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Archive for Wednesday, September 12, 2012

US ambassador killed in consulate attack in Libya

September 12, 2012, 8:48 a.m. Updated September 12, 2012, 10:17 a.m.

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— The American ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were killed when a mob of protesters and gunmen overwhelmed the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, setting fire to it in outrage over a film that ridicules Islam's Prophet Muhammad. Libya's new president apologized Wednesday for the attack, which underlined the lawlessness plaguing a region trying to recover from months of upheaval.

Ambassador Chris Stevens, 52, died as he and a group of embassy employees went to the consulate to try to evacuate staff as a crowd of hundreds attacked the consulate Tuesday evening, many of them firing machine-guns and rocket-propelled grenades.

By the end of the assault, much of the building was burned out and trashed. Stevens was the first U.S. ambassador to be killed in the line of duty since 1979.

A Libyan doctor who treated Stevens said he died of severe asphyxiation, apparently from smoke. In a sign of the chaos of during the attack, Stevens was brought alone by Libyans to the Benghazi Medical Center with no other Americans, and no one at the facility knew who he was, the doctor, Ziad Abu Zeid, told The Associated Press.

Stevens was practically dead when he arrived close to 1 a.m. on Wednesday, but "we tried to revive him for an hour and a half but with no success," Abu Zeid said. The ambassador had bleeding in his stomach because of the asphyxiation but no other injuries, he said.

President Barack Obama ordered increased security to protect American diplomatic personnel around world. Hours before the Benghazi attack, Egyptians angry over the film protested at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, climbing its walls and tearing down an American flag, which they replaced briefly with a black, Islamist flag.

"I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi," Obama said, adding the four Americans "exemplified America's commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe."

Libya's interim president, Mohammed el-Megarif, apologized to the United States for the attack, which he described as "cowardly." Speaking to reporters, he offered his condolences on the death of the four Americans and vowed to bring the culprits to justice and maintain his country's close relations with the United States.

The three Americans killed with Stevens were security guards, he said.

"We extend our apology to America, the American people and the whole world," el-Megarif said.

The spark for the protests in Libya and Egypt was an obscure movie made in the United States by a California filmmaker who calls Islam a "cancer." Video excerpts posted on YouTube depict Muhammad as a fraud, a womanizer and a madman in an overtly ridiculing way, showing him having sex and calling for massacres.

But the brazen assaults — the first on U.S. diplomatic facilities in either country — underscored the lawlessness that has taken hold in Libya and Egypt after revolutions ousted their autocratic secular regimes and upended the tightly controlled police state in both countries.

Islamists, who were long repressed under the previous regimes, have emerged as a powerful force and made up the bulk of the protests in both countries.

Moreover, security in both countries has broken down. Egypt's police, a onetime hated force blamed for massive human rights abuses, have yet to fully take back the streets after Hosni Mubarak's ouster in February 2011.

On Tuesday in Cairo, riot police stood by the embassy's walls but continued to allow protesters to climb them for several hours. The protesters, however, appeared to intentionally stick to certain limits: A few entered the embassy grounds to remove the flags and come back, but otherwise the chanting youth stayed on top of the walls without storming the compound or damaging property.

The uproar over the film also poses a new test for Egypt's new Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi, who has yet to condemn the riot outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo or say anything about the offending film. The protest was by mostly ultraconservative Islamists.

In Libya, central government control is weak, arms are ubiquitous and militias are pervasive. The consulate in Benghazi, Libya's second largest city, is a one-story villa in a large garden located in an upscale neighborhood. By the end of Tuesday night's attack, much of the building was black and smoldering. Libyans wandered freely around the burned-out building, taking photos of rooms where furniture was covered in soot and overturned.

The violence raised worries that further protests could break out around the Muslim world as knowledge of the anti-Islam movie spread. So far, however, the only sign of unrest on Wednesday was a protest by dozens of Gazans in Gaza City. Some of the protesters carried swords, axes and black flags, chanting, "Shame on everyone who insults the prophet." The rally was organized by supporters of the Popular Resistance Committees, a militant group aligned with the ruling Hamas movement.

Afghanistan's government sought to avert an outbreak of protests. President Hamid Karzai condemned the movie, which he describes as "inhuman and insulting." Authorities also temporarily shut down access to YouTube, the video-sharing site where excerpts of the movie were posted, said Aimal Marjan, general director of Information Technology at the Ministry of Communications.

Ultraconservative Islamists also were suspected of being behind the Benghazi attack. Advocating a strict interpretation of Islam, they have bulldozed Sufi shrines and mosques that house tombs in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, and other cities, including ancient sites dating back to 5,000 years ago.

Heavily armed, ultraconservative groups like Ansar al-Shariah, or Supporters of Shariah, have claimed responsibility for the attacks on the shrines, declaring Sufi practices as "heretical."

