now. >> what is your main focus on that process right now, and what are your concerns about paul ryan? >> there are no doubts we need to change process, procedure, and people in leadership in the house. john boehner is leaving, and his chosen successor will not get the job spshgs his next chosen successor is likely to get that. i'm supporting dan webster, who has made a promise, a pledge, and has an actual plan to change the house. we have been a top-down institution. not just under john boehner, but before then. we need a bottom-up approach that involves members and
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involves the american people. there's a growing frustration not just amongst one party, but both parties and independence about what's coming out of congress that we've been not an effective counter weight to this administration. we're not doing our duty. we're not going through appropriations bills. it's crisis after crisis run by special interests. can you throw that all out there, and it is true. >> we'll find that out by friday. the real question is how quickly can we change, it because it's long overdue. >> thank you for your time. good to see you again. >> thank you. >> congressman tim of kansas. this is tammy duckworth of illinois doing the questioning. >> a constant issue that we have worked between the state department and the department of defense. the libyans made it very clear from the very beginning they did not want any american military
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or any foreign military at all in their country, and what i concluded is that we needed to have these assessments because even if we couldn't post our own military in the country, we needed have a faster reaction. now, i certainly agree 100% with the findings of the armed services committee here in the house and other investigations. our military did everything they could. they turned over every rock. they tried to deploy as best they could to try to get to benghazi. it was beyond the geographic range. they didn't have assets nearby because we don't have a lot of installations and military personnel that are in that immediate region.
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>> to get a better idea of the 1 threat posts sxwshgs that's exactly what they did. it gave us some guidance to try to have better planning ahead of time. i know admiral mullen testified that it would be . >> they've been supportive of our embassy in kabul and baghdad. we have a lot of hot spots now in very dangerous places that are not in military conflict areas where we have american military presence. we wanted to figure out how we could get more quickly a fast reaction team to try to help prevent what happened in
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benghazi. >> this process that the joint teams of dod and state that goes out initially looked at the 19 posts, that's great that they come out and back with the report. it's kind of like the seven reports and now we have another committee. we keep having committees -- we never act on them. it doesn't help our men and women on the ground, and that's what i'm focused on. i want to know is they came back with their recommendations to you. had they been resourced? are they institutionalized? what has been done with this process so that it's not a snap shot in time in reaction to benghazi attack and i want to make sure that at the very least we're continuing cooperation or at least there's an institutionalization of the review process to make sure that if it's not those 19 posts, if the shift now is there's 20 posts or some other post. what has been done to make sure it's institutionalized? >> that was one of the changes that i instituted before i left, and i am confident that
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secretary kerry and his counterpart, secretary carter, are continuing that, because i think it was very useful. certainly it was useful for our security professionals and our diplomats to be partnered in that way with the defense department. historically the only presence at some of our facilities has been marines, and as you know well, marines were there not for the purpose of personnel protection. they were there to destroy classified material and ekwemt. some of the dhal enkz we have faced in the hotspot dangerous areas is how we get more of a presence, and after benghazi, we were able to get marines die dee ployed to tripoli. this is a constant effort between the state department and the defense department. it's my strong belief that the
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process has been and should be institutionalized institutionalized. >> he find that the department of defenses review is very good at instilling culture throughout the department. can you talk a little bit about how and why you decided to do the review for the state department? was it useful? is it useful? is it getting out there? is it a waste of time, and we
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shouldn't be wasting money on it, and we shoulding doing something else? >> well, i hope it's not the latter. >> i learned it serving in the senate during my time there. i agree with you completely, congresswoman. it's a very successful road map as to where we should be going and i'm impressed that as a platoon leader it was something that you took into account the state department usa id would fight for the money they could get out of congress no matter who was in charge of the congress of single year. it's 1% of the entire budget.
