Obama: ‘We will bring to justice’ those who harm Americans

President Obama on Friday, speaking in front of the caskets of the four diplomatic workers killed in Libya, said "justice will come" to those who harm Americans.

Obama spoke at the Transfer of Remains Ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, where the bodies were first returned to U.S. soil. He was joined at the ceremony by Vice President Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

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Obama spoke about each of the four Americans killed, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, calling them patriots who laid down their lives protecting their friends, both Libyan and American. The other three victims were Sean Smith, a Foreign Service officer, and Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, who helped protect diplomatic personnel.

The president said that the awful loss and terrible images of the past week might cause some to question the work being done in places like Libya, but that the United States “will never retreat from the world.”

Obama said that the United States will “stand fast against the violence on our diplomatic missions,” and do everything in its power to protect Americans overseas, as violence continues spread across the Middle East amid the protests.


“We will bring to justice those who took them from us,” Obama said of the Americans killed in Libya.

Speaking before Obama, Clinton said that the countries where “senseless” violence has occurred must hold those responsible accountable.

“The people of Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Tunisia did not trade the tyranny of a dictator for the tyranny of a mob,” Clinton said. “Reasonable people and responsible leaders in these countries need to do everything they can to restore security and hold accountable those behind these violent acts.”

The ceremony began as the caskets of the four diplomatic workers, draped in American flags, were taken off the C-17 plane and somberly marched into the base hanger as a hymn was played. There was a moment of silence and prayer before Clinton and Obama spoke.

Following the ceremony, the remains will be transported to Dover.

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