Clinton Accepts Responsibility for Benghazi Attack

November 22, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. embassy (n.) 
[em-buh-see– the official building where the ambassador of another country works
Example:  The new American ambassador held a conference in the US embassy.

2. spontaneous (adj.) [spon-tey-nee-uhs– happening without any plan
Example: The president cannot take a spontaneous trip without telling his advisers.

3. amateur (adj.) [am-uh-choor, -cher, -ter, am-uh-tur] – done in a way that shows lack of knowledge or skill
Example: The politician did an amateur job of promoting himself, so he did not win in the elections.

4. foreign policy (n.) [fawr-in, for-][pol-uh-see] – the set rules or way in which a country’s government deals with other countries
Example: The United States has often been criticized for their foreign policy because they take part in other countries’ wars.

5. testify (v.) [tes-tuh-fahy– to give a statement before a legal court of judge
Example: The witness testified that he saw the criminal do the crime.

Read the text below.

Hilary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, accepted responsibility for the death of US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other officials during the bombing of the US embassy in Benghazi, Libya last September 11, 2012.

At first President Obama’s ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, described the attack as a spontaneous event that happened in reaction to an amateur anti-Islam video made by an American. But other US officials later said that the attack was planned by terrorist groups and was not likely related to the video.

During a meeting by a congressional committee, it was revealed there the embassy made repeated requests to the state department to increase security in Libya. However, in the days leading to the attack, security was still not increased.

US republicans criticized Obama’s handling of the issue. Governor Mitt Romney, Obama’s rival for president in the last election, used the issue to highlight President Obama’s lack of skill in foreign policy. Romney also accused US Vice-President Joe Biden of making false statements about the Benghazi attack.

Biden stated that the White House did not know of the requests for increased security in Libya even though state department officials testified otherwise.

Clinton came to the defense of Obama and Biden, saying that the White House could not be blamed for the event. She said the job of protecting the 60,000 employees of the state department working in 275 posts all over the world was her responsibility. Clinton insisted that the president and vice-president would not know about specific security decisions.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Do you think Clinton alone is responsible for failing to protect the officials or is President Obama also responsible? What makes you say so?
·         Do you think a leader should be held responsible for the mistakes or failures of employees/staff? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         What are possible problems that countries may encounter when dealing with each other?
·         How can people ensure harmony between nations with different cultures, values, or religions?


November 22, 2012