Libya has been also hit by a series of recent attacks that served as evidence of the deep and persistent security vacuum in the country after the fall of Moammar Gadhafi's regime, which was ousted by rebels backed by a NATO air campaign. Many Libyans believe that unrest in their country is in part the work of Gadhafi's loyalists who want to undermine efforts to rebuild the country after last year's ruinous civil war.

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 Gadhafi. He was confirmed as ambassador to Libya by the Senate earlier this year.

Before Tuesday, five U.S. ambassadors had been killed in the line of duty, the last being Adolph Dubs in Afghanistan in 1979, according to the State Department historian's office.

The two-hour movie that sparked the protests, titled "Innocence of Muslims," came to attention in Egypt after its trailer was dubbed into Arabic and posted on YouTube.

Sam Bacile, a 56-year-old California real estate developer, said he wrote, produced and directed the movie. Bacile told The Associated Press he was an Israeli Jew and an American citizen. But Israeli officials said Wednesday they had not heard of Bacile and there was no record of him being a citizen. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not permitted to share personal information with the media.

Separately, the film was being promoted by an extreme anti-Muslim Egyptian Christian campaigner in the United States.

Bacile said he had not anticipated such a furious reaction. Speaking by phone from an undisclosed location, Bacile, who went into hiding Tuesday, remained defiant. He said he believes the movie will expose Islam's flaws to the world.

"Islam is a cancer, period," he repeatedly said in a solemn, accented tone.

Israel, however, sought to distance itself from Bacile.

"It's obvious we'll have to be vigilant. Anything he did or said has nothing to do whatsoever with Israel. He may claim what he wants. This was not done with or for or through Israel." Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said on Wednesday.

__

Michael reported from Cairo. Associated Press writers Matthew Lee in Washington and Joseph Federman in Jerusalem contributed to this report.

Comments

Claire Williams 2 years, 2 months ago

A definite tragedy, especially because the Ambassador has long been posted in Libya, and was the official Liaison to the transitional government during the uprising against Gaddafi. This incident is particularly haunting for occurring on the anniversary of 9/11.

Before anybody tries to make political hay out of this horrible occurrence, let me point out that

1) The overly conciliatory statement Mitt Romney is attacking the President for was actually made by the US Embassy in Cairo early on Tuesday (before the extent of what happened in Libya was known), and without White House approval.

2) The White House has disavowed the statement by the Embassy and is fully condemning these actions, along with beefing up security at all of our facilities through the Middle East.

3) This isn't a time to politicize the deaths of Americans.

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 2 months ago

Nice try. This is datelined Washington. http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2012/sep... Given that those remarks came from the White House Rose garden, I would say you got ahold of an old schedule. But then any old lying insult in a storm, huh?

msezdsit 2 years, 2 months ago

1) The overly conciliatory statement Mitt Romney is attacking the President for was actually made by the US Embassy in Cairo early on Tuesday

The statement made by the Embassy was made in response to the people protesting the movie in an attempt to help control the situation and was made prior to the murder of our diplomats. Obama had no part in the statement and was not responsible for the attack.

Romney made three blunders(1) attributing the comment to Obama when he didn't make the comment (2) Commenting on a comment that was made by the embassy prior to the murders and (3) Manipulating an American tragedy for his political gain. Shame on you romney

geekin_topekan 2 years, 2 months ago

I see Romney wasted no time grabbing an opportunity to dance on American's graves.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 2 years, 2 months ago

The scumbag bottom feeder ARomney has already tried to make political hay from this terrible event. I just observed him on CNN making his usual blathering diatribes blaming the Obama Adminisration, the U.S. GOvernment, and most of the free world for this tragedy. Theis low life jerk could not resist the opportunity to try to pander to voters with his statements on this terrible event. Do you REALLY want this jerk as President of the United States???????Blah, blah, blah, blah................

Fred Whitehead Jr. 2 years, 2 months ago

Part 2. At a time when international affairs are at a high level of peril, do you want a President of the United States who chooses to inflame the situation with his attacks on the current President of the United States and his handling of this problem??????

drake 2 years, 2 months ago

We should send the apologist-in-chief over there so that he can bow before them...

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 2 months ago

At least the Obama family hasn't adopted members of the Saudi Royal family as the Bushes have (who also happen to be business partners with same.)

Shelley Bock 2 years, 2 months ago

Prior comments reflect my opinions exactly. Any embassy in a country undergoing civil upheaval is dangerous. Most likely inflamed by extremists unable to do damage in the US, so they attack what they can get to in their own country. Security for embassies depends on the Marine detachment assigned, but that isn't like Bravo Company,1/8 Marines, which could destroy any angry mob. Hmm...ever wonder where "...to the shores of Tripoli, we will fight..." came from? (words of the Marine Corps hymn for those who didn't memorize it as a child.)

