News / USA

Obama: Video Protests an 'Excuse' to Attack US Facility In Libya

President Barack Obama participates in a town hall hosted by Univision and Univision news anchors Jorge Ramos (L) and Maria Elena Salinas (C), at the University of Miami, Florida, September 20, 2012.President Barack Obama participates in a town hall hosted by Univision and Univision news anchors Jorge Ramos (L) and Maria Elena Salinas (C), at the University of Miami, Florida, September 20, 2012.
x
President Barack Obama participates in a town hall hosted by Univision and Univision news anchors Jorge Ramos (L) and Maria Elena Salinas (C), at the University of Miami, Florida, September 20, 2012.
President Barack Obama participates in a town hall hosted by Univision and Univision news anchors Jorge Ramos (L) and Maria Elena Salinas (C), at the University of Miami, Florida, September 20, 2012.
Kent Klein
The Obama administration on Thursday called last week’s assault on the U.S. consulate in Libya a terrorist attack. This is the first time that White House officials have called the incident a deliberate attack, rather than a part of protests against a video that many Muslims consider offensive.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters it was “self-evident” that the September 11 attack on the U.S. facility in Benghazi was a “terrorist attack.”

A short time later, President Barack Obama said that protests over a video that ridicules the Prophet Muhammad were used as a pretext for a planned strike against Americans.

“What we do know is that the natural protests that arose because of the outrage over the video were used as an excuse by extremists to see if they can also directly harm U.S. interests.  Well, we do not know yet.  And so we are going to continue to investigate this,” Obama said.

The president said Libya, Egypt, Tunisia and other countries have cooperated fully with the United States in the investigation.

The statements by the president and his spokesman were similar to what National Counterterrorism Center Director Matthew Olsen told a Senate committee on Wednesday.  Olsen said the incident was “an opportunistic attack” that “evolved and escalated over several hours.”

The assault, which killed the U.S. Ambassador to Libya and three other Americans, took place on the 11th anniversary of the al-Qaida attacks that killed several thousand people in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

President Obama was speaking Thursday in a question-and-answer forum on the U.S. Spanish-language television network Univision, in Miami, Florida.  

He faced several pointed questions from Hispanic Americans about his inability to push comprehensive immigration reform legislation through Congress.

The president said opposition Republicans would not cooperate on his efforts to update immigration laws, and that he was forced to spend most of his time dealing with the financial crisis.

But Obama said he has taken administrative efforts to allow some young people who came to the United States illegally to avoid being deported.

“I have never wavered in my support of comprehensive immigration reform.  We did put forward a “Dream Act” that was passed in the House [of Representatives], got the overwhelming majority of support from Democrats in the Senate, and was blocked by the Republican Party,” Obama said.

When asked about some 5 million deportations conducted during his administration, the president said he is following the law and is concentrating on those who would pose a danger to Americans.

“We have to focus our attention, our enforcement, on people who genuinely pose a threat to our communities, not to hard-working families who are minding their own business and oftentimes there are members of the family who are U.S. citizens,” Obama said.

Florida is the fourth-largest of the 50 U.S. states in population, and experts say it is the largest of the swing states, where the November 6 election will likely be decided.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

1855 Slave Brochure Starkly Details Sale of Black Americans

Document lists entire families that were up for sale in New Orleans, offering graphic insight into the slavery trade More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
 Previous    
by: Jerry from: Indiana
September 20, 2012 6:33 PM
It's about time someone woke his man up !

by: Optimist from: Everywhere
September 20, 2012 6:09 PM
The Obama administration is for Hispanic-Americans. Nominating Supreme Court Judge (Sonia Sotomayor), the first Hispnic in history is one more evidence that Democrats are better for Hispanic-Americans than Conservatives who stand are against Hispanics. Conservative governers like Gov. Braun is making the situation worse for Hispanic-Americans from living here and contributing to society. The Obama administration is the best friend to Hispanic-Americans, while the Conservatives are against Hispanic-Americans.
In Response

by: Cru from: DC
September 21, 2012 9:31 AM
Trade your integrity for more money, Maria Elena. Why not? Romney has.
In Response

by: Richard from: Georgia
September 21, 2012 9:08 AM
Optimist... please explain to me a couple of things. 1. How does Sonia Sotomayor help Hispanics in this country? 2. Exactly what do the conservatives do and/or believe that is bad for Hispanics? I would like some facts please, not opinions or impressions.

I hear this kind of talk all the time but I'm still waiting for someone to come up with the facts to back it up. Now when you refer to Hispanics if what you are truly referring to is "illegal" Hispanics then please be more specific. I would certainly agree that the Democrats are MUCH better for Illegal immigrants than the conservatives.

As for Sonia Sotomayor... it's nice to see her on the court but I hope she got there because of her qualifications... not her race. Either way... unless you believe she is going to be prejudicial in favor of Hispanic interests I fail to she how she is going to help Hispanics any more than any other Supreme Court Justice.
In Response

by: Maria Elena from: Texas
September 21, 2012 8:59 AM
Optimist, you do not speak for me and mine. Just because Obama has nominated a Hispanic for the Supreme Court it does not make him better for Hispanics. What is better for Hispanics is money, a better economy which is something that Obama has failed to do. I want a job for my children, three of them are out of jobs. I want a better paying job for myself. I want to be able to buy a house. Not every Hispanic is concerned about immigration or having a Hispanic judge in the Supreme Court. We do not think as one person. Do not patronize us. It is condescending and wrong. I'm not looking for a handout, just a better life, and republican governors seem to be able in these bad economic times. And that's what I want.
Comments page of 2
 Previous    

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs