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Letters: Blame in Benghazi deaths

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in Washington on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013. Clinton said she is moving quickly to correct the kinds of lapses in diplomatic security that left American diplomats vulnerable in the September attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya. Photo Credit: Bloomberg

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was emotional and fierce in last week's congressional testimony about the Benghazi consulate attack ["Clinton has her say," News, Jan. 24]. She choked up as she related meeting relatives of the four slain Americans and shared their grief.

Under attack by questioners, she declared in frustration, "With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest, or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they'd go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and to do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again."

It matters when people who reviewed pleas for security and direct help were too timid to do anything. It matters when you have a hidebound bureaucracy where things are shuttled and shuffled about endlessly. When it does land on the correct desk, that person is not there or does nothing.

Clinton spent too much time traveling and not enough time managing her department.

Joseph Scrandis, Westbury

Just when I think I can't get any more disgusted with the once-great Republican Party, I read about the farcical hearings over the attack on our consulate in Benghazi.

Rather than nitpick over whether there was or wasn't a demonstration going on, Republican hypocrites such as Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) should be reflecting on why they cut millions of dollars from the Obama administration's request for funds for diplomatic security.

Sens. Johnson and John McCain (R-Ariz.) have done a fine job protecting tax cuts for billionaires. When it comes to protecting the lives of U.S. diplomats overseas, not so much.

Alexander J. Kelly, Smithtown