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Archive for Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Obama condemns attack that killed envoy, 3 others

September 12, 2012, 9:53 a.m. Updated September 12, 2012, 1:48 p.m.

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— President Barack Obama vowed Wednesday the United States would "work with the Libyan government to bring to justice" those who killed U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in an attack on the consulate in Benghazi.

"Make no mistake. Justice will be done," he said in a Rose Garden appearance at the White House.

Obama, who ordered an increase in security at U.S. facilities overseas, said he "condemns in the strongest possible terms the outrageous and shocking" attack.

He spoke after Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney also condemned the attack but criticized the administration for its initial response to a separate incident on Tuesday, the breach of the U.S. embassy in Cairo.

The president spoke with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at his side as the deaths in Libya quickly roiled the U.S. political campaign, now in its final seven weeks.

Stevens, 52, and three other Americans were killed when he and a group of embassy employees went to the consulate to try to evacuate staff as the building came under attack by a mob armed with guns and rocket propelled grenades.

The incidents in Benghazi and Cairo have been attributed to the work of protesters angry over a film that ridiculed Islam's Prophet Muhammad.

In his remarks, Obama said: "We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, but there is absolutely no justification for this type of senseless violence, none."

Romney's criticism appeared limited to an initial statement issued the previous day by the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. He said it was "akin to an apology," and that said as president, Obama bears responsibility for it. "They clearly sent mixed messages for the world," he said of the administration.

The U.S. Embassy in Cairo issued a warning to all Americans in Cairo early Tuesday morning that it expected there would be demonstrations in the general neighborhood of the embassy. When it became clear later in the day that there would be a demonstration outside the embassy, it issued the statement referenced by Romney.

That statement said that the embassy "condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions." The statement was issued before protesters breached the embassy.

Vice President Joe Biden, campaigning in Dayton, Ohio, said there is "no place in the civilized world" for the attacks and reinforced Obama's vow to bring the killers to justice.

Biden made no reference to Romney's criticism.

Stevens is the first U.S. ambassador to be killed in an attack since 1979, when Ambassador Adolph Dubs was killed in Afghanistan. The State Department identified one of the other Americans killed Tuesday as Sean Smith, a foreign service information management officer. The identities of the others were being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

The White House said Obama was informed Tuesday night that Stevens was not accounted for and was notified Wednesday morning that he had been killed.

In a written statement earlier Wednesday, Obama called Stevens a "courageous and exemplary representative of the United States."

The four Americans, he said, "exemplified America's commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe."

U.S. officials said some 50 Marines were being sent to Libya to reinforce security at U.S. diplomatic facilities in the aftermath of the attack.

The Marines are members of an elite group known as a Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team, whose role is to respond on short notice to terrorism threats and to reinforce security at U.S. embassies. They operate worldwide.

The officials who disclosed the plan to send the Marines spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

Following his Rose Garden remarks, Obama went to the State Department to visit employees and offer support. The White House said Obama wanted to express solidarity with U.S. diplomats and thank them for their service.

The White House also lowered its flag to half staff.

Meanwhile, the U.N. Security Council has a long-scheduled meeting Wednesday morning to discuss Libya and diplomats said the United States is seeking a council statement on the attack. U.N. Undersecretary-General Jeffrey Feltman, a former American diplomat and close friend of Stevens', is scheduled to brief the council on Libya.

Stevens was a career diplomat who spoke Arabic and French and had already served two tours in Libya, including running the office in Benghazi during the revolt against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. He was confirmed as ambassador to Libya by the Senate earlier this year.

His State Department biography, posted on the website of the U.S. Embassy to Libya, says he "considers himself fortunate to participate in this incredible period of change and hope for Libya."

Clinton said Stevens had a "passion for service, for diplomacy and for the Libyan people."

He "risked his own life to lend the Libyan people a helping hand to build the foundation for a new, free nation. He spent every day since helping to finish the work that he started," she said.

Stevens joined the Foreign Service in 1991 and spent his early State Department career at posts in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria and Israel. After working for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff for Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., Stevens was posted to Libya as deputy chief of mission.

