FLASHBACK: Obama on Day of Benghazi Attack and Tsarnaev’s Naturalization: ‘Our Country Is Safer’

By Terence P. Jeffrey | April 21, 2013 | 1:02pm EDT


President Barack Obama with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta an Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey at the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2012. (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - On Sept. 11, 2012, as he was campaigning for reelection, President Barack Obama went to the Pentagon to give a speech commemorating the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and tell Americans that he was successfully bringing the post-9/11 wars to a conclusion.

“Our country is safer,” Obama said.

Later that day, terrorists would attack the U.S. State Department mission and CIA Annex in Benghazi, Libya, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing, would be granted U.S. citizenship in Massachusetts.

“Today, the war in Iraq is over,” Obama said in his Sept. 11, 2012 speech at the Pentagon. “In Afghanistan, we’re training Afghan security forces and forging a partnership with the Afghan people.  And by the end of 2014, the longest war in our history will be over.”

Obama said at the Pentagon that prior to 9/11/12 most of the victims would not have thought that a small number of terrorists could travel from overseas, enter the United States, and do great harm to us here.

“Most of the Americans we lost that day had never considered the possibility that a small band of terrorists halfway around the world could do us such harm,” said Obama. “Most had never heard the name al Qaeda. And yet, it's because of their sacrifice that we've come together and dealt a crippling blow to the organization that brought evil to our shores.  Al Qaeda's leadership has been devastated and Osama bin Laden will never threaten us again.  Our country is safer and our people are resilient.”

Obama said America’s conflict was with “al Qaeda and its affiliates.

“Eleven years ago, memorial services were held for Americans of different races and creeds, backgrounds and beliefs,” said Obama. “And yet, instead of turning us against each other, tragedy has brought us together. I've always said that our fight is with al Qaeda and its affiliates, not with Islam or any other religion.”

Four Americans died in Benghazi that day. They included Amb. Chris Stevens, State Department Information Management Officer Sean Smith, and former Navy Seals Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.  In Boston last week, terrorists murdered three people and wounded more than a 180 by detonating two bombs at the Boston Marathon. Later, the prime suspects in the bombing—ethnic Chechen Russian immigrants Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev--are suspected to have murdered a policeman at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and wounded a transit system policeman.

Before 11:00 p.m. Washington, D.C. time on Sept. 11, 2012—after Sean Smith had been killed in the still unfolding Benghazi terror attack, but before former Navy Seals Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty had been killed—then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton put out a written statement linking the ongoing terrorist attack to an anti-Muslim YouTube video. The statement was titled, “Statement on the Attack in Benghazi.”

"I condemn in the strongest terms the attack on our mission in Benghazi today," Clinton said in the statement. "As we work to secure our personnel and facilities, we have confirmed that one of our State Department officers was killed. We are heartbroken by this terrible loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and those who have suffered in this attack.”

“Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet," Clinton said. "The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation.”


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