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Benghazi Attack: Don't 'Jump to Conclusions,' Clinton Cautions

STR/AFP/GettyImages(WASHINGTON) -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pushed back Wednesday against critics of the administration’s handling of the Benghazi consulate attack, saying that the administration won’t rest until “we track down the terrorists” responsible for the deaths of the four American diplomats.

“No one wants to determine what happened that night in Benghazi more than the president and I do,” said Clinton. “No one is more committed to ensuring it doesn't happen again. And nobody will hold this department more accountable than we hold ourselves, because we served with and we knew the four men we lost. They are not just names or profiles to us. They are our colleagues and our friends.”

Clinton talked more about the State Department’s own independent investigation, the Accountability Review Board, which she said is beginning its work this week.

“We have already formed an accountability review board to examine this attack and to explore how we can prevent anything like this from happening in the future,” said Clinton. “The board's mandate is to determine whether our security systems and procedures in Benghazi were appropriate in light of the threat environment, whether those systems and procedures were properly implemented and any lessons that may be relevant to our work around the world.”

The secretary did not give a timeline for when the investigation will be complete, but said she is urging the board to work as quickly possible “without sacrificing diligence and accuracy.”

Asked about reports that diplomats in Libya requested additional security before the attacks, and whether Washington rejected those requests, Clinton cautioned against “jumping to conclusions.”

“Over the course of this review, there will naturally be a number of statements made, some of it -- some of which will be borne out and some of which will not. So let's establish all the facts before we jump to any conclusions, and let's do so so that we can get to the bottom of what did happen,” she said.  

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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