LIMA, Peru (CBS) - For the first time, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is speaking in depth about the killing of American ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens. During a round of interviews last night, Clinton said she was responsible for the Ambassador's security, not the White House.
On September 16, Ambassador Susan Rice made a number of TV appearances. Did she approve her speaking points that she delivered on the TV shows that day? Clinton responds, "I think she very clearly said here's what we know now but this is going to change. This is what we have at present but it will evolve and the intelligence community has said the same thing."
Just five days after the attack, Rice appeared on CBS's Face the Nation. She blamed the violence on spontaneous protests over an anti-Muslim film. She said on the program, ""We do not - we do not have information at present at the leads us to conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned."
Who briefed Ambassador Rice that day? Did Clinton sign off on that briefing and those speaking points? Clinton responds, "You would have to ask her." When asked if she spoke to her before that appearance, Clinton responds, "No but that doesn't - everyone had the same information. I mean I-I I have to say I know there's been a lot of attention paid to who said what but I think what happened is more important. We were attacked and four brave Americans were killed.//Everyone in the administration has tried to say what we knew at the time with the caveat that we would learn more and that's what happened so I think that I've seen it before not just in respect to this. I think it's part of what the Fog of War causes."
Over time, the Obama administration changed the reason behind the attacks, calling it a planned terrorist assault fueling Republican charges of a political cover up. U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina says, "Either they are misleading the American public, or they are incredibly incompetent."
It came up again at last week's vice presidential debate. Biden said at the time, "At the time we were told exactly -- we said exactly what the intelligence community told us that they knew. That was the assessment. And as the intelligence community changed their view, we made it clear they changed their view."
Clinton has said the responsibility ends with the state department. She says, "I'm not gonna get into the blame game. I think intelligence is very hard to do and what we're going to find out as we do this accountability review and we get what will be the best possible chronology that will be attached to what we knew when which takes time. I understand the, you know the anxiety and the desire to try to get answers. Nobody wants to get answers more than I do."