President Obama, in his most detailed comments on an independent inquiry’s report on the attack against the American diplomatic compound in Libya that killed four Americans on Sept. 11, said Sunday that the security and management flaws identified were “huge problems” that reflected “sloppiness” in how the State Department safeguards its missions abroad.
Mr. Obama, in an interview on the NBC News program “Meet the Press,” reaffirmed a decision by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to carry out all 29 of the panel’s recommendations, including sending 225 additional Marine guards to embassies and consulates and revamping how threat warnings are used to secure posts.
“My message to the State Department has been very simple, and that is we’re going to solve this,” Mr. Obama said. “We’re not going to be defensive about it; we’re not going to pretend that this was not a problem – this was a huge problem.”
Mr. Obama said one major finding – that the State Department relied too heavily on untested local Libyan militias to safeguard the compound in Benghazi, Libya – reflected “internal reviews” by the government.
“It confirms what we had already seen based on some of our internal reviews; there was just some sloppiness, not intentional, in terms of how we secure embassies in areas where you essentially don’t have governments that have a lot of capacity to protect those embassies,” Mr. Obama said.
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