WikiLeaks: Clinton Said Underoath that She Never Received or Saw Any Request from Ambassador Stevens Needing Help In Benghazi. 

Clinton said she didn’t review diplomatic cables in advance of the attack that requested heightened security measures in Libya. ‘Didn’t See’ “I didn’t see those requests, they didn’t come to me,” Clinton said.”‘ didn’t approve them, I didn’t deny them.” “These requests don’t ordinarily come to the Secretary of State,” she said. Clinton said that security measures in general have been constrained by the “consistent shortfalls” in congressional funding for embassy construction and security. For Clinton, whose initial plans to testify were delayed by a monthlong illness, the hearings resolve a piece of unfinished business that lawmakers said must be completed before her successor is confirmed. Tomorrow, the Senate committee will consider President Barack Obama’s nominee to succeed her, Democratic Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts. While Kerry is the panel’s chairman, he ceded his role at today’s hearing to Democratic Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey. Until today, Clinton had stayed mostly silent on the Benghazi attack, saying she awaited a report from an independent review board she appointed. Board’s Findings The board’s findings raised questions about the State Department’s leadership under Clinton. The review board found the department showed “a lack of proactive leadership and management ability,” although no government employees were found to have violated their duties. The report, released last month, faulted the State Department for producing a “security posture that was inadequate for Benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place.” Clinton today said she has begun implementing all 29 of the review board’s recommendations to correct security deficiencies. About 85 percent of 64 “action items” will be completed by the end of March, she said. The State Department has begun rethinking how it operates in high-threat areas and the secretary of state will lead an annual “high threat post review” to better assess risks, Clinton said. Saved Lives Clinton defended the response of State Department personnel in the early hours and days of the Benghazi attack, saying their actions “saved American lives in real time.” Pointing to a long list of terrorist attacks on Americans overseas in recent decades, Clinton said there will always be risks inherent in the work of the State Department and that U.S. diplomats must stay engaged. “They cannot work in bunkers and do their jobs,” she said. While Republicans have accused the Obama administration of moving too slowly in the hours after the attack, Clinton said there were “no delays in decision-making” and “no denials of support from Washington or from the military.” The chairman of the review board, former Ambassador Thomas Pickering, said last month that responsibility for the security failings went up to the assistant secretary’s level, “where, if you like, the rubber hits the road.” Less than 24 hours after the release of the board’s report, an assistant secretary of state had resigned and three other officials had been placed on administrative leave. 

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