Obama’s statement on Benghazi: ‘Outrageous attack’

President Obama released a statement Wednesday morning on the assault on an American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that has left the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other American diplomats dead. 

Obama said he "strongly condemn[s] the outrageous attack" and pronounced himself "deeply saddened" by the death of Ambassador John Christopher Stevens, calling him "a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States."

The full statement is below the jump.

I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Right now, the American people have the families of those we lost in our thoughts and prayers. They exemplified America's commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe, and stand in stark contrast to those who callously took their lives.

I have directed my Administration to provide all necessary resources to support the security of our personnel in Libya, and to increase security at our diplomatic posts around the globe. While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants.

On a personal note, Chris was a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States. Throughout the Libyan revolution, he selflessly served our country and the Libyan people at our mission in Benghazi. As Ambassador in Tripoli, he has supported Libya's transition to democracy. His legacy will endure wherever human beings reach for liberty and justice. I am profoundly grateful for his service to my Administration, and deeply saddened by this loss. 

The brave Americans we lost represent the extraordinary service and sacrifices that our civilians make every day around the globe. As we stand united with their families, let us now redouble our own efforts to carry their work forward.

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.
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Rachel Weiner · September 12, 2012