So, what is Governor Romney proposing to do? Launch an air strike? Land the Marine MEU assigned to the Med? I assume that President Obama and Secretary Clinton will have an appropriate response and not "shoot-from-the-hip". Now is the time to be supportive of the government, not to take cheap political shots! .

Alceste 2 years, 2 months ago

Disgusting. Did "we" at least take some of 'em out as they over ran American soil?

beatrice 2 years, 2 months ago

If it had been an action of the government of Libya it would be an act of war. It was the actions of individual, conservative religious fanatics.

Are you saying you support Gadhafi's regime?

tbaker 2 years, 2 months ago

That is one, big, fat Straw Man you put out there B. Wow...

Alyosha 2 years, 2 months ago

Laughably inane comment, rockchalk. What you think "clearly" is the case is nothing but your own frantic fantasies. Obama, without any Republican help, kept the 2008 collapse from being worse, and the economy is far better off than in 2008. That's just a fact.

He most likely will be re-elected, and we'll then not have a man, Romney, who doesn't wait before shooting off his mouth (like many commenters here) to find out all the facts. And that's a good thing.

Liberty275 2 years, 2 months ago

No. The government of Libya is not responsible. Their president has apologized and that's good enough. More war is the last thing either side wants.

This looks like an angry mob that got carried away. Give Libya a year to bring the leaders of the mob to justice, and if they don't, let the CIA do it quietly.

While I agree it's an act of war, we have better ways of handling it. How would you like to constantly watch over your shoulder knowing you could be killed at any time for leading this mob? We are already punishing the perps and it isn't costing us a dime.

Enlightenment 2 years, 2 months ago

More senseless deaths because of religion. Religion and politics do not mix and should never be combined or used to influence political gain.

Alyosha 2 years, 2 months ago

Nobody apologized. That's just more of your fitful overheated imagination. Try paying attention to what actually happens.

And, a coward is someone who wants war but won't go fight. Why are you typing at a keyboard when you could be off fighting for the US? Oh. I answered my own question.

Liberty275 2 years, 2 months ago

No American would apologize for the constitution.

Pastor_Bedtime 2 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

beatrice 2 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

fiddleback 2 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

fiddleback 2 years, 2 months ago

So apparently, calling the above comment out as patently racist warrants removal, but the comment itself is fine. Awesome.

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 2 months ago

And the saber rattling by the chickenhawk faction begins.
R-Money didn't even have the decency to wait until 9/11 was over before he tried to make political quicktime by using a statement that wasn't even made by the administration, much less the President. His handler really meant it when he said R-Money's campaign "wouldn't be run by fact checkers". The man is a sleaze. And you seriously want him to lead this country?

jhawkinsf 2 years, 2 months ago

To anyone suggesting we "do" something, now would be a good time to take a deep breath and think about what is the best thing for us to do. I certainly hope President Obama is spending his time thinking before he decides what to do.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 2 months ago

There's really nothing to be done, other than to increase security for the remaining personnel in Libya (and elsewhere in the world, which has already been done) and to put pressure on the LIbyan govt to find those thought to be responsible and bring charges against them.

tbaker 2 years, 2 months ago

Saying "Libyan Government" is a lot like saying "no government."

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 2 months ago

It doesn't really matter. There is no way for the US govt to determine who was responsible, much less bring them to justice.

As jay notes below, diplomacy comes with a certain risk, and all four of those who died knew those risks. Striking out more or less at random just to satisfy the bloodlust of a certain segment of the US population won't bring them back.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 2 months ago

I recall during the old Iranian crisis, when our people were seized and held, that it was stated clearly that all embassies around the world are dependent upon their host countries for protection. No country can simply put a bunch of Marines in front of the building and then shoot and kill hundreds coming over the walls. That's not diplomacy, that's a military base. As long as we value diplomacy, we accept a certain risk.

tbaker 2 years, 2 months ago

The US Embassy in Cairo issued a statement that’s says it “condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims…”

The Cairo embassy statement was obviously talking about the movie “The Innocence of Muslims” being made by an American in California. It is not very nice in its treatment of the Prophet Mohammad and is being blamed for inflaming the passions of people in the Arab world leading to the deaths that included the US Ambassador to Libya.

Just so I understand this – Americans exercising their 1st amendment rights are “misguided.” The behavior of some American film maker caused the Egyptians to riot and storm the US Embassy and caused the Libyans to kill our ambassador. This sounds a whole lot like and apology for American freedom to me. Sickening…

I’m not the only one who noticed this. When the Obama Administration was questioned about it this morning they said, “no one in Washington approved that statement before it was released and it doesn’t reflect the views of the U.S. government.”

