Hillary Clinton 'angrily' defends handling of attack on US consulate in Libya

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 24, 2013 11:01 hrs

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has angrily defended her handling of the raid on a US consulate in Libya, in back-to-back hearings on Capitol Hill.

It was her last appearance at Congress as America's top diplomat.

She took responsibility for security failures that led to attack on 11 September last year on the US consulate in Benghazi that left the US envoy to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three other officials dead, but added that she had not seen requests for more security beforehand, reports the BBC News.

Clinton also lashed out at a Wisconsin Republican who accused the Obama administration of misleading the public.

Clinton replied with a raised voice, saying that the fact remains that four Americans died, and thumping the table four times, she asked what difference does it make at this point, since the job is now to figure out what happened and do everything possible to prevent it from ever happening again.

In another tense moment, Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, said Clinton's acknowledgement that she had not read the cables from Libya seeking additional security ahead of the attack was "inexcusable".

Clinton told the senators her department was implementing - as well as going above and beyond - 29 recommendations by an independent panel that investigated the incident.

Clinton testified in the afternoon before the House foreign affairs committee, where Republican members pressed her on why cables and other memos about security deficiencies in Benghazi seemed to have been ignored.

Four state department employees have been put on administrative leave over the Benghazi attack. (ANI)

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