In that post, Stevens wrote several confidential cables back to Washington, describing Gadhafi's bizarre behavior. During the 2011 revolt against Gadhafi, he was one of the last American diplomats to stay in Tripoli and after the embassy was closed, he was appointed to head the U.S. liaison office to the Transitional National Council.

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Associated Press writers Edith M. Lederer, Matthew Lee and Matt Daly contributed to this report.

Comments

notajayhawk 1 year, 7 months ago

I wonder: If Odumbo hadn't sent our military to hold the French's coats for them while they got rid of Khadaffi, putting these animals in power in the first place, would he still be saying we should 'work with the Libyan government to bring justice'?

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notajayhawk 1 year, 7 months ago

And the number of United States embassies stormed rises to five, with the addition of Sudan and Tunis today.

Hey Aggie, how's that policy of appeasement working out for ya', big guy?

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notajayhawk 1 year, 7 months ago

"Our government doesn't drive tanks through their towns, slaughter their people, discard their way of life, steal their oil, level their infrastructure and spend many years thereafter trying to figure out, and explain, what they created the mess for in the first place."

Maybe because they're not scum who think a Youtube video clip is sufficient justification for murder.

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gbulldog 1 year, 7 months ago

I was taking a history course and we were studying the history of the British in India. The people in India were protesting the British occupations and started a protest campaign by laying down in front of trains. Railroad traffic halted until someone came up with the ideal of putting bacon grease on the tracks. Hindus, along with many other religions, believe that pork products make them unclean. As a result they must go through a cleansing ritual because when they die, they belive and an unclean person can not enter into their version of heaven. So why not incorporate pork into the defensive weapons, (of course they already may have) and inform the radical Islamist that we lubricate our weapons with bacon grease and that any bullet that a US soldier shoots is unclean and thus make you unclean. Same goes for stealing weopons and ammunition. And if you want bait to help elimate the radicles, bait them by burning the Koran. When they attack, they will send women and girls first. How do you think they get so many virgins to great martyers. A females life is worthless to them and that has been proven over and over. By using pork contaminated weapens, they will be so busy cleansing themselve, they will not have the time to cause any trouble. Doesn't the Koran say that Moslems will rulle the world. Not if I can help it.

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IndusRiver 1 year, 7 months ago

The man who made the movie is Sam Bacile

Terrorist from California.

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IndusRiver 1 year, 7 months ago

Of course, Baptists, Jews and Mormons won't go rampaging into the streets burning and murdering to express their displeasure.

Our government doesn't drive tanks through their towns, slaughter their people, discard their way of life, steal their oil, level their infrastructure and spend many years thereafter trying to figure out, and explain, what they created the mess for in the first place.

Reality vs. fantasy. You lose, snap.

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IndusRiver 1 year, 7 months ago

I request the birth records of these war antagonists who stop at nothing, not even American blood on their hands, to determine if they are theirselves American, for I think not. In which case let us decide as a country to make room at Guantanamo (Abu Graib, too) for the good of all innocents world over, Arab and American.

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Roland Gunslinger 1 year, 7 months ago

Republican President in the W.H.

-There is so much intel chatter there's no way to prevent everything!

-There is a response lag in any chain of command

-He's doing everything he can to secure lives, mistakes will be made

-The Democratic challenger is overstepping by calling into question matters of state during an election

-We need to stand behind our CinC during this crisis and ask questions later

Democratic President in the W.H.

-Come on, this should've been foreseen and prevented! He's responsible for everything! -What's with this delay? Incompetence at every level!

-He's appeasing our enemies! How dare he try to save lives and defuse a situation that could spark a new "Arab spring"

-His patriotic Republican challenger is simply asking the relevant questions of our communist, Muslim, President.

-Where's the leadership? Where's your "Win one for the Gipper" speech? When are you gonna tell us to go out there and win?

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Carol Bowen 1 year, 7 months ago

Has everyone forgotten that 911 was on president Bush's watch? Presidents cannot protect us from every possible threat. This is not a campaign topic anymore than the Iran Contra affair.

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notajayhawk 1 year, 7 months ago

"but this is like kicking a rabid dog"

And what do YOU suggest as the best way to deal with a rabid dog, tomatogrower? Feed it some more? Keep petting and cuddling it until the little rascal stops biting you? Or do you shoot it?

