Home / Politics / Full Transcript of Obama’s Rose Garden Speech After Sept. 11 Benghazi Attack

Full Transcript of Obama’s Rose Garden Speech After Sept. 11 Benghazi Attack

story obama rose garden speech pciture whitehousesept12Originally Posted on October 16, 2012 10:31 EDT

ForexTV.com (New York) by Timothy Kelly
(Revision 2: adds extended text transcripts [not included in White House Transcript accompanying video: http://www.whitehouse.gove/photos-and-video/video/2012/09/12/president-obama-speaks-attack-benghazi#transcript] and adds 2nd paragraph correcting veracity of Mr. Obama’s statement)


In tonight’s presidential debate President Obama maintains that he called the attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi a “act of terror”, which turns out to be accurate. However, the President is using a play on words. The full transcript below supports that assertion, which the moderator, Candy Crowley vehemently confirmed the President did do. However, the legal term of “act of terrorism” is never used. Furthermore, the President clearly implies that attack was a result of the reaction to an anti-Muslim film released on YouTube in teh transcript the White House released with the video below.


Under the video is a press release later distributed by the White House that includes the word “terror” used in the generic sense, not referring to “terrorism” or “terrorist act”. The choice of words is not a trivial matter in White House parlance, and the word “terrorist act” has a historic and specific meaning. nor did any of the official White House Statements in the following two weeks refer to “terrorist act”.  Nor did President Obama tonight refer to the attack as a “terrorist act.” we maintain that there was a meaningful distinction in the use of the word that could have easily been dispelled and/or clarified tonight…it was not.

I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the live of four Americans, Including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Right now, the American people have the families of those we lost in our thoughts and prayers. They exemplified America’s commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe, and stand in stark contrast to those who callously took their lives.

I have directed my Administration to provide all necessary resources to support the security of our personnel in Libya, and to increase security at our diplomatic posts around the globe. While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants.

On a personal note, Chris was a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States. Throughout the Libyan revolution, he selflessly served our country and the Libyan people at our mission in Benghazi. As Ambassador in Tripoli, he has supported Libya’s transition to democracy. His legacy will endure wherever human being reach for liberty and justice. I am profoundly grateful for his service to my Administration, and deeply saddened by this loss.

The brave Americans we lost represent the extraordinary service and sacrifices that our civilians make every day around the globe As we stand united with their families, let us now redouble our own efforts to carry their work forward.


Remarks by the President on the Deaths of U.S. Embassy Staff in Libya

Rose Garden

10:43 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Good morning.  Every day, all across the world, American diplomats and civilians work tirelessly to advance the interests and values of our nation.  Often, they are away from their families.  Sometimes, they brave great danger.

Yesterday, four of these extraordinary Americans were killed in an attack on our diplomatic post in Benghazi.  Among those killed was our Ambassador, Chris Stevens, as well as Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith.  We are still notifying the families of the others who were killed.  And today, the American people stand united in holding the families of the four Americans in our thoughts and in our prayers.

The United States condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack.  We’re working with the government of Libya to secure our diplomats.  I’ve also directed my administration to increase our security at diplomatic posts around the world.  And make no mistake, we will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people.

Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths.  We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.  But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence.  None.  The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts.

Already, many Libyans have joined us in doing so, and this attack will not break the bonds between the United States and Libya.  Libyan security personnel fought back against the attackers alongside Americans.  Libyans helped some of our diplomats find safety, and they carried Ambassador Stevens’s body to the hospital, where we tragically learned that he had died.

It’s especially tragic that Chris Stevens died in Benghazi because it is a city that he helped to save.  At the height of the Libyan revolution, Chris led our diplomatic post in Benghazi.  With characteristic skill, courage, and resolve, he built partnerships with Libyan revolutionaries, and helped them as they planned to build a new Libya.  When the Qaddafi regime came to an end, Chris was there to serve as our ambassador to the new Libya, and he worked tirelessly to support this young democracy, and I think both Secretary Clinton and I relied deeply on his knowledge of the situation on the ground there.  He was a role model to all who worked with him and to the young diplomats who aspire to walk in his footsteps.

Along with his colleagues, Chris died in a country that is still striving to emerge from the recent experience of war. Today, the loss of these four Americans is fresh, but our memories of them linger on.  I have no doubt that their legacy will live on through the work that they did far from our shores and in the hearts of those who love them back home.

Of course, yesterday was already a painful day for our nation as we marked the solemn memory of the 9/11 attacks.  We mourned with the families who were lost on that day.  I visited the graves of troops who made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan at the hallowed grounds of Arlington Cemetery, and had the opportunity to say thank you and visit some of our wounded warriors at Walter Reed.  And then last night, we learned the news of this attack in Benghazi.

