Wednesday, September 12, 2012

American ambassador killed in attack on embassy

An American ambassador is dead after yesterday's attack on the embassy in Libya.  My condolences to the friends and family of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens as well as to those of the other Americans killed in yesterday's attacks.

I'm not going to get into the politics of what led to yesterday's events.  I'll let ABC News Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper tell you all about that.  We know that the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt, put out a statement that was not approved by the White House.  This led to Mitt Romney and other Republicans slamming the administration.

As it turns out, according to NBC News, Mitt Romney's campaign looks worse by releasing a statement before all the information came out.  After all the information came out, the Romney campaign stands by it's original statement.

We also now know that Gainesville pastor Terry Jones was one of the financial backers of the film that outraged those in Libya and Egypt.  Jones had planned an "International Judge Muhammad Day."

I did not make any comments here yesterday on the matter because I needed more information on the issue at hand.  I was not in a position to rush to judgement.

While the White House Briefing Room is not updated with statements released, the Secretary of State's website is.

The first statement by Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton dealt with the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi:
I condemn in the strongest terms the attack on our mission in Benghazi today. As we work to secure our personnel and facilities, we have confirmed that one of our State Department officers was killed. We are heartbroken by this terrible loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and those who have suffered in this attack.

This evening, I called Libyan President Magariaf to coordinate additional support to protect Americans in Libya. President Magariaf expressed his condemnation and condolences and pledged his government’s full cooperation.

Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind.

In light of the events of today, the United States government is working with partner countries around the world to protect our personnel, our missions, and American citizens worldwide.
The second statement dealt with this morning's news that Ambassador Stevens and others had been killed in the Benghazi attacks.

The interim president of Libya, Mohammed el-Megarif, has offered an apology to the United States of America.

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