Obama on Deadly Libya Attack: ‘Ultimately … I’m Responsible’

President Barack Obama makes a funny face after he is connected to a wrong number while calling to thank campaign volunteers at the 'Obama For America' field office in Orlando, Fla., on Oct. 28. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/MCT via Getty Images)

President Barack Obama is vowing to find those individuals who carried out a deadly attack on a U.S. diplomatic facility in Libya, but in an interview he did not disclose any new information about what his administration knew beforehand.

Obama said during a Monday (Oct. 29) television interview that the deadly consulate attack in Libya is his responsibility, adding he will punish anyone who “didn’t do their job.”

“The truth is that across the board, when this happened, my No. 1 priority was, secure Americans, figure out what happened, bring those folks to justice,” Obama said. “We are in the process of doing that right now.”

Republican lawmakers have been criticizing Obama and his team for weeks over the administration’s handling of the incident. GOP lawmakers like Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., are alleging the Obama administration knew there was a strong possibility of an attack weeks before the Sept. 11 incident that left the U.S. ambassador and three others dead.

Graham has demanded a long list of answers; McCain and McKeon have accused the administration of orchestrating a cover-up of what it knew and when it knew it.

Obama did not disclose any new information about how things played out, but he made two promises.

“What my attitude on this is, if we find out we that there was a big breakdown, and somebody didn’t do their job, they’ll be held accountable,” Obama said. “Ultimately, as commander in chief, I’m responsible, and I don’t shy away from that responsibility. My No. 1 responsibility is to go after the folks who did this, and we’re going to make sure we get them.”

And just in case anyone forgot there’s an election next week, Obama ended his Libya remarks with a pitch about his foreign policy and national security record.

Obama said: I’ve got a pretty good track record of doing that.”

John T. Bennett

John T. Bennett

Bennett is the Editor of Defense News' CongressWatch channel. He has a Masters degree in Global Security Studies from Johns Hopkins University.
John T. Bennett