Rest assured folks, US Embassy’s do not make press releases, most especially when they involve the death of four Americans including the ambassador, the burning of a consulate, and the breech of embassy perimeter (in Cairo). At the bare minimum, such a press release would have to be vetted by the Secretary of State. This is especially true since all of the embarrassment caused by diplomatic cables that were released during the Wiki Leaks scandal.

Either the Obama Administration and it’s State Department are out of synch and have no actual foreign policy which begs the question who is running things, or they have scorn for the constitution they swore to protect and defend.

No matter what you chose to believe one thing is clear folks - these people are rank amateurs. They are in way over their heads and need to be replaced before they get more people killed.

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 2 months ago

This is complete and utter BS and you know it. Are you dizzy from the spin yet?

tbaker 2 years, 2 months ago

What spin? Dispute my quotes. Prove me wrong.

Tell me what I said that was factually wrong. Point out the failure to critically reason in the opinion I offered.

Waiting...

fiddleback 2 years, 2 months ago

Reasoning critically would involve getting the details before constructing an idiotic Jenga tower of partisan assumptions.

http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/09/12/inside_the_public_relations_disaster_at_the_cairo_embassy

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 2 months ago

Condemning the words and actions of the guy who made this film in no way suggests that he has no right to exercise his first amendment rights.

But suggesting that those in the embassy in Cairo have no right to exercise their first amendment rights in making such a condemnation means that it is you who are wishing to remove their first amendment rights.

tbaker 2 years, 2 months ago

Suggested what? Where did I say I object to people protesting? That whole part about breeching the walls of the embassy and tearing down / burning our flag is not what an American would call a constitutionally protected right.

tbaker 2 years, 2 months ago

Come on Bozo, you know Egyptians protesting at our Embassy in Cairo have no first amendment rights, don’t you?

tbaker 2 years, 2 months ago

Way to go B! Keep that insightfull commentary coming! What a huge value-add you are!

fiddleback 2 years, 2 months ago

"At the bare minimum, such a press release would have to be vetted by the Secretary of State."

Do you have any reference at all as to what the actual protocol is? Isn't it possible that this release was some rushed/desperate attempt to pacify the mob before they overran the embassy?

Such an attempt to "critically reason" is belied by a simultaneous attempt to create political fodder before the sequence of events is fully understood.

Alyosha 2 years, 2 months ago

You're simply wrong. No one approved the message higher up in the State Department. Your argument is based on a complete misapprehension / fabrication. And it's precisely that kind of thinking — jumping to conclusions without actual evidence, misreading events, overreacting — that Romney and you represent, and are exactly the kind of thinking a President cannot engage.

Thank God a thinking President is in office, and not Romney or you, tbaker.

tbaker 2 years, 2 months ago

Thinking President. LMAO. The man is in WAY over his head.

Yes. I do have a reference to what the protocol is. I've worked in, for, and around US Embassys in the Middle East on and off for the last 8+ years.

There is no jumping to conclusions. I've helped draft cables for the Chief of Stattion in Embassys in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Ethiopia. The protocol / routing of press releases is strict and lengthy.

Lets assume you're right, and some flunky at the bottom of the food chain just decided he was going to take matters into his/her own hands and just fired off and email to the press without any vetting whatsoever.

Does that make the Presidnet's Administration & Foreign Policy better or worse?

P.S. I'm not voting for Romney and I don't belong to a political party.

fiddleback 2 years, 2 months ago

It's frankly disturbing that you've helped draft cables if you're misspelling stations and embassies...

And now for the real story...not only was it one guy behaving rashly, it was against the wishes of the State Dept...

http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/09/12/inside_the_public_relations_disaster_at_the_cairo_embassy

Mr. Quantrill, your precious preconceived narrative is in danger! Help us keep the blame on Obama! Hurry!

msezdsit 2 years, 2 months ago

"Rest assured folks, US Embassy’s do not make press releases, most especially when they involve the death of four Americans including the ambassador,....."

Rest assured Baker the comment was made by the embassy before the murders and rest assured they were not made by Obama. But don't let me interrupt your fantasies.

beatrice 2 years, 2 months ago

Except the press release came OUT OF EGYPT before the attack on the embassy.

Any evidence that it was vetted by the Secretary of State? Didn't think so.That is where you are doing nothing but spinning. Worse yet, you are just making stuff up.

fiddleback 2 years, 2 months ago

Again, here's what happened: http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/09/12/inside_the_public_relations_disaster_at_the_cairo_embassy A man named Larry Schwartz decided to release it before getting proper approval.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 2 months ago

I've got to wonder why my comment was removed, without even the usual note that it had been removed. After all, I was responding to Gotland's call to starve people to death (that comment apparently is O.K.), but my comment that his brain has been deprived of oxygen gets removed (was that really more disturbing than a call for people to starve to death?).

beatrice 2 years, 2 months ago

What a wonderful humanitarian you are. I'll bet you call yourself a Christain, too.

