The Straits Times
Published on Nov 22, 2012

US Ambassador Susan Rice defends Benghazi remarks


UNITED NATIONS (AP) - United States Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice says her early account of the attack that killed the US ambassador to Libya and three other Americans in Benghazi was based on the initial intelligence community assessments and was always subject to review and updates.

She said she respects Republican Senator John McCain, who has been critical of her, but says "some of the statements he's made about me have been unfounded, but I look forward to having the opportunity at the appropriate time to discuss all of this with him."

Her comments attributing the attacks to a mob enraged over an anti-Muslim video posted on YouTube were widely denounced by Republicans during the US presidential campaign. The attack came on the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks on the US and her critics said it was clearly a terrorist attack aimed at the anniversary.

The focus has fallen on her because she is a longtime White House insider and is believed to be President Barack Obama's first choice to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is not expected to stay on during his second term.