News / USA

White House Defends Stance on Libya Attack

Kent Klein
The White House is defending its response to the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Obama administration officials acknowledged that their account of the incident changed as new information became available.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday the administration’s description of last month’s assault has shifted because of updated information.

“We have been clear all along that this was an ongoing investigation, that as more facts became available we would make you aware of them as appropriate, and we have done that,” Carney said.

The U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three other American diplomats were killed  September 11, in a violent attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

Some White House officials originally linked the assault to protests over a privately-made video ridiculing Islam.  Neither President Barack Obama nor Secretary of State Hillary Clinton initially mentioned terrorism.  They later said it was a planned terrorist attack.

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has criticized the administration’s changing response to the incident, and charged that the president has a weak foreign policy, especially in the Middle East.

The Republican-led House of Representatives began hearings Wednesday into the attack, questioning whether there was adequate security at the consulate in Libya.

Some Democrats have accused Republicans of using a tragedy for political gain, less than four weeks before the presidential election.

The White House spokesman acknowledged that greater security was needed at the facility in Benghazi.

“I think there is no question that when four Americans are killed at a diplomatic facility, that something went wrong,” Carney said.

The State Department has been investigating the incident, and Carney told reporters the president is committed to following the facts wherever they may lead.

“From the day that this happened, the president has been focused on ensuring that we are doing everything we can to bring the perpetrators to justice, making sure that diplomatic personnel and facilities around the world are protected, and that we take the steps necessary to find out what happened and why,” Carney said.

Meanwhile, the president’s top expert on counterterrorism, John Brennan, was in Tripoli Wednesday, meeting with Libyan President Mohamed Yousef El-Magariaf and other top officials.  White House officials say they discussed the investigation of the incident and ways the U.S. can assist Libya in efforts to strengthen its democracy.

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Comment Sorting
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
October 11, 2012 7:08 AM
The White House as presently constituted is too weak to do anything for USA. The earlier allusion to film protest was an attempt by the White House to deceive the American populace, nay electorate, as usual 'because it is election year'. This is what you get from a weak foreign policy especially when the administration is grossly inexperienced and expert at manipulation of unemployment figures - compensating for July/August and dropping back figure to the starting point. Real progress would have been if the figures were lowered below what was inherited. BUT NO! Showing weakness on all fronts is not how to maintain America's leadership in the globe. Ronald Regan of blessed memory once said, "If you want peace prepare for war." But America has portrayed itself a toothless bulldog that Libyan terrorists felt so confident to take out US consulate at Benghazi. What a shame! Is this a sign of the audacity of hope? Or the Change that you need?

by: mark l. from: east tn
October 10, 2012 10:33 PM
where was the military?
one of the primary tasks of our medtterranean fleet is to protect our embassies. this attack took six hours, and the state dept was in communication with them as it occurrred. no one called the fleet? bring in the commanders of the fleet, and ask them if they knew what was happening, as it happened.
prepare to be shocked.

by: Grantman from: Atlanta
October 10, 2012 9:21 PM
Quote: "White House press secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday the administration’s description of last month’s assault has shifted because of updated information."

The White House had information within 24 hours that it was not a "spontaneous uprising against a [insert adjective] video but that it was a terrorist attack. Why did it take over a week for them to "shift because of updated information?"

by: Daniel Phelan
October 10, 2012 8:38 PM
I know we about to hear it coming from you all Republicans but really? Really Republicans? This is all you can come up with? The exploitation of the death of an honorable man; a man of country?

This was a terrible violent act by terrorist. They are to blame.

What are you saying Republicans? That we should invade Iraq? 4000 dead American soldiers among countless others!!?? Oppps! Wrong enemy!!

Are you saying that Republicans and GW Bush are responsible for letting 9/11 happen?
In Response

by: Grantman from: Atlanta
October 11, 2012 6:39 AM
Oh, good heavens, Daniel. Your entire reply, except for the truth that "this was a terrible violent act by terrorists and they are to blame" is an entire non-sequitur.

All I was asking is why, if the administration knew within 24 hours that this was a terrible violent act by terrorists, that they lied for the next week in public statements by both Jay Carney and Ambassador Rice.

This is not a Republican or a Democrat issue; this is an American issue and has nothing to do with Iraq.
In Response

by: David
October 11, 2012 2:07 AM
Nice strawman and obfuscation you built there Daniel. Care to address the lies of Obama, Clinton and the UN ambassador? Sorry, you are too busy playing cover 2 defense for the liars in the Dem party. By the way, Bush is no longer President, quit bringing him up, by the way, the American people are beginning to miss the competency of the Bush presidency everyday.
In Response

by: Hombre from: Sedona, Az
October 11, 2012 1:20 AM
Oh please, nobody's that dense. The Administration refused to provide adequate security, theAmbassador and three others died and the President, Sec of State, UN Ambassador, et al., lied about it for a week after the truth came out from other sources. The Libyans said their story was preposterous. Even to an Obot the "Bush defense" has to seem lame. So why use it?
In Response

by: Bob from: Twin Cities MN
October 11, 2012 12:25 AM
@ Daniel Phelan _ Actually, Daniel, what everyone with a sincere love of country should do is listen to the testimony from the hearing today. So far it shows a deep incompetence and an ongoing attitude of misplaced superiority and arrogance in the State Department. Nothing Nixon or Clinton or Bush did even comes close to the magnitude of this mismanaged security snafu. Heads should roll, starting with H Clinton and everyone who works for her. The political exploitation is on the part of the Democrats as they even now continue to lie about the protocols and what they knew. Just check out the testimony.
In Response

by: Four Gees from: Reality
October 10, 2012 11:11 PM
Sorry Mr. Phelan, but the time for partisanship is over. The issue is not whether Rs or Ds want to go to war or avoid going to war. What is at issue is the lack of appropriate response by the current administration to a a series of orchestrated terrorist attacks on US embassies. No more smoke and mirrors from any politician - surely even you can understand that.
In Response

by: Hugh Blomeke from: Annapolis, Md
October 10, 2012 10:43 PM
If you're going to add a response, at least try to make it a coherent one. You might also try to read and understand the point of the article which has prompted your wide-eyed reaction. Of course terrorist are to blame for the attack. It's the Obama administration which is responsible for leaving the consulate and four now dead Americans vulnerable to the terrorist attack. Iraq? George Bush? American soldiers?. . . . huh? Just what connection do you see to the incompetance, dishonesty and dereliction of duty by your president and foolish administration?
In Response

by: Tom from: Ohio
October 10, 2012 9:30 PM
Hey, waitaminute - I thought this was caused by otherwise peaceful Muslims that were offended by some obscure video made by some two-bit producer. You Obamabots really need to stick to one story.

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