In an interview that aired today, President Obama said that “if we find out that there was a big breakdown and somebody didn’t do their job” regarding the attack on the U.S. outposts in Benghazi, Libya, “then they’ll be held responsible.”
The president made his comment on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” The president acknowledged that “there’s all kinds of legitimate questions to ask because any time a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans who are serving our country get killed we have to figure out what happened and fix it – and most importantly we have to bring those folks who carried it out to justice.”
That said, in these highly charged few days before the election, the president and the administration haven’t been eager to answer those questions, with some administration sources privately expressing reluctance to make any statements now, while the FBI and internal State Department investigations are still going on, lest they say anything that later proves incorrect, as happened with U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice.
The president said that he took offense “to some suggestion that, you know, in any way we haven’t tried to make sure the American people knew as information was coming in what we believed happened.”
Was the intelligence community giving the president bad information? “Well, that’s what we’re going to find out from the investigation,” the president said. “But the truth is across the board when this happened my number one priority was to secure Americans, find out what happened and bring those folks to justice. We are in the process of doing that right now. Congress has been getting the flow of information continuously from day one, and what my attitude on this is that if we find out that there was a big breakdown and somebody didn’t do their job, then they’ll be held responsible.”
He said that “ultimately as commander in chief I’m responsible and I don’t shy away from that responsibility. My number one responsibility is to going after folks who did this and we’re going to make sure we get them and I have a pretty good track record of doing that.”