Letting them "starve" is like cutting all ties to the people in Oklahoma after the terrorist attack there.

You see, it is indiiduals who need to be held accountable, not a government sanctioned attack. Do you even know the difference?

Alyosha 2 years, 2 months ago

Ain't gonna happen. Romney proved himself incapable of handling a crisis. Got basic facts wrong, jumped to conclusions. Not how a president acts.

headdoctor 2 years, 2 months ago

And there are the Americans who still can't understand why there is a sizable population of the world that can't stand us. Radical zealots excluded from that population because they don't agree with anyone but themselves. The only thing larger and more harmful to the US citizens than our national debt is our arrogance. We occupy a small part of the world yet we expect everyone else to bow and kiss our butt.

We should have free speech but with that comes the responsibility to use some common sense especially involving things outside the US. Free speech doesn't exclude a citizen from the law where inciting a riot or Sedition is involved. If Sam Bacile really believed he was doing the right thing and was willing to stand behind his handy work he wouldn't be in hiding right now like a typical coward. The likes of him and Terry Jones knew and knows exactly what they were doing. Playing the ignorance card here doesn't fly.

You can have your own smug US attitude and arrogance all you want but in global situations or relations, pissing off a couple billion people is never a good idea. Especially if those couple of billion people are Muslims.

tbaker 2 years, 2 months ago

If I follow your reasoning, Americans need to stop exercising their constitutionally protected rights simply because Islamic extremists in other countries don't like it when we show the rest of the world we are free. Should we give up our guaranteed inalienable rights because religious pyschos in some foreign land are offended by them? Lets see…

Do you think the people we supposedly offended even know what a right is? Why should would give up our liberty to appease a savage mob who would love to see our country and everyone in it destroyed? The people you are so worried about offending were chanting “We are all Osama, Obama!” as they attacked the Cairo embassy, tore down and burned the American flag, and replaced it with some black Islamic banner. Let me know when the Muslim Brotherhood sends a sympathy card to the White House.

Mr. Bacile is in hiding because of people like you.

beatrice 2 years, 2 months ago

Mr. Bacile is in hiding because of conservative religious fanatics, the same type who attacked and killed Americans. Saying it is because some are expressing their desire for people to show more respect for others and to think before they speak is pathetic.

tbaker 2 years, 2 months ago

The extremists failure to show respect for the constitutional rights guaranteed to every American should bother you B.

Our freedom of speech is not predicated on the basis it doesn't offend anyone. When I see an objectionable video, I change the channel. When I hear of an art exhibit that features a crucifix in a bottle of urine, I’m disgusted and just I don’t go see it, I don’t riot and murder people.

There is nothing wrong with expecting the Muslims offended by this video to do the same thing. Expecting Americans to accept limits on their rights becuase some group in a foreign country is offended by them is what is pathtic.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 2 months ago

Mr. Bacile would clearly have no problem with the mass murder of every Muslim in the world.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 2 months ago

There seems to be some doubt that a Mr. Bacile even exists. I'd wait a while before we jump to too many conclusions.

Alyosha 2 years, 2 months ago

There is no Mr. Bacile, it's beginning to appear.

Also, no, you don't get his reasoning right. Your misinterpreting the comment you are responding too. Knee jerk thinking is exactly what we don't need either in comments or in a president.

Flap Doodle 2 years, 2 months ago

If you think that Islamic Rage Boy should decide what is acceptable speech in America, you've got another think coming.

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 2 months ago

Interesting to note that Forbes Magazine (FORBES!) has slammed R-Money for his statements and behavior.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2012/09/12/the-lost-soul-of-mitt-romney/

jmadison 2 years, 2 months ago

This story was published on page 7A of today's print version of the Journal World, page 8A of the NY Times and page 7A of the Wall Street Journal. All 3 entities seem to have missed the ball on the importance of the killing of a US ambassador.

Alex Parker 2 years, 2 months ago

That information was not available by the time the paper went to press.

headdoctor 2 years, 2 months ago

If your post snap, is to mine you obviously didn't bother to read the second paragraph. There is also the small detail that not all artistic expression is covered under free speech. The last time I bothered to pay attention. Movies are a form of expression and not covered by free speech or freedom of the press. If Sam Bacile and or the likes of Terry Jones caused problems in country they could be found guilty of Sedition. I am very certain Sedition beats out freedom of speech or in this case expression every time.

beatrice 2 years, 2 months ago

Who exactly is saying the "filmaker" doesn't have the right to be repugnant? Please provide names so we can narrow this argument down to specifics.