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Flap Doodle 1 year, 7 months ago

Jimmy Carter Lite, that's who is living in the White House now.

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notajayhawk 1 year, 7 months ago

"President Barack Obama vowed Wednesday the United States would "work with the Libyan government to bring to justice" those who killed U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans"

And today it was Yemen added to Egypt and Libya. Does the appeaser-in-chief really believe that anyone in the world is still concerned about his 'vows for justice'?

I thought Obumbo was supposed to have improved our image in the eyes of the world - remind me again, how many of our ambassadors were murdered on Bush's watch? Oh, that's right, the last time we had an ambassador killed Carter was president. Quelle surprise.

It's hardly surprising the usual spineless posters here approve of Odumbo apologizing. They have no convictions about anything, they have nothing but hatred for the country that shelters them. When a pack of animals has no fear of murdering the UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR to their dirthole country, the official face of the United States, its government, and it's people, simply because they don't like a movie, Americans aren't safe anywhere in the world. Not only are we not better off than we were four years ago, we're less safe as well, because Odumbo's foreign policy has proven to be as abysmal of a failure as his economic policy. Except, of course, to the pablum-swilling lemmings who continuing to defend the actions of the incompetent moron in the Oval Office.

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bd 1 year, 7 months ago

Apologize for our right to freedom of speech??? Keep your apologies and quit giving them the billions we need here!!!!!!!!!

Tea anyone????

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Agnostick 1 year, 7 months ago

You know, now that I think about it a moment, I have no problem whatsoever with President Obama apologizing. I don't.

Somebody produces and releases a malicious, provocative video at a group of people that are known for their thin skin when it comes to their "faith" (using that word rather loosely). He produces the video knowing full well that it will drive at least some people to acts of violence. He knowingly publishes it on the world's largest video viewing and sharing site... a service that not only reaches every computer connected to the internet, but also a rapidly-increasing number of mobile phones, tablet-style computers, and other hand-held devices. The producer knows that tempers will be boiling over in far-flung corners of the globe... hours, maybe even minutes after posting his little video.

Violence does, indeed, erupt, and threaten to grow. Lives have already been lost, and more are in danger. At this point, President Obama has at least two choices:

  1. Mobilize as many of our armed forces as possible, send them to as many at-risk places as possible. Presumably, these troops have already been well-trained in counterterrorism, security, defending a building, etc.

  2. Utilized the same power of the internet and mass media that the video producer used--but to cool boiling tempers, smooth over some ruffled feathers, soothe a few bruised egos and hurt feelings.

  3. Ignore the situation completely--say nothing, do nothing.

Well, when I consider the time, cost, and effectiveness of each of the above choices... #2 is the clear winner.

I don't see it as an apology to terrorists; I see it as an apology to potential terrorists. Diffused the anger that is directing the hand to grip the stone... allowing the stone to drop... before it is thrown at an innocent bystander.

Certainly, President Obama can apologize to offended people, while other military and law enforcement officials hunt down the terrorists that have already committed their horrendous acts.

If a well-worded apology saves innocent lives--especially innocent American lives--then apologize away, I say!

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Agnostick 1 year, 7 months ago

snap_pop_no_crackle whines:

"Remember that the next time you want to rave about Baptists, Jews or Mormons. "

I'll remember that the next time someone assassinates a doctor, or celebrates the death of someone who's a bit different. I'll remember that the next time I see a day-glo sign illustrating, in very specific terms, exactly who and what God hates. And I certainly remember it each time I happen to glance through one of your childish comments.

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Eybea Opiner 1 year, 7 months ago

To equate murderous radical Muslims with Fred Phelps' band of morons is to minimize, bordering on excusing, the insidious attacks on Americans and American interests around the world.

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bd 1 year, 7 months ago

If these goverments cannot protect our diplomats, bring them home along with the billions of $'s we give them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Armstrong 1 year, 7 months ago

On the domestic side this morning. The new jobless report, wait for it - higher then expected. Originally thought to be a mere 370,000 topped 380,000. Govt spending is outpacing our GDP which is now growing at a blistering 1.7 percent. If that news doesnt make you happy gas has gone up a nickle a gallon since last week. What's not to love about Barry.

