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Obama: Security upgrade needed for U.S. embassies

May 16, 2013 at 2:05 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, May 16 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama said Thursday he's asked the Defense Department to be better prepared to respond to attacks on U.S. embassies.

The administration has been under intense criticism from congressional Republicans for its response to the terror attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, Sept. 11, in which the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were killed.

Obama told reporters at the White House, "There's been intense discussion around the attacks in Benghazi."

Citing the loss of American life, Obama said, "I am intent on making sure we do everything we can to keep another tragedy from happening. ... We've been taking a number of steps recommended by the review board."

An accountability review board recommended a number of changes following the attack, including increased security.

The president said he has "directed the Defense Department make sure it can respond in times of crisis." He added the United States was "increasing the number of Marine Corps guards who secure our embassies."

Obama put some of the onus on Congress and called on it "to support and fully fund our requests for our embassies around the world."

Obama appeared at a joint White House news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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