Where the buck stops.
As reported in the Bryan, Ohio, Times, December 27th, 1983:
Reagan takes blame for Beirut bombing
by Helen Thomas
WASHINGTON (UPI) — President Reagan said today he as chief executive accepts full responsibility for the terrorist bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut that killed 241 U.S. servicemen.
In a hurriedly scheduled press appearance in the White House press room, Reagan said the local Marine commanders “should not be punished” for the lack of proper security in the suicide attack.
“If there is to be blame, it properly rests here in this office, with this president,” Reagan said….
“Let me finally say that I have soberly consider the commission’s word about accountability and responsibility of authorities up and down the chain of command ….
“I do not believe, therefore, that the local commanders on the ground — men who have suffered quite enough — should be punished for not fully comprehending the nature of today’s terrorist threat. If there is to be blame it properly rests here in this office and with this president. And I accept the responsibility for the bad as well as the good.”
As reported in the Palm Beach, Florida, Post, December 28th, 1983:
Reagan takes responsibility in Beirut blast
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Reagan yesterday shouldered full responsibility for the security lapses which enabled a terrorist to kill 241 sleeping U.S. servicemen in Lebanon Oct. 23. A board of inquiry held the entire chain of command accountable, but Reagan declared, “If there is to be blame, it properly rests here in this office and with this president.”
Reagan said it would be unfair to punish field commanders, “who have already suffered quite enough,” for not fully anticipating acts of such brutality and fanaticism.
He thus rejected a recommendation by military investigators appointed by Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger that disciplinary or administrative action be considered against those who failed to provide adequate protection for troops under their command….