President Barack Obama urged Congress on Thursday to fund upgrades to U.S. embassy security around the world, as a way of truly honoring the memory of four Americans killed in Benghazi.
Obama made the call in his latest bid to regain the initiative after Republicans accused his administration of covering up details of the attack, to safeguard his re-election hopes last year.
The president said he was committed to steps on the security of U.S. posts abroad that were recommended by a State Department review board set up to probe the attack on the U.S. mission in the eastern Libyan city.
“We’re not going to be able to do this alone. We’re going to need Congress as a partner,” he told reporters at the White House.
“I’m calling on Congress to work with us to support and fully fund our budget request to improve the security of our embassies around the world.”
The president also said Congress would need to help fund the posting of more U.S. Marines to embassies and consulates abroad.
“We need to come together and truly honor the sacrifice of those four courageous Americans and better secure our diplomatic posts around the world,” Obama said.
“That’s how we learn the lessons of Benghazi, that’s how we keep faith with the men and women who we send overseas to represent America and that’s what I will stay focused on as commander-in-chief.”
Obama spoke a day after the White House released 100 pages of emails and documents showing the deliberations of senior officials on several agencies as they set the early U.S. narrative in the days after the attacks.
The move was designed to counter Republican claims of a cover-up but is unlikely to quell investigations from Obama’s foes on Capitol Hill who sense a chance to damage the president politically early in his second term.
The attack on September 11, 2012, first blamed on a spontaneous protest, then attributed to Islamic extremists, killed U.S. ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other Americans.