While your facts are incorrect about anything being "smeared in dung" or "dipped in urine" shown in a NY museum, the basic truth is that many conservatives called for the banning of works of art and even the closure of the Brooklyn Museum over the exhibition with Chris Ofili's incorporation of elephant dung in his art. Andres Serrano's "Piss Christ" was not in the same exhibition.

So which side are you on, the side of "artistic freedom" or the banning of such freedoms? You still seem mighty upset about works of art you know little about.

tomatogrower 2 years, 2 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.

tbaker 2 years, 2 months ago

Tomato: If you don't like the movie, don't go watch it.

Other people may like the movie and should be free to watch it if they wish. Right?

You're tired of bigots? Then you must be REAL tired of Islamic Extremists. They are the most profound example of a bigot there is.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

tomatogrower 2 years, 2 months ago

Why don't you read my post again. I'm tired of all extremists. They are a dangerous thorn in the sides of people who are trying to live their lives, instead of being blinded by stupidity.

tbaker 2 years, 2 months ago

I read quite well thank you.

Let me be very clear: Just becuase someone thinks someone else is a bigot, and they do not like what they say, in no way justifies limiting the choices of others. Not everyone may share this view. People should be free to make their own choices regardless of the opinions of others.

Islamic Extremists are not garden variety bigots. Unlike the fringe kook extremists who annoy us here in the US, these savages end people's ability to just live their lives. They kill those who do not share their views.

I do not believe you can lump them into the same group.

tbaker 2 years, 2 months ago

Nice try pastor. A one-off murderer is not an extremist movement guided by a common belief system comprised of millions. Apples and....rocks.

beatrice 2 years, 2 months ago

tbaker, um ... who isn't tired of Islamic extremists? Anyone coming to support their actions around here?

Flap Doodle 2 years, 2 months ago

So, what I'm hearing from the usual suspects is that we need anti-blasphemy laws in America to protect the tender feelings of the Islamic mobs. BTW, sedition refers to calling for violence against a government. NA in this case.

beatrice 2 years, 2 months ago

Who called for anti-blasphemy laws? Be specific.

Alyosha 2 years, 2 months ago

Laughably sad comment. No one in any position of responsibility is calling for any such thing. That's only happening in your own fevered imagination. Try to separate your fantasies from reality. Or, don't — it's your life. Thank God you have no responsibilities like the President and Secretary Clinton do.

Alyosha 2 years, 2 months ago

Remedy to what? Insanity? Human nature? Stupidity? I presume the administration is working intel sources to find out all the facts and will plan a response to hold the murderers responsible. Impatience is not a virtue, nor is knee jerk thinking or responses. This is not an episode of 24 but rather real life. Things don't happen before the next commercial.

From http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/sep/12/obama-vows-justice-libya-attack

"Barack Obama vowed on Wednesday to hunt down the killers of US ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans during an assault on its mission in Benghazi as suspicion grew that the diplomat was the victim of an organised attack by an Islamist group."

"Make no mistake: justice will be done," Obama said at the White House. He described the killing, the first of a US ambassador since 1979, as "outrageous and shocking". Crucially, though, the president made it clear that the US would work alongside the Libyan government to track down those responsible and would not be turning its back on the Arab spring in Libya or elsewhere in the Middle East.

"This attack will not break the bonds between the United States and Libya," he said.

And we can trust this President to keep his word about using the resources available to the President to hunt down people who kill Americans. Ask Osama Bin Laden about that if you don't believe the President's word on that.

tomatogrower 2 years, 2 months ago

Well, I'm all for taking all religious extremists, putting them on an island, give them guns, swords and spears, and let them have their holy war. Maybe good men like Ambassador Stevens would be let alone to try and build a better world.

btsflk 2 years, 2 months ago

Those who should be held responsible for this, except you cannot force irresponsible people to be responsible, are extremists, both Christian and Muslim.

Extremists.

If my friend or family member had been killed in these attacks, I would blame the nutjobs here who went looking to incite those over there.

Wrapped in the flag and wielding a Bible as a weapon. Tired of 'em.

tbaker 2 years, 2 months ago

Blame Americans for exercising their constitutionally protected rights huh?

So telling someone if they don't like what they are watching to change the channel only works for Americans? Why can't we expect the rest of the world to live by the same standard? Is there something wrong with that?

Alyosha 2 years, 2 months ago

Not gonna happen, rockchalk. And that bit about not meeting is pure fiction. Didn't happen.

Not only that, Netanyahu is a foreigner trying to influence a US election. No ally does that to the United States. He needs to act like the ally he is, and not think he can push the US into war. The US decides when it goes to war, not a foreigner. You might want to brush up on what it means to be a patriot — patriots don't favor foreign countries over the US, as you are.