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the first thing i heard when i got to the state department was a littany of complaints from a lot of our diplomats that they were being hamstrung. that the security requirements were so intense that they were basically unable to do their jobs. from the security professional that is we call the qddr, they were saying we don't want you to go beyond the fence. we can't protect you in all of these dangerous circumstances. it was risk and reward, and it's in terms of what our development professionals can do. it's been done twice now. secretary kerry in his tenure has done the second qddr. i hope it becomes as important and as much of a road map as the qdr has for our defense department and our military
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services. >> good morning. >> good morning. >> my colleagues have focused on your relationship with the ambassador chris stevens and why you sent him into benghazi in 2011 as part of your broader libya initiative. >> it's not so close you had a activision are of benghazi in 2012 and beyond. it appears that there was confusion and uncertainty within your own department about libya, and quite frankly, secretary clinton, it appears that you were a large cause of that uncertainty. i heard what you said to my
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colleague, mrs. brooks. considering that benghazi belong to you in 2011, it was yours, so to speak, and from your own records that we have, we saw a drop in your interest in lib wra and benghazi in 2012. not only do the records show you were dropping interest, it was even noticed by your own staff. i want to point you to an e-mail in early february 2012 between two staffers at your libya desk that says you didn't know whether we still even had a presence in benghazi. let's not use my words. let's use theirs. this can be found at tab 31. the e-mail says and it stated february 9, 2012, one writes to the other about an encounter that she had with you. "also the secretary asked last if we still have a presence in
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benghazi." i think she would be upset to hear yes, but we do -- >> i'm struck by the first part. based upon the e-mail stacks here that you engaged in a lot of conversations and briefings, so i'm assuming that this conversation with this member of your staff took place in one of those briefings, but then she sent this e-mail asking about this. how can this be that two of your staffers are e-mailing about whether or not you even knew that we had a presence in benghazi in 2012 with all your
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interests in libya in 2011, including in october of 2011 and that months later we come to find out that you didn't even know if we had a presence there. >> well, i can't comment on what has been reported. of course, i knew we had a presence in benghazi. i knew that we were evaluating what that presence should be, how long it should continue, and i knew exactly what we were doing in libya. i think it's important since you have some very legitimate questions about what we were doing, you know, the united states played a major role in the first election that the libyan people had in 51 years. it was a successful election by every count, and they voted for moderates. they voted for the kind of people they wanted to govern them. we had a very successful effort that the united states supported getting rid of gadhafi's remaining chemical weapons, which we led and supported the
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united nations and others in being able to do. we were combatting the proliferation of weapons. that's one of the reasons why there was a cia presence in benghazi because we were trying to figure out how to get those weapons out of the wrong hands and get them collected in a way and destroyed, and, in fact, we began reducing those heavy weapons stocks. we were, you know, working on providing transition assistance to the lib wrans. i met with the lib wrans. i telephoned with the libyans. i saw the libyans all during this period. it was hard because a lot of them knew what 24e79d, but they didn't know how to get from where they were to that goal. we did an enormous amount of work. my two deputies went to libya. other officials in the state department went to libya. there was a constant continuing effort that i led to try to see what we could do to help.
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one of the problems we face suicide that the libyans did not really feel that they could welcome a peacekeeping mission. they couldn't welcome foreign troops to their soil. that made it really difficult, and it didn't have to be american troops. it could have been troops from anywhere in the world under a u.n. mandate that might have helped them begin to secure their country. >> secretary clinton, if i may, i hear what you are saying, but this e-mail says something very, very different. >> i can't speak to that. i can just tell you what i was doing, and i was doing a lot. >> sure. this was your staff, and i -- >> if they had this conversation with you, why they would make it up, but i want to move on. this e-mail snoo i'm sorry.
