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Entries in Christopher Stevens (4)

Thursday
Sep202012

Clinton: ‘No Information’ Amb. Stevens Was on Al Qaeda ‘Hit List’

William Ng/State Dept(WASHINGTON) -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton responded today to reports that Ambassador Chris Stevens feared he was on an Al Qaeda “hit list” by saying that she had “absolutely no information or reason to believe that there’s any basis for that.”

Clinton also announced that she has launched an independent panel, an Accountability Review Board, that will be directed by veteran diplomat Ambassador Thomas Pickering, to investigate what happened in the Benghazi consulate attack that killed four diplomats.

The State Department is required by law to investigate any incidents in which there has been loss of life or significant destruction of property at a U.S. mission abroad within 60 days of the attack.  Clinton will provide the Senate Foreign Relations Committee with the findings of the report.

Clinton said the countries affected by the Arab Spring have “fragile” and “new” democracies and America cannot afford to withdraw its support now.  

“The vast majorities of people in these countries did not throw off the tyranny of a dictator to trade it for the tyranny of a mob.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Sep142012

Obama to Attend Ceremony for Americans Killed in Libya

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama will travel to Andrews Air Force Base this afternoon to attend the transfer of the remains ceremony of the four Americans killed in Libya earlier this week.

U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, Information Management Officer Sean Smith and security personnel Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were killed in the assault.

The president has strongly condemned the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and vowed to “bring to justice the killers.”

“There is absolutely no justification for this type of senseless violence, none,” Obama said in response to the attack on Wednesday.

U.S. officials are investigating whether the violence was a pre-planned attack intended to coincide with the 9/11 anniversary or linked to the broader protests in the region in response to an online anti-Islam film.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will also attend today’s transfer ceremony.

The solemn transfer of remains is a precise ceremony on the tarmac where transfer cases bearing the remains of the American casualties are carried off the aircraft and set down with honors on U.S. soil.

The families of Ambassador Stevens and the three U.S. government casualties have gathered, and State Department colleagues of the victims are being brought to the air base as well.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep132012

Obama: Terror Will 'Not Dim the Light' of US Values

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images(GOLDEN, Colo.) -- As his campaign rival accuses him of “apologizing” for America, President Obama today sought to project an unabashed commitment to the nation’s values, telling supporters in Colorado that he is resolved to defend them in the face of terrorism and violence.

“I want people around the world to hear me, to all those who would do us harm, no act of terror will go unpunished. It will not dim the light of the values that we proudly present to the rest of the world,” Obama said.  “No act of violence shakes the resolve of the United States of America.”

The president said his administration is determined to bring to justice the killers of four Americans at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and would continue to speak out for democracy and human rights.

“That's what binds us together. That's what our flag means,” Obama said. “We also believe that these are not just American rights. We believe these are universal aspirations.”

He added that the county’s primary task is “to defend and protect and advance our people, but also to defend and protect and advance those values at home and around the world.

“That's what our troops do. That's what our diplomats do. That's what our intelligence officers do. That's what our citizens do. That's what we believe. Those are the values that we hold to,” he said.

In keeping with a slightly more subdued tone that he set Wednesday night at a campaign rally in Las Vegas, President Obama did not mention rival Mitt Romney once by name.

Meanwhile back in Washington, a portrait of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, draped with a black ribbon, and a condolence book was displayed today outside of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee room. Stevens worked briefly on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as a Pearson Fellow State Department detailee from 2006-2007.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, D-Mass., today invited Senators and staff to sign the book or write a brief note to Stevens’ family. The portrait and book will be displayed until next Thursday. The condolence book will be given to the Stevens family.  

“We hope you will join us in honoring this extraordinary American diplomat,” Chairman Kerry and Ranking Minority Member Richard Lugar, R-Ind., said in an email to members today.

On Wednesday night the Senate passed a resolution by Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Richard Lugar, R-Ind., Chairman and Ranking Member of the Foreign Relations Committee, commending the four Americans who died in Libya.

The resolution also condemned the “despicable” and violent attack on the United States consulate in Benghazi and calls for “the perpetrators of such attacks to be brought to justice.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep122012

Obama Vows Justice for Slain Diplomats

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama today strongly condemned a deadly overnight attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, calling the murder of four Americans there an “outrageous and shocking” act and vowing to “bring to justice the killers.”

“There is absolutely no justification for this type of senseless violence, none,” Obama said at a press conference in the Rose Garden.

The president underscored that the violence was perpetrated by a rogue group of Libyan militants, not the Libyan government or the Libyan people.

“The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts,” he said. “Already, many Libyans have joined us in doing so, and this attack will not break the bonds between the United States and Libya.”

Obama, who aides say was first notified of the attacks Tuesday night, said that he had immediately ordered increased security at U.S. diplomatic outposts in Libya and around the world.

The State Department confirmed earlier Wednesday that among the dead were U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith. Two other Americans killed have not yet been identified since officials were still notifying their families.

Obama hailed Stevens’ leadership in helping to foster Libyan democracy after the downfall of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi. “He was a role model to all who worked with him and to the young diplomats who aspire to walk in his footsteps,” he said.

Noting that the incident took place on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Obama invoked a legacy of American resiliency and determination as a basis for confidence that the country can heal and move forward.

“No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for,” Obama said. “Today we mourn for more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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