‘Is This an Act of War?’ Obama Turns His Back on Question about Libyan Attack

September 12, 2012 - 11:42 AM

Obama 9/11

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, joined by members of the White House staff pause during a moment of silence to mark the 11th anniversary of the Sept, 11th, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012, on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama took no questions at the White House Rose Garden press conference on the attacks in Libya, turning his back and walking away as a reporter asked, “Is this an act of war?”

“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,” Obama said, flanked by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“And make no mistake – we will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people,” he said.

U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, and three other Americans were killed in attacks Tuesday in Benghazi.

“Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that accepts 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 president said. “The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts.

“Many Libyans have joined us in doing so,” Obama said, adding that “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’ body to the hospital, where we tragically learned that he had died,” he said.

“It’s especially tragic that 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,” Obama said.

“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,” the president added. “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 of people who are willing to fight for it, to stand up for it, and in some cases, lay down their lives for it. The 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,” he said.

“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,” the president said.

“Today we mourn four more American 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 with those of their attackers,” he said.

“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 the flag represents to people around the globe who also yearn to live in freedom and with dignity,” Obama added.

At the end of the press conference, Obama and Clinton turned to leave as reporters yelled out questions. “Is this an act of war?” one reporter asked.