Alyosha 2 years, 2 months ago

Your sympathies with a foreign government over those of the United States is disturbing, but it's your life.

Here's another source: "But the White House denied any intentional snub of Netanyahu, saying that the president was not able to meet the Israeli leader in New York because the pair would not be in the city on the same day. It also said Netanyahu did not request a meeting in Washington, "nor was a request for a meeting ever denied". However, Israeli officials continued to assert in private that Obama appeared to have snubbed the Israeli leader."

You are sympathizing with a foreign country's operatives' interpretation of events over the word of the United States, apparently. My sympathies lie with the United States and our interests, not letting foreigners determine our policies.

That's what patriots do, FYI. We put the US first in our sympathies.

tbaker 2 years, 2 months ago

Deny all they want. They did what they did and it is out there for all us likely voters to see.

pizzapete 2 years, 2 months ago

It's a real shame people are being killed because of a stupid movie. If the movie really is that bad maybe the theatre should just offer refunds to all the movie goers that didn't find it entertaining. I can't imagine it's any worse than all the movies Adam Sandler has appeared in this last decade.

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 2 months ago

Interesting to note that, to this time, Mittens hasn't retracted his statements, nor apologized for them. The mainstream press from CNN to ABC to CBS to NBC to just about everybody in the press pool is roundly drubbing Romney for those statements with a general consensus that he overstepped his bounds. FOX Noise, on the other hand, is deliberately scrambling the timeline of events to excuse him while the WSJ (a Rupert Murdoch owned newspaper) just says that he "looked weak today". Paul Ryan kept his comments on the situation on the low down, not out and out attacking Obama, but saying it was a "reminder that the world needs US leadership" and using it to attack Obama's defense spending cuts. You can see that attitude in the right wingnuts above, never mind that the US already spends more on "defense" than the next 52 countries combined, all of which but one are our allies. More saber rattling but at least it was low key saber rattling. Think he's positioning himself for the Presidential slot in 2016?

tomatogrower 2 years, 2 months ago

Flag is at half staff for Ambassador Stevens and the others. May they rest in peace, and may the killers be caught and dealt with, hopefully by the Libyans. I'm real sure their punishment would be pretty harsh in that part of the world. And may the bigots who made this film meet the wrath of God, since they haven't done anything illegal, just highly immoral. Try paying attention to your own religion and leaving others alone.

Mike Ford 2 years, 2 months ago

Has anyone learned......don't clown Allah.......people here have to put up with baseless troll humor thinking there's no consequences for saying or doing stupid things. don't poke a bear in the nose.....don't hit a nest full of hornets and don't make fun of Allah. If there is to be mutual respect between cultures it's going to probably occur when some countries stop acting like imperialists and their oblivious populaces finally grasp how bad the US and Great Britain have acted in the past four centuries in some parts of the world and the another side realizes that the loudest trolls speak for the smallest portion of the US population and no one agrees with the trolls. I spoke with a Dutch/US citizen the other day at Dillons over lunch and we both agreed you can't fix stupid especially in this country. Some of the trolls on here and the one who made this wonderfully aggravating movie prove this point. A country gets respect when it shows respect. This country ran a respect deficit from 2000 to 2008. There is a lot of work to do especially when half of the US populations acts as if this period never happened much to the detriment of the thinking populace of this country. Gotta love the Islamaphobe hate factory in this country.

tbaker 2 years, 2 months ago

How about you add something to your list Tusch:

You have no right to riot and murder people just because American's are exercising their constitutionally protected rights.

If you don't like the movie - don't watch it. Let everyone else make up their own mind. No one has a right to impose their views and beliefs on anyone else.

Is expecting Egyptians and Libyans to do the same running an Islamaphobe hate factory? Whose being intolerant here?

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 2 months ago

Actually, it's their country and WE have no right to say that they CAN'T "riot and murder" for something attacking them and their religious beliefs, just because it was created in the US. Who do you think you are, tbaker? Allah?
And by the way, there ARE limits to "free speech". If creating this film wasn't the equivalent of yelling, "Fire!", in a crowded theater, I don't know what is.

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 2 months ago

A riot and the deaths of four people isn't comparable? That's a whole lot more than just "offending someone somewhere".

tbaker 2 years, 2 months ago

You’re right Cait. People can riot and protest all they want for whatever reason they may have in their own country and Americans have no say in it, nor did I suggest we did. This is all well and good right up to the point the attack our Embassy. They have no right to do that.

fiddleback 2 years, 2 months ago

Ultimately, while this video is a cringe-inducingly clumsy piece of junk, its intent seems comparable to how South Park has lampooned Mormonism or Scientology, i.e. mocking the extreme leaps of faith inherent to the religion’s theology. And the video was not initially translated into Arabic, so the intended audience was most likely American/English-speaking. The fact that Muslim fundamentalists are more violent and incitable than Mormons or Scientologists does not mean that such expressions of ridicule equate to deliberate incitement or sedition. So I’d be surprised to see litigation against the filmmakers.

