The last paragraph of a Wall Street Journal editorial today headlined "Hillary's Responsibility":
CNN reported Monday night from Lima that Mrs. Clinton finally addressed the White House comments by saying "I take responsibility" for what happened in Benghazi. She added that "I want to avoid some kind of political gotcha" so close to an election. That's nice, but it still leaves many questions, such as why her own comments to the U.N. differed so much from the substance and tone of Mr. Obama's. Saying you take "responsibility" in brief interviews from faraway Peru is a long way from acting as if you're responsible.
The front-page, lead news article from the same day's newspaper:
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she takes responsibility for security at the American diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, where Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans died in an attack last month.
"I take responsibility," Mrs. Clinton said in a recent interview in her office. "I'm the Secretary of State with 60,000-plus employees around the world. This is like a big family…It's painful, absolutely painful."...
In the interview with The Wall Street Journal, Mrs. Clinton said she is working hard "to run an effective investigation to get to the bottom of what happened" in order to prevent such security lapses in the future.
Yet, she added, "We will do our very best to think through the best security possible, but we can't keep people behind 20-foot walls and expect them to do their jobs…Americans need to realize our civilians serving our country are putting their lives on the line…in this inherently risky and dangerous world."
Whatever you make of Rupert Murdoch's ownership of the Wall Street Journal, the claim by some critics that the first thing he'd do would be to erase the traditional wall of separation between the news side and the editorial page sure doesn't seem to have happened.
On the substance, of course it's President Obama's responsibility as well as Secretary Clinton's, though the primary blame for the killing of the ambassador lies not with either Mr. Obama nor with Mrs. Clinton but with the Islamist militants who killed him. And on the politics, maybe Mrs. Clinton is hoping that by doing Mr. Obama the political favor of taking some of the blame now, she'll accumulate a debt that he will help pay back when she runs for president in 2016.