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cowboy 1 year, 7 months ago

3 am , The White house

Hello , this is Mitts automated answering service , our office hours are 8 am to 3 pm monday thru thursday , i'm off on fridays commoners.

For an automated insult of the european continent press 1 For a knee jerk press release on current events press 2 For Bibi N , i got your orders If this is about Seamus screw you Anything Else press 3 , Im sleeping

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Flap Doodle 1 year, 7 months ago

"In his remarks, Obama said: "We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others..." Remember that the next time you want to rave about Baptists, Jews or Mormons. You're making the Baby Soertoro cry.

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Armstrong 1 year, 7 months ago

Well at least Barry is "upset" about the murdered ambassador and said something besides he sorry we upset the Muslims. How did that moron get elected

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Gerald Dever 1 year, 7 months ago

The role of education in the middle east seems paramount here...sheria law, jihaddist citizens, middle eastern national governments turning a blind eye toward any hostilities expressed by their extremist citizens, including murder. Where do they attend school? In a mosque? No secondary school including even a general psychology course, or sociology course...just nations raising, not Muslems, but a good percentage of islamists. I wonder if the pseudonym for the movie maker should have been imbecile. Then again, I am reasonably angry to see billions of tax dollars going to a myriad of nations every single year, while we can not provide free health care to poor people. The imbalances go on and on into perpetuity.

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justfornow 1 year, 7 months ago

And on a lighter note.....I like big butts!!!

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autie 1 year, 7 months ago

Oh such a twisted issue. The right of free speech on the part of the film maker is real and for the most part not arguable. But by the same token what he did was reprehensible to a large degree and four people are dead. I don't know how the prick can sleep at night. And Bea is right on, these were the Phred Phelpses of Libya, not the muslim community. What a mixed up world we live in...oh, and Mr. Romney, if you have any other thoughts on this particular event, please feel free the STFU!

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Steve Jacob 1 year, 7 months ago

The Libyan government failed us, killing any head ambassador is unforgivable and an act of war. Governments have to protect embassies, much like we do for other UN ambassadors,, if we like them or not does not matter. If Libya or Egypt can't protect our diplomats, they don't deserve our money.

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tomatogrower 1 year, 7 months ago

Bigots all. The film maker was a bigot for making the stupid film to begin with. And the murderers and protesters are bigots to think that all US citizens were involved in such a stupid film. Send them all to Saturn. And none of them are even the least bit religious.

I agree with free speech, but this is like kicking a rabid dog. He knew exactly the reaction he would get, and made the film to get that reaction. Are all Jews and Christians mean bigots? No. Are all Muslims ready to kill any US citizen because of a bigot's stupid film? I'm tired of bigots.

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Brock Masters 1 year, 7 months ago

I don't understand why they would do this to us? Because of Obama the international community loves us now. They told us this during the DNC.

I just hope Obama uses diplomacy instead of waging war to resolve this incident. The Libyan president apologized. What more is needed?

We don't need Obama doing a Bush imitation and retaliating and starting another unfounded war!

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ksjayhawk74 1 year, 7 months ago

Here is the trailer for the movie that has them so angry. It's not just incredible offensive to Muslims, the production value is terrible as well.

Keep in mind that the people protesting are from an incredibly small Ultra Conservative Muslim group that does not represent the rest of the over 2.2 Billion Muslims in the world.

The protestors don't represent Islam, just as the Westboro Baptist Church does not represent the United States.

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Glenn Reed 1 year, 7 months ago

The movie doesn't matter. It's a completely irrelevant detail. It could have been a few pages in a holy book being damaged by accident. It could have been a cartoon.

If the movie is relevant motivation for such an attack, then I have a perfect set of motivations to go on a murderous rampage of my own. And so do you. "you" being "everyone."

We need to stop pretending that "our feelings are hurt" is motivation enough for "let's kill people."

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Leslie Swearingen 1 year, 7 months ago

I don't understand why they would kill the Ambassador and three of his staff to protest an American movie. I am quite sure that no one at the American Embassy had anything to do with the making of this movie. I have read several remarks about this movie, but have yet to read the name.

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