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i have no recollection of and no knowledge of. >> please turn to tab 31. it's right here. >> i trust that you have read it, but i also tell you that we had a presence in benghazi. we had members of the administration and congress visiting benghazi, so, of course, i knew we had a presence in benghazi. i can't speak to what someone either heard or misheard. i understand your question what were we doing about benghazi? that's what i'm trying to explain to you about what we were doing zoosh i want to get to the second part of the e-mail that suggests that we were in lockdown, that you would be upset to know, yes, heard the first part of your answer, but that we were in lockdown, and you have said on numerous occasions, including in your opening statement on point number one, america must lead, and you must -- they can't do
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their jobs for us in bunkers. essentially what we know is that there weren't the required number of security on the ground in order for the individual to even move about the country to provide you with what you have reiterated as being important at that time, which is political reporting. >> could you tell me who is -- who are the names on this e-mail that you were talking about? >> i can turn to tab 31. you have a book in front of you. >> it is alice abdallah, and i'm going to pronounce it wrong. iv wr enia -- >> they were not on my staff. i'm not in any way, you know, contradicting what they think they heard or what they heard somebody say, but the people that i don't -- >> can you tell me who they were if they were not on your staff? loo they were not on my -- they were in the state department along with thousands of others people. they were not part of the
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secretary's staff. i get what you are saying. it's a fair and important question. the facility in benghazi is a temporary facility. there had been no decision made as to whether or not it would be permanent. it was not even a consulate. our embassy was in tripoli. obviously, much of the work that we were doing was going through the embassy. >> it was to what form of consulate, what form of facility it should be. chris stevens believed that it should be a former consulate. that was something that had to be worked out spshgs there had not yet been a decision at the time this the attack took place. it wasn't a permanent facility. there were a number of questions that people were asking about,
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whether it should or shouldn't be. >> on the security issue, i also want to say it's frustrating for us here on this panel asking these questions to hear you in your opening statement talk about the responsibility you took for all 70,000 plus employees. i'll read i an e-mail that is a conversation between two of those employees, and it seems as though you are just kind of brushing it off as not having any knowledge. >> i'm just saying i have no recollection of it, and it doesn't correspond with the facts of what we were doing on a regular basis. >> well, let me talk for just a minute about the security. i've got a few seconds left. in 2011 during the revelation then envoy stevens had ten agents on the ground in benghazi, and we know in 2012 where the security situation had deteriorated even further. there were only three agents assigned to benghazi. again, can't even move anybody off of the facility to do the
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necessary political reporting. my question is why did you not acknowledge because of your interest in 2011 and importance of having those security officers there to do what was so important to you, which was the political reporting, then in 2011 and then when an ambassador was there, three, and he brought two of his own the night of the attack, which would meet the requisite five, and there was only three there at that time. if you could address that, again. i'm running a little short on time. >> he did have five with them on september 11th, and -- >> well, he brought two, right? they brought two with him. there was three there. >> he got there, and he had five. the day before on september 10th he went into benghazi.
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he went to a luncheon with leading civic leaders, business leaders in benghazi. he felt comfortable. it was his decision. ambassadors do not have to seek permission from the state department to travel around the country. that they are assigned to. he decided to go to benghazi. the askings between the security professionals. i'm not going to in any way suggest that he or the embassy got everything they requested. we know they didn't from the accountability review board, from the investigation that is were done by the congress.
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we knew there were discussions needed about benghazi, and the day that he died, he had five security officers. a lot of security professionals who have reviewed this matter even those who are critical that the state department do not enough. they have said that the kind of attack that took place would have been very difficult to repell. >> there are many lessons going back to beirut, going back to tehran, and the takeover of our embassy and going all the way through these years, and sometimes we learn lessons, and we actual act and we do the best we can, and there's a perfectly terrible example of that with respect to what happened in benghazi. >> my time has expired, and we'll certainly never know what the outcome would have been if there had been more agents that night. loo that's not what the professionals -- that's not what the experts and security have concluded. if you read the accountability
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review board. >> i have read it, secretary clinton, and it says that security was grossly inadequate. >> well, it said that there were deficiencies within two bureaus in the state department, which we have moved to correct, and it also pointed out that diplomatic security officers who were there acted heroically. they were overrun, and it's -- it was unfortunate that the agreement we had with the cia amnex and when those brave men showed up that it was also not enough. >> we'll discuss this more. have i to yield back. >> i recognize the swra from washington. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, madam secretary clinton. >> you knew of the presence? >> i knew congressman, of course. >> going back to an earlier question, you were also aware --
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>> democrats take control of the q & a as hillary clinton continues to testify in front of the house committee select committee on benghazi. again, the questioning reinvolving around the degree to which various cables, emails, employee reports came within hillary clinton's circle as secretary of state at the time as the state department was trying to assess the risks in libya. eamon javers has been listening in. at this stage, would the -- has the committee made the strongest stand they're going to make all day? >> we're seeing the first tough questions from the republicans to hillary clinton. it's interesting to watch the political triangle that's playing out. you have this tussle that you are seeing live on our screens in front of us between hillary clinton and the republican house members of this committee. the republican members questioning her, seeming very eager to sort of pin u.s. libya policy on hillary clinton as the architect of that policy, which
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they're saying was disastrous and resulted in the deaths of these four americans. stwloo you are seeing hillary clinton develop a hawkish stance that she said america cannot withdraw from dangerous places in the world. >> they are arguing for an interventionist policy, and that's going to be interesting to watch here. we're getting a sort of sobering reminder of the context of all of this and the risks that americans take in the middle east today as this is going on. we're seeing statements from u.s. military officials. you get the sense here of what's coming from the pentagon of the risks that americans are taking in the middle east today as all this is going on.
