The sister of the late U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens said former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was not to blame for the death of her brother during the 2012 Benghazi Libya attacks which also cost three more American lives.
Instead, Dr. Anne Stevens blamed the Republican-dominated Congress for “underbudgeting” the State Department.
In an interview with the New Yorker published on Tuesday, Dr. Stevens said “I do not blame Hillary Clinton or Leon Panetta” for the death of Ambassador Stevens. “They were balancing security efforts at embassies and missions around the world. And their staffs were doing their best to provide what they could with the resources they had.” She added that he “knew” that the Benghazi Mission was understaffed but that “he decided to take the risk to go there. It is not something they did to him. It is something he took on himself.”
Stevens suggested further:
It is clear, in hindsight, that the facility was not sufficiently protected by the State Department and the Defense Department. But what was the underlying cause? Perhaps if Congress had provided a budget to increase security for all missions around the world, then some of the requests for more security in Libya would have been granted. Certainly the State Department is underbudgeted.
Unfortunately, Dr. Steven’s claims were debunked during a 2012 hearing by the House Oversight Committee, where the same claim made by Democrats that cuts to the State Department’s budget may have played a role in the lack of security in Benghazi was specifically addressed.
The following is a key excerpt from an exchange between Rep. Dana Rohrbacher (R-CA) and Former Assistant Secretary of State for International Programs for Diplomatic Security Charleen Lamb during that hearing:
Rohrabacher: Was there any budget consideration and lack of budget which led you not to increase the number of people in the security force there?
Lamb: No, sir.
Despite many new revelations and details about the degree to which Clinton failed to protect the U.S. facility in Benghazi, and lied about a YouTube video to cover up the administration’s failure, the media reported that the committee had turned up no “new evidence.”
As for her opinion on Clinton’s conduct on Benghazi, Dr. Stevens said “I don’t see any usefulness in continuing to criticize her. It is very unjust.”
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