Face in the News: Gates, Pickering, Ayotte, Durbin & Angelou

Renewed questions into the government's response to the attack in Benghazi, Libya last September that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, was a major focus of this week's "Face the Nation."

Ambassador Thomas Pickering, who chaired an Accountability Review Board investigation into the State Department's handling of the attack in Benghazi, defended his decision not to question Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about the September 11, 2012 attack. He said that the State Department review under his leadership had already concluded that the fault was below her level, and questioning her was not "necessary." Read more about Pickering's involvement in the Benghazi investigation in The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who worked for both Presidents Obama and George W. Bush, supported the Obama administration's response to the Benghazi attack in an interview with Bob Schieffer, saying, "frankly, had I been on the job at the time, I think my decisions would have been just as theirs were." POLITICO analyzes Face the Nation's conversation with Gates.

The Washington Post notes that Gates has previously said in his 1996 memoir that misunderstandings of how the military operates skew views of military responses to situations like Benghazi. Gates said on Sunday's broadcast that critics of the administration have a "cartoonish impression of military capabilities and military forces," echoing his memoir.

For more on the Benghazi investigation's remaining questions, see Time and The Atlantic.

The former secretary of defense also addressed the civil war in Syria and whether the United States should become involved. Gates believes that direct military action by the United States would be "a mistake." Read more at the Huffington Post. Senators Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Lindsey Graham, R-SC, debated the need for U.S. troops in Syria on Face the Nation's April 28 broadcast.

In addition to covering these important national and global issues, Face the Nation had a Mother's Day chat with poet and author Maya Angelou. The acclaimed author discussed her new book "Mom & Me & Mom", and how her mother shaped her character.