‘We will never give in to fear or division’

‘WE WILL NEVER GIVE IN TO FEAR OR DIVISION’…. Speaking from a Marine base in Hawaii, President Obama spoke for about seven minutes this afternoon about the attempted terrorism on Christmas day, and the developments in Iran over the weekend.

Obama covered a fair amount of ground, recapping a bit on what we know about the AbdulMutallab incident in the skies over Michigan, and lauding “the quick and heroic actions of passengers and crew.”

The president announced the launch of a “full investigation” to find “all who were involved and hold them accountable,” before talking about a series of new administration actions, including “enhanced screening and security procedures for all flights,” additional federal air marshals “to flights entering and leaving the United States,” a review of the U.S. “watch list system … not only of how information related to the subject was handled, but of the overall watch list system and how it can be strengthened,” and a review of “all screening policies, technologies and procedures related to air travel.”

“Finally, the American people should remain vigilant, but also be confident,” Obama said. “Those plotting against us seek not only to undermine our security, but also the open society and the values that we cherish as Americans. This incident, like several that have preceded it, demonstrates that an alert and courageous citizenry are far more resilient than an isolated extremist.

“As a nation, we will do everything in our power to protect our country. As Americans, we will never give in to fear or division. We will be guided by our hopes, our unity, and our deeply held values. That’s who we are as Americans; that’s what our brave men and women in uniform are standing up for as they spend the holidays in harm’s way. And we will continue to do everything that we can to keep America safe in the new year and beyond.”

Obama also addressed developments in Iran and said the United States “joins with the international community in strongly condemning the violent and unjust suppression of innocent Iranian citizens, which has apparently resulted in detentions, injuries, and even death…. What’s taking place within Iran is not about the United States or any other country. It’s about the Iranian people and their aspirations for justice and a better life for themselves. And the decision of Iran’s leaders to govern through fear and tyranny will not succeed in making those aspirations go away.”