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all of that will play into this republican presidential debate going forward, carl. >> eamon, do we have a sense of -- from polling or whatever methods, for the degree to which, a, the american people are paying attention to this issue and then, b, what particular areas they're concerned about with regard to what happened in benghazi and what they want to hear from hillary clinton in a hearing like this. generally speak, what we see is that americans broadly don't seem to like how hillary clinton has handled benghazi and has handled the questioning surrounding benghazi, but you also see that americans generally think that republicans on this committee and in congress may be using this issue for political advantage. you get the sense that the american people out there look at this thing and say, you know, sort of a pox on both their houses. we can't really sort this ought owl. there's a lot of confusion on benghazi, what happened, and
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whether hillary clinton was responsible for it or not. >> eamon, thank you for that. we'll go back to the hearing. dow up 245. 246. the s&p up almost 30 points to 2,047. this is the best gain since october 5th, two and a half weeks, and the highest since august 20th as mcdonald's, caterpillar, 3m, boeing lead the dow higher. all but just about five or six dow components. let's get back to the hearing. >> suicide bombings four months apart, and there was clearly inadequate security. the focus was not on parpt zanship, but it's how to better protect americans. i'll ask questions about what i think is the central issue. that is how do we can v that presence in the world that you described in what is an increasingly dangerous world because as i have traveled to pakistan and afghanistan, yemen,
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and other places, i am consistently amazed by the willingness of all of our diplomatic core to put their lives at risk. i wonder how do you balance that very difficult decision? frankly, what i have heard more often from the diplomatic core is that they chaffe at the restrictions. i remember vividly being in the shower, which is, you know -- i mean, i didn't like the ride from the airport to the embassy. the state department personnel lived there and went out among the community. how do you try and strike that balance of, you know, being present at the same time and meeting the security obligations and then most importantly, who drives that decision, because it seems to me in most instances it is driven by the dpt diplomatic core there. if they take risks, it's because they have decided to do it. they're there.
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they know the security situation certainly better than the secretary and better than most everybody else. what is the proper way to strike that balance going forward to protect our personnel and still fulfill their mission? >> congressman, i think that is the most important question, and i would certainly welcome congressional discussion and debate about this because it's what we tried to do going back to congressman duckworth's question. what we tried to begin to do in the quadrennial review, the first one ever done, because that is exactly what we were facing. we have had diplomats and development professionals in war zones now for a number of years. we've had them in places that are incredibly unstable and dangerous because of ongoing conflicts. it is, i think, the bias of the diplomacy core that they be there because that's what they signed up for, and they know
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that if america is not represented, then we leave a vacuum, and we lose our eyes and our ears about what people are thinking and doing. it is certainly the hardest part of the job in many of our agencies and departments today, and it was for me in the state department. that's why i relied on the security professionals because by the time i got there in 2009, the diplomatic security professionals had been taking care of american diplomats in iraq, in afghanistan, in pakistan for years, and they had learned a lot of lessons, and they were forced to make tough decisions all the time. you mentioned pashawar. one of clearly the high threat posts that the united states maintains a presence in. but when you think that since 2001 we've had 100 of our
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facilities attacked. if we were to shut them all down, if we were to pull out from all of them, we would be blinding ourselves, so it's a constant balancing act. >> what are the risks and the reward for opening, maintaining, and/or closing a site? i don't know that there's any hard and fast rule that we can adopt. we just have to get better at making that assessment, congressman, and your question really goes to the heart of it. when you were as a member of congress in pashawar, you were guarded by our diplomatic security professionals. they had to assess was it safe enough for a member of congress to come? how do we get him from the airport to the embassy? won't surprise you to hear we've had attacks there as so many other places around the world. that is a heavy responsibility, and the diplomatic security professionals get it right 999 times out of 1,000, and it's
