Obama: Stevens Was 'Everything the United States Could Want in an Ambassador'
At the ceremony to mark the arrival of the remains of the four diplomats who died in an attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton praised their service and promised not to "retreat from the world."
Update (2:59 p.m. EDT): Both Obama and Clinton praised the slain diplomats -- U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens along with Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods -- while they called on Libya and other countries to reject violence. Stevens was "everything the United States could want in an ambassador," Obama said, adding that he and his fallen colleagues "didn't simply embrace the American ideal, they lived it; they embodied it. The courage, the hope, and yes, the idealism - that fundamental American belief that we could leave this world a little better than before." Clinton said he "risked his life to help protect the Libyan people from a tyrant & he gave his life helping them build a better country." Clinton continued: "People of Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Tunisia did not trade the tyranny of a dictator for the tyranny of a mob." Obama said the United States "would never retreat from the world." After their remarks, the Star Spangled Banner played, and the remains were loaded into herses.
Update: A full transcript of the president's remarks is available at the White House.
Original: In just a few minutes, the ceremony to mark the arrival of the remains of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens (at left) and three other Americans who died in an attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, will be underway at Andrews Air Force Base. President Barack Obama, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be among those present to receive those remains. You can watch the ceremony live here, courtesy of MSNBC.