Mike Ford 2 years, 2 months ago

Are you as a typical american ignoring how much your views are imposed upon others.... are you as a typical american ignoring the whole US policy dealing with Native Americans involved crushing their culture by imposing american views upon them at will much as this country could and still trying to do the same around the world to other cultures. My father recently went to his sixth Bonhoeffer Conference in Stockholm Sweden. At the one in Prague in 2008 a German professor and friend of my father's joked with him stating......"America....if one doesn't behave we will bring them democracy whether they want it or not" . How imperialistic......I don't buy the extremity of any fundamentalists including the ones involved in GOP politics here for the last three decades or worldwide. If a country doesn't want to experience hatred in the world maybe they should behave with a little more respect for others and own their own transgressions historically. Do you view Muslim followers as people or do you denigrate them to the point where their countries are just another place oil can be drilled and maybe you can take a nice vacation once the problems are quelled? If you knew British or US policy maybe you'd understand the historical rage some people have. I'm not a fan of the Iranian Government currently but I was ten years old when the hostage taking took place. The US installed a puppet and the Iranians overthrew him in 1979. They don't have to manufacture hate. This country and Britain have done some bad things in the past which serve as recruiting tools just as the Bush Administration did from 2000 to 2008. This whole free speech thing stops at the yelling fire in a crowded theatre occurance that Justice Oliver Wendall Holmes stated. If you do so deal with the harm caused by the actions.

Liberty275 2 years, 2 months ago

"Are you as a typical american ignoring how much your views are imposed upon others...."

One trick pony.

tbaker 2 years, 2 months ago

Describe how America “imposes” it’s views on others. Remember that people who are free to choose to change the channel are not having something imposed on them.

You are aware of the fact we do not have a Democracy in the United States – right?

So all the people rioting and murdering today have suffered some slight from the Americans and British? Really. You just aren’t happy unless you can make some bizarre correlation between current behavior and ancient history. Utterly baseless. What’s fueling the rage in the Muslim world today has nothing to do with past US or British foreign policy. It has everything to do with a belief system that is wholly incompatible with the modern world, completely corrupt governments who have abused their people for generations, and pervasive and total despair and hopelessness caused by all of the above.

You presume to preach how Americans need to behave with more respect to others when US Embassies are being attacked and our diplomats are being killed? You really need to find another country to live in. You obviously hate America.

tomatogrower 2 years, 2 months ago

And the people who made this film are a bunch of cowards. Apparently, the maker's name is a phony and his is in hiding. Real brave soul. Another person involved has a record. Some of the actors said that some of the script was dubbed. What a bunch of losers.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2012/09/12/161003427/what-we-know-about-sam-bacile-the-man-behind-the-muhammad-movie

Mike Ford 2 years, 2 months ago

Gotland, when my father went to Berlin in 2000 for the Bonhoeffer Conference the Germans there apologized for the atrocities of their country to the other delegates from around the world. Germany had democracy until the allies at the end of World War One put all the blame for that war on the Germans economically with reparations instead of Serbia and Austro Hungary who incited the war to begin with. This blame situation led to some World War One veteran writing Mein Kempf and eventually pulling a George W. Bush in 1934 gaining power over Germany without an election acting like a nationalist and a fascist and scapegoating Jewish and Gypsy people for their economic problems. You know....I don't know of any American political party scapegoating anybody and requiring papers right now....you wouldn't know anything about that would you???? There are laws against said German neo party from WW II era saying anything offending in public in Germany now that involve the threat of jail time. Germany learned from it's transgressions and apologized and actually paid of WW I reparations in recent times almost a century after the Great War. Americans don't apologize for anything....they have little historic memory and too much blowhardedness......at least that's what a Canadian Ojibwe War Veteran told me in Brantford Ontario in the summer of 2003.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 2 months ago

The best commentary I've read on this event--

"The tragic consulate killings in Libya and America's hierarchy of human life The murder of American staff over a hate film is an unmitigated wrong. But so are deaths caused by the US that go unremarked"

by Glenn Greenwald

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/sep/12/tragic-consulate-killings-libya

headdoctor 2 years, 2 months ago

It seems the idiot that did the movie wasn't any better at picking a fake name or at hiding. I would say that if he thought he had reason to hide he really should have a good reason now. If the Feds don't get him as part of their investigation the radical Muslims probably will.

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