Testifying before Congress for the first time since the September 11 attacks in Benghazi that left four Americans dead, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today took responsibility for the failures that led to those deaths, citing a "personal" commitment to improving diplomatic security abroad. But even while conceding ongoing "deficiencies and inadequacies" within the State Department, Clinton defended her own actions and those of her staff with regard to their response to the violence, and outlined the numerous steps she says have already been implemented to prevent future similar occurrences.
Clinton, growing emotional at times during the course of her testimony, cited the inherent risk of taking an active diplomatic role in the global arena -- particularly in a moment in which "Arab revolutions have scrambled power dynamics and shattered security forces across the region." She lamented the loss of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and the other three Americans who died in the September attacks, and spoke tearfully of having "stood next to President Obama as the Marines [who] carried those flag-draped caskets off the plane at Andrews."
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