WASHINGTON -- President Obama vowed that “justice will be done” in response to the attack in Libya that took the life of American ambassador Christopher Stevens.
Joined by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for a statement in the Rose Garden Wednesday morning, Obama said the killing of Stevens and three other Americans will not “break the bonds” between the U.S. and Libya.
“No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation,” Obama said of U.S. fidelity to supporting democracy. “We will not waver in our commitment.”
Still, he said, “Make no mistake. Justice will be done.”
Obama delayed his announcement a few minutes beyond his scheduled appearance in the garden just outside the Oval Office. His Republican rival Mitt Romneyhad just finished a public critique of the Obama response to the crisis.
When he emerged, Obama did not respond to those remarks nor publicly disown the U.S. embassy statement issued Tuesday night. The statement condemned efforts to offend the religious beliefs of others but did not condemn the violence those efforts might inspire.
An official said the White House did not sign off on that statement, but the president only indirectly corrected the administration’s position.
“Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths and rejects all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence. None,” Obama said.
“The United States condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack,” Obama said, adding that he was working with the Libyan government to improve security and ordered increased security measures at other diplomatic posts around the world. “Make no mistake we will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people.”
The president said the world must stand together to “unequivocally reject” such violence, and noted some Libyans had already spoken out against it.