As Americans, let us never, ever forget that our freedom is only sustained because there are people who are willing to fight for it, to stand up for it, and in some cases, lay down their lives for it.  Our country is only as strong as the character of our people and the service of those both civilian and military who represent us around the globe.

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.  Today we mourn four 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.

But we also know that the lives these Americans led stand in stark contrast to those of their attackers.  These four Americans stood up for freedom and human dignity.  They should give every American great pride in the country that they served, and the hope that our flag represents to people around the globe who also yearn to live in freedom and with dignity.

We grieve with their families, but let us carry on their memory, and let us continue their work of seeking a stronger America and a better world for all of our children.

Thank you.  May God bless the memory of those we lost and may God bless the United States of America.

10:48 A.M. EDT


About Timothy Kelly

Mr. Kelly is the Founder, Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of ForexTV. Mr. Kelly is a regular market analyst and writer for ForexTV.com. He holds a Series 3 and Series 34 CFTC registration and formerly was a Commodities Trading Advisor (CTA). Tim is also an expert and specialist in Ichimoku technical analysis. Mr. Kelly is also a licensed Property & Casualty; Life, Accident & Health Insurance Producer in New York State. In addition to writing about the financial markets, Mr. Kelly writes commentary on Politics and Social issues. He is also an occasional contributor to the Technology and Science sections of the Web site. Mr. Kelly attended Boston College where he studied English Literature and Economics, and also attended the University of Sienna, Italy where he studied studio art. Mr. Kelly has been a decades-long community volunteer in his hometown of Long Island where he has been a coach of Youth Lacrosse for over 10 years, Prior to volunteering in youth sports, Mr. Kelly was involved in the Inner City Scholarship program administered by the Archdiocese of New York. Prior to creating ForexTV, Mr, Kelly was Sr. VP Global Marketing for Bridge Information Systems, the world’s second largest financial market data vendor. Prior to Bridge, Mr. Kelly was the Head of Media at Bloomberg Financial Markets, where he created Bloomberg Personal Magazine with an initial circulation of over 21 million copies monthly.

  • Jim Ward

    Terror = terrorism. See Collins World English Dictionary:

    World English Dictionary
    terror (ˈtɛrə)

    — n
    1. great fear, panic, or dread
    2. a person or thing that inspires great dread
    3. informal a troublesome person or thing, esp a child
    4. terrorism

    Two days after 9/11, George W. Bush said, “And it was just a sobering moment for Laura and me. But we again thank the hospital, the docs, the nurses and, of course, again tell the families that the nation prays for those who have been injured by this unbelievable act of terror.”

    Also see, “The War on Terror.”

    And the comments of Ambassador Rice, linking the attackers to multiple terrorist groups just days after the attacks:

    Date: September 16, 2012
    Location: Face the Nation, CBS Studios
    Ambassador Susan Rice told Bob Schieffer that the attackers brought heavy weapons and that some had extremist ties. She clearly stated, “Whether they were al-Qaida affiliates, whether they were Libyan-based extremists or al-Qaida itself I think is one of the things we’ll have to determine.”

    • ForexTV

      Jim, thanks for your post. However,there is a very different legal interpretation of the word Terrorism. The link to the legal definition is provided for you above. Using an English dictionary definition is simply misleading. On the issue of Susan Rice’s statements and the White House talking points on no less than 6 national talk shows within 72 hours…we shall let the record speak for itself.

      • Jim Ward

        Ambassador Rice, of course, described the attackers as heavily-armed militants and explained that the Administration was investigating ties to al Qaeda and other terrorist groups.

        As indicated, nobody complained when Bush called 9/11 an “act of terror.” Nobody complained when Bush launched an international military campaign to eliminate al-Qaeda and other militant organizations and called it, on September 20, 2001, the “War on Terror.”

        From the bipartisan Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Benghazi report, pages 40 and 41:

        “Intelligence suggests the attack was not a highly coordinated plot, but was opportunistic.”

        “Intelligence suggests the attacks were likely put together in short order, following that day’s violent protests in Cairo against an inflammatory video.”

        From multiple public news sources:

        Date: September 12th, 2012

        Location: U.S. State Department Treaty Room

        “Yesterday, our U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, was attacked. Heavily armed militants assaulted the compound and set fire to our buildings. American and Libyan security personnel battled the attackers together.” – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

        Date: September 16, 2012

        Location: Face the Nation, CBS Studios

        Ambassador Susan Rice told Bob Schieffer that the attackers brought heavy weapons and that some had extremist ties. She clearly stated, “Whether they were al-Qaida affiliates, whether they were Libyan-based extremists or al-Qaida itself I think is one of the things we’ll have to determine.”