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deeply distressing to them when anything goes wrong. we have lost non-americans with some of these attacks on facilities. we've lost our locally employed staff. they never want to see any successful attack. they have to be -- they have to be right 100% of the time. the terrorists only have to be right once, and, you know, that's why this is really at the core of what i tried to do before even i got the accountability review board going back to the qddr to come up with a better way of trying to make those asessionments. s. >> madam secretary, if i may. just a few final points. the bottom line is benghazi on 9/11, 2012, was not the only dangerous place in the world where security personnel were and where these difficult decisions had to be made, and the other point i want to make before my time expires, now this was in 2012, so we were only a couple of years into this, but secretary of defense ash carter
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just, i think yesterday, wrote an editorial in the "wall street journal" about the impact of five years of budget uncertainty on the d.o.d.'s ability to function. for five years we have gone through cr's, threatened government shutdowns, one actual government shutdown in constant budget uncertainty. now, my areas of the department of defense, i know how it's impacted them. they basically from one week to the next barely know what they can spend money on. now, one of the criticisms the others should have been more security. if you don't have a budget, you don't have an appropriations bill, how does that complicate your job as secretary and trying to figure out what money you can spend? >> well, it makes it very difficult, congressman. this is a subject that we talked about all the time. how do you plan? how do you know, you know, you have so many diplomatic security officers in so many dangerous places. how do you know what you are going to have to be able to
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deploy and where are you going to have to make the choices. that's why the prioritization which shouldn't have to be in my view the responsibility of the officials in the state department or the defense department to try to guess what makes the most sense. we should have a much more orderly process for our budget. i will say, again, as secretary of state kind of dysfunction and failure to make decisions that we have been living with in our government hurts us. it hurts us in the obvious ways like where you are going to deploy forces if are you in d.o.d. or where you are going to send security if you are in the department of state, but it hurts us as the great country we are. it has a lot of the consequences, and it's something that i wish we could get over. we can have our arguments about
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policy and substance. get back to regular order where we have the greatest nation in the world with a budget that then they can plan against as opposed to the uncertainty that has stalked us now for so long. >> thank you, madam secretary. the bottom line is congress needs to do its job? >> right. i agree with that. >> with that i'll go to the gentleman from georgia. mr. wes moreland. >> madam secretary, i talk a little slower than everybody else, so -- >> i lived in arkansas a long time. i don't need an interpreter, congressman. >> some of the questions i'm asking you can just get us a yes or no answer. that would be great, but i do want you to give us a full answer. mr. smith from washington mentioned that there was no new facts brought out in some of these interviews, and i want to just say that i think he was at one interview for one hour. i have been at a bunch of those,
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and there has a lot of new facts that have been let out. one of the things that he said, it doesn't -- that you noo about these two incidents that have been mentioned previously. it's not a matter if you knew about them. it's a matter of what you did about them. to us the answer to that is nothing. now, you say you were briefed by the cia every morning that you were in washington. is that correct? >> that's correct. >> assistant acting director morrell broet wroet in his book that there were scores describing in detail how the situation in libya was becoming more and more dangerous. >> we were certainly aware that
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the situation across libya was becoming more dangerous, and there were concerns about eastern libya. >> did you read the piece that was libya, al qaeda establishing sanctuary? >> i'm aware that that was certainly among the information provided to me. >> there was another particular piece that was talked about after the ied attack that was written. "al qaeda expands in libya." were you familiar with that? >> i can't speak to specific pieces, congressman, but i was well aware of the concerns we all had about the setting up of jihadist training camps and other activities in libya particularly in eastern libya. >> you were briefed and i think the cia between january and september of 2012 at over


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