Update 10:47 a.m. If there's one thing to take from President Obama's and Secretary Clinton's speech, it's that both, while remembering the accomplishments of Stevens and the diplomats killed in Libya made it absolutely clear that the government of Libya was not behind or condoned the attacks--Obama even used the word "terrorism" to describe the murders. What's also noteworthy is that both Clinton and Obama both highlighted that the fact that "Libyans carried Chris Stevens body to the hospital", again to make it very very clear that the attacks did not represent the feelings of the country. Obama did not take questions or make any responses Romney's statements from last night or this morning, and he echoed Clinton's statement that the administration is trying to contact the next of kin for the other two Americans killed.
"We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act - and make no mistake, justice will be done," Obama said.
Here's Obama's Full Statement:
Good morning. Every day, all across the world,
American diplomats and civilians work tirelessly to advance the interests
and values of our nation. Often, they are away from their families.
Sometimes, they brave great danger.
Yesterday, four of these extraordinary Americans were killed in an attack on
our diplomatic post in Benghazi. Among those killed was our Ambassador,
Chris Stevens, as well as Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith. We are still
notifying the families of the others who were killed. And today, the
American people stand united in holding the families of the four Americans
in our thoughts and in our prayers.
The United States condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and
shocking attack. We're working with the government of Libya to secure our
diplomats. I've also directed my administration to increase our security at
diplomatic posts around the world. And make no mistake, we will work with
the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our
Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all
faiths. We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of
others. But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless
violence. None. The world must stand together to unequivocally reject
these brutal acts.
Already, many Libyans have joined us in doing so, and this attack will not
break the bonds between the United States and Libya. Libyan security
personnel fought back against the attackers alongside Americans. Libyans
helped some of our diplomats find safety, and they carried Ambassador
Stevens’s body to the hospital, where we tragically learned that he had
It's especially tragic that Chris Stevens died in Benghazi because it is a
city that he helped to save. At the height of the Libyan revolution, Chris
led our diplomatic post in Benghazi. With characteristic skill, courage,
and resolve, he built partnerships with Libyan revolutionaries, and helped
them as they planned to build a new Libya. When the Qaddafi regime came to
an end, Chris was there to serve as our ambassador to the new Libya, and he
worked tirelessly to support this young democracy, and I think both
Secretary Clinton and I relied deeply on his knowledge of the situation on
the ground there. He was a role model to all who worked with him and to the
young diplomats who aspire to walk in his footsteps.
Along with his colleagues, Chris died in a country that is still striving to
emerge from the recent experience of war. Today, the loss of these four
Americans is fresh, but our memories of them linger on. I have no doubt
that their legacy will live on through the work that they did far from our
shores and in the hearts of those who love them back home.
Of course, yesterday was already a painful day for our nation as we
marked the solemn memory of the 9/11 attacks. We mourned with the families
who were lost on that day. I visited the graves of troops who made the
ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan at the hallowed grounds of
Arlington Cemetery, and had the opportunity to say thank you and visit some
of our wounded warriors at Walter Reed. And then last night, we learned the
news of this attack in Benghazi.
As Americans, let us never, ever forget that our freedom is only
sustained because there are people who are willing to fight for it, to stand
up for it, and in some cases, lay down their lives for it. Our country is
only as strong as the character of our people and the service of those both
civilian and military who represent us around the globe.
No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation,
alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.
Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United
States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice
is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done.
But we also know that the lives these Americans led stand in stark
contrast to those of their attackers. These four Americans stood up for
freedom and human dignity. They should give every American great pride in
the country that they served, and the hope that our flag represents to
people around the globe who also yearn to live in freedom and with dignity.
We grieve with their families, but let us carry on their memory, and
let us continue their work of seeking a stronger America and a better world
for all of our children.
Thank you. May God bless the memory of those we lost and may God bless
the United States of America.
Original: After statements by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Mitt Romney, President Obama will be speaking about the deaths in Libya at approximately 10:35 a.m. in the Rose Garden.
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