Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's "dereliction of duty" regarding security at the U.S. diplomatic outpost at Benghazi, Libya, should preclude her from holding any office, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said in a speech to the Missouri Republican Party last week. The Missouri Republicans released a video of the entire speech Tuesday morning as part of a fundraising effort, the online political publication The Run reported.
Questions and accusations concerning security arrangements and the response by President Obama and State Department officials to the assault on the mission last fall that killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans have come up repeatedly in the weeks and months since the September 11, 2012 attack. During a hearing by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in January, Clinton said she had not read cables from Libya requesting additional security.
"Had I been president at the time" and known the secretary had not read those cables, "I would have relieved you of your post," Paul told Clinton at the hearing. "I think it's inexcusable." In his Missouri speech last week, Paul said Clinton should be relieved of any future office as well.
"I think her dereliction of duty and her lack of leadership should preclude her from holding any office," he said to enthusiastic applause from the partisan crowd. Clinton is considered the likely frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016 if she seeks it, and Paul has indicated an interest in the Republican nomination. Neither has made any definitive statement about a White House bid.
The attack at Benghazi occurred hours after an anti-American demonstration on the grounds of the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt, where the American flag was torn down and an al-Qaeda flag raised. That event was widely reported as a response to viewing on the Internet of an American-made anti-Muslim movie. The military-style assault in Benghazi was carried out by an estimated 125 to 150 militants with assault rifles, heavy machine guns mortars and rocket grenades. For several days after the attack, U.S. officials were describing it as a spontaneous demonstration that had been taken over by extremists.
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