        Yes, we can let the record speak for itself.

        • ForexTV

          Jim, you lose all credibility bringing up Mr. Bush. He has zero to do with Benghazi. Unfortunate, but very common among defenders of Obama administration action on this matter. The right answer now, and then was and is to admit that there were mistakes. Not say “who cares?”, not deny or continue to embellish. Funny thing about telling the truth, it has a way of silencing partisan politics, why can’t the guilty parties realize that. Americans are forgiving, it is proven time and time again. The behavior of Obama, Rice and Clinton are shameful.

          • Jim Ward

            Nice try. My credibility, of course, is not the issue. The Bush quote is key because it illustrates the utter hypocrisy of Republican partisans. It was fine for Bush to call 9/11 an act of terror. But if Obama does the same it is the greatest scandal in the history of the planet. Give me a break!

            I have provided direct quotes from the Obama administration blaming the Benghazi attacks on heavily-armed extremist militants with possible ties to al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. I can provide many more.

            But the Benghazi conspiracy fanatics can’t even provide one quote of any Obama administration official blaming the attacks on angry video protesters. Not one. This is the very core of the conspiracy theory and yet there is no evidence of such nonsense. None.

            You guys can’t even provide a motive for the “lies” you assign to the administration. At the time of the Benghazi attacks, President Obama was leading Romney by large poll margins in the areas of “fighting terrorism” and “national security.” If anything, the Administration would have wanted to put more emphasis on the issue of terror (as many claim that Bush did to get reelected) and keep it off the areas where he was poorly polling — like the economy.

            Furthermore, President Obama never hung a “Mission Accomplished” banner in regard to the war on terror. On the night bin Laden was killed the President specifically told the American people that the fight was not over and that the terrorists would continue to target us. Not only that, but throughout the campaign he spoke not just of the continued threat from al Qaeda, but also of the growing threat from like-minded splinter groups and affiliates.

            And that gets at the very reason the Benghazi outpost existed. Neither an embassy or a consulate, the Benghazi outpost was largely a CIA operation managed by then CIA director, David Petraeus. This was certainly not the first time that blowback Petraeus’ counterinsurgency strategy led to American casualties. (See Iraq and Afghanistan.)

            The CIA and JSOC soldiers who were a part of the Benghazi rescue and evacuation operation were there to monitor the extremist militia groups in post-war Libya. They were coordinating the more moderate forces into a national security force. And they were securing the many MANPADS (shoulder-fired missiles that posed grave danger to civilian airliners) that had been looted from Qaddafi’s arsenals during the revolution.

            This mission was far too vital to simply walk away from as partisans suggest in hindsight. And Stevens knew that the presence of a Western invasion force would not have made the job of disarming the militants any easier. That is why, as Commanding General Ham and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff testified, Stevens himself turned down multiple offers of an increased overt military presence at the outpost. And that is why the many security upgrades to the outpost that were implemented in the months prior to the attacks included the placement of the nearby quick reaction force. (Three such forces, the one from Benghazi and two from Tripoli took part in the rescue operation — the first responding in 25 minutes.)

            No lies. No motive to lie. No stand down. No scandal. Just partisan politics and the exploiting of the deaths of four brave Americans to score political points. If Republicans ever want to be in the White House again, they might try giving the phony scandal mongering a rest and lay out an actual plan for solving the many problems facing our great Nation.

          • IP Daley II

            Forex, Jim Ward “Jim4Ward” is a blind Liberal in bed with this Administration, he is a pathological liar & a coward. Look him up on the web, the internet is littered with his blind allegiance.
            After an entire 2 weeks to the date, Obama made reference to the video 6 times during his speech before the UN on September 25th, 2012. Obama made no reference to Al Qaida being involved when it was already well established it was, but he made reference to that video 6 times.
            So just tell Jimie he is a coward, a liar and he is full of do-do, because he will deny it.

          • ForexTV

            IP, however much we disagree with people, and especially folks like Jim, we should refrain from making personal attacks or name-calling. It does not help foster a healthy debate. I assure you that most folks can see sensationalism and pure ideological rhetoric quite clearly. It is quite common for people with a weak position in a debate to arbitrarily bring up irrelevant points to divert attention away from the issue they are failing to defend effectively. It is called diversion and it is a sophomoric debate tactic. But do try not to let it move you to insulting your opponent. Thanks for posting.