Lima, Peru -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she takes the blame for security ahead of a deadly assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
The attack killed Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, along with three other Americans at the consulate.
She told CNN's Elise Labott she takes responsibility for what happened that day during an interview in Lima Monday.
Clinton told Labott President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are not involved in security decisions.
The Obama administration has been criticized after Biden said in the Vice Presidential Debate the White House did not know of any requests to enhance security in Benghazi. The White House later said Biden did not know because those requests are handled by the State Department.
Clinton also sought to downplay the criticism that administration officials continued to say the attack was a spontaneous product of a protest over an anti-Muslim film, a theory that has since been discarded.
The secretary of state also described the desperate scene in the State Department during the hours of the attack on the night of September 10. It was an "intense, long ordeal" as staff tried to find out what had happened.
Clinton said her mission now is to make sure such an attack will never happen again -- but also that diplomacy, even in dangerous areas like Benghazi, is not stopped.