By Justin Sink - 05/23/13 07:24 PM EDT
President Obama was interrupted by a female protester during his speech Thursday at the National Defense University in Washington.
The interruption first came as the president called on Congress to allow for the transfer of detainees from the Guantánamo prison and persisted as the president attempted to continue his speech.
"Why don't you sit down, and I'll tell you exactly what I'm going to do ... This is part of free speech, you being able to speak, but also you listening. And me be able to speak," Obama said.
Later, as Obama bemoaned that "history will cast a harsh judgment on this aspect of our fight against terrorism," he again acknowledged her protest.
"I'm willing to cut the young lady who interrupted me some slack because it's something worth being passionate about," Obama said.
But Obama was interrupted a third time, with the woman repeatedly shouting, "I love my country. I love the rule of law."
After a long pause, the president acknowledged that he had been knocked "off script." But, he said, the protest underscored the complexities at hand.
Read more on The Hill's DEFCON blog.