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Home » Libya » Joint Communique on Libya

November 2012 

Barack Obama’s UN ambassador has publicly defended her early remarks about the deadly September attack on a US consulate in Libya for the first time since they prompted a furious political dispute.

Susan Rice said she was relying “solely and squarely on the information provided to me” when she said that the assault in Benghazi, which killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, had emerged from protests against an anti-Islamic film.

“Everyone, particularly the intelligence community, has worked in good faith, to provide the best assessment based on the information available,” she said at the United Nations in New York.

“None of us will rest until we have the answer and the terrorists responsible for this attack will be brought to the justice.”

Ms Rice sparked Republican claims of a conspiracy to cover up a terrorist attack by telling interviews soon after the Sept 11 incident that it had spilt over from demonstrations elsewhere in the region against the American-made video.

David Petraeus, the former CIA director, last week told Congress that he knew immediately it was in fact a coordinated terrorist strike, but that this assessment was erased from the public “talking points” used by Ms Rice and other officials.

James Clapper, Mr Obama’s director of national intelligence, has taken responsibility for removing the words “al-Qaeda” and “terrorism” from the talking points.

Officials say that they did not yet want to alert those responsible that US intelligence agencies were aware of their activities.

Senior Republicans, including Senator John McCain, remain unsatisfied and have pledged to block any attempt by Mr Obama to promote Ms Rice to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.

Ms Rice said that Mr McCain’s criticisms – which Mr Obama has described as an “outrageous” attempt to “besmirch her character” – were “unfounded”.

“I look forward to having the opportunity at the appropriate time to discuss all of this with him,” she said.

Source: The Telegraph 

Categories: News, Press

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