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Fact check: Joe Biden, Paul Ryan clash over Libya

October 11, 2012|By Ken Dilanian

GOP vice presidential nominee Paul D. Ryan said it took President Obama two weeks to label the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans as “a terrorist attack.”

In fact, Obama labeled the incident an “act of terror” during his remarks on Sept. 12 in the White House Rose Garden.

“No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for,” Obama said. “Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America.  We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act.  And make no mistake, justice will be done.”

Some conservative commentators have argued that Obama’s formulation wasn’t specific enough.

Obama administration officials have acknowledged that they were wrong to characterize the lethal attack as a spontaneous outburst of mob violence after a protest of an anti-Islam film,  but say they relied on U.S. intelligence assessments for that information. They now say that dozens of heavily armed extremists – some apparently with links to Al Qaeda – carried out the assault, and that it had no connection to the film that had sparked protests in other parts of the Muslim world. 

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ken.dilanian@latimes.com

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