(WASHINGTON) — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton responded today to reports that Ambassador Chris Stevens feared he was on an Al Qaeda “hit list” by saying that she had “absolutely no information or reason to believe that there’s any basis for that.”
Clinton also announced that she has launched an independent panel, an Accountability Review Board, that will be directed by veteran diplomat Ambassador Thomas Pickering, to investigate what happened in the Benghazi consulate attack that killed four diplomats.
The State Department is required by law to investigate any incidents in which there has been loss of life or significant destruction of property at a U.S. mission abroad within 60 days of the attack. Clinton will provide the Senate Foreign Relations Committee with the findings of the report.
Clinton said the countries affected by the Arab Spring have “fragile” and “new” democracies and America cannot afford to withdraw its support now.
“The vast majorities of people in these countries did not throw off the tyranny of a dictator to trade it for the tyranny of a mob.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Dylan Byers Sara Murray and Kevin Liptak, CNN
Ashley Strickland, CNN
Lorenzo Ferrigno, CNN
Madeline Holcombe, CNN