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

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go 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.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More