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

Video Analysts: Beijing Parade a 'Bazaar' of Stolen Technology

Show commemorating victory over Japan in World War II involved long, medium and short range missiles, a range of tanks and 200 fighter aircraft More

Bernie Sanders Surge Reflects US Shift on Socialism

Although most analysts say it is unlikely he will get the Democratic nomination, Sanders' campaign opens up questions and issues that are otherwise marginalized More

Video On IS Frontline, Kurdish Fighters Ready for Offensive

Peshmerga soldiers say although they need more heavy artillery, they are poised to take the fight to the Islamic State extremists on their turf 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.
Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outragei
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 04, 2015 11:36 AM
The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outrage

The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Russians Observe 11th Anniversary of Beslan School Attack

This week, Russians have been observing the 11th anniversary of the attack by Islamic militants on a school in Russia's North Caucasus region that killed more than 330 hostages, including 186 children. The three-day siege and massacre that started on September 1, 2004 took place in Beslan, a town in the republic of North Ossetia, and is one of the bloodiest terrorist acts ever in Russia. VOA's Mike Richman reports.
Video

Video Native Americans Debate: Father Serra, Saint or Sinner?

Pope Francis will canonize an 18th century missionary to Spanish California during a papal visit to the United States this month.  But some Native Americans have criticized the elevation to sainthood of the missionary priest, Junipero Serra. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video China Announces Troop Cuts at WWII Parade

Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday announced plans to cut the world’s largest military force by 300,000 troops. The announcement was made during a massive military parade to commemorate victory over Japan in World War II. The event was shunned by most Western leaders and for some is raising fresh concerns about China’s military ambitions. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
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 Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.

VOA Blogs