Condemnation Quick from Floridians for Murder of Americans at Consulate in Libya

By: Jim Turner | Posted: September 12, 2012 2:00 PM

U.S. Consulate and Chris Stevens

U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens (right) was killed by an angry mob who attacked the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya | Credit: Fox News

Florida congressional members have shown a unified front in condemning a religiously fevered mob that attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, killing four Americans including the U.S. ambassador.

Noting that Libya and Egypt have both struggled to overcome the turmoil that has plagued their lands since uprisings last year that toppled their longtime leaders, Moammar Gadhafi and Hosni Mubarak, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Miami, also called on the Libyan government to bring those responsible for the deaths to justice.

“It is imperative that these senseless mob attacks be condemned by the Libyan government and that it commit to stop this violence and bring those responsible for the deaths of our American diplomats to justice,” Rubio, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Select Committee on Intelligence, stated in a release.

“In both Libya and Egypt, their governments have an obligation to resolutely condemn these violent attacks and protect American diplomatic missions and personnel based on their soil.”

Rubio added that both Libyan and Egyptian people must understand that “if left unchecked, violent attacks like these against our embassies and diplomats will lead Libya and Egypt down a dark path and rob them of their hopes of a more prosperous and democratic future.”

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Orlando, echoed Rubio’s sentiments seeking justice and pointed to possible ties to the terrorist group al-Qaida.

“These murders have the markings of revenge by al-Qaida for the death of the No. 2 leader of the terrorist group, Abu Yahya al-Libi,” Nelson stated in a release.

“The Associated Press has reported that the killing in June of al-Libi was the biggest setback to al-Qaida since the death of Osama bin Laden.

“In light of Monday night’s Internet-video statement by the head of al-Qaida, Ayman al-Zawahiri, who urged Libyans to attack Americans to avenge the recent death of al-Libi, I am asking my colleagues on the Senate Intelligence Committee to immediately investigate what role al-Qaida or its affiliates may have played in the attacks in Libya and Egypt, and to urge appropriate action.”

Fox News reported Wednesday that a team of about 50 Marines has been dispatched to Libya from the U.S. naval base in Rota, Spain.

President Obama has ordered "all necessary resources" to support the security of U.S. personnel in Libya as the posts in Libya and Egypt have come under siege over a film by Sam Bacile, a California real estate developer, that ridiculed Islam's Prophet Muhammad.

The U.S. has also pumped up “security at our diplomatic posts around the globe," Obama stated in response to the death of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other American staff members.

All four Americans reportedly suffocated as they were trying to evacuate the consulate after the swarming mob set it ablaze.

Before the White House confirmed the death of Stevens, the campaign for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney indicated that the attacks showed Obama to be a “failure to be an effective leader for U.S. interests in the Middle East.”

Romney issued a statement that accused the Obama administration of sympathizing with the Libyan protesters.

“I’m outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American consulate worker in Benghazi,” Romney stated in the release. “It’s disgraceful that the Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.”

U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami, who chairs the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, pushed for those responsible to be held accountable.

“Let us be clear,” Ros-Lehtinen stated at the start of the committee’s meeting on Wednesday, “there is no justification for the murder of our diplomats and attacks of our embassies. We have nothing for which we should apologize. We must ensure that the perpetrators of this recent round of 9/11 attacks are held accountable.”

U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami Gardens, also condemned the assault.

“Ambassador Stevens and his colleagues were part of our effort to help the Libyan people build a bright future after the fall of Moammar Gadhafi's oppressive regime,” Wilson, a member of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, stated in a release.

“This deadly attack is a chilling reminder to all of us that our fellow Americans in embassies and consulates around the world sometimes serve in harm’s way -- and that we need to thank and support them just as we do our brave men and women in uniform.”

U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Miramar, stated there was “absolutely no justification for such a heinous act of hatred and violence.”

“Ambassador Stevens and his consular staff, along with the entire American diplomatic mission working in Libya, were in the country to help the Libyan people overcome decades of misrule and oppression under the Gadhafi regime,” Hastings stated.

“They were in Libya to assist with the transition to democracy inspired by the Libyan people themselves, which will lead to a more tolerant, inclusive, and prosperous society for all Libyans.

Reach Jim Turner at jturner@sunshinestatenews.com or at (772) 215-9889.

Comments (10)

10:26PM SEP 13TH 2012
OK - let's just see a little of what is being said out there about Romney's behavior:

(1) Bill O'Reilly: “I’m not sure the Governor is correct on that. The embassy was trying to head off the violence. Being conciliatory in that kind of a situation seems logical."

(2) Peggy Noonan: “Romney looked weak today. At one point, he had a certain slight grimace on his face when he was taking tough questions from the reporters, and I thought, ‘He looks like Richard Nixon.’”

(3) New York Times: "Mitt Romney, who wants Americans to believe he can be president but showed an extraordinary lack of presidential character by using the murders of the Americans in Libya as an excuse not just to attack Mr. Obama, but to do so in a way that suggested either a dangerous ignorance of the facts or an equally dangerous willingness to twist them to his narrow partisan aims."

(4) Los Angeles Times: "His statement on the anti-U.S. violence in Libya and Egypt was outrageous and ill-conceived. In reacting to the killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans, President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and some Republican members of Congress appropriately focused on mourning the dead and honoring their patriotism. Mitt Romney thinks he has a better idea: capitalizing on the attack to shore up his dubious campaign narrative that Obama is soft on radical Islam and apologetic about American values. It's an outrageous exercise in opportunism."

(5) Boston Globe: "His statement was offensive on many other levels…Romney’s actions raise more doubts about himself than Obama."

(6) Miami Herald: "Profoundly inappropriate"

(7) Tampa Bay Times: "There are unanticipated turns of events in every political campaign that provide insights about the candidates, their judgment and their grace under pressure. Romney's factual mistake, exploitation of an evolving situation in which Americans were killed, and poor timing is one of those moments."

(8) Ft. Luderdale Sun-Sentinel: "There are still almost two months left in the presidential campaign — plenty of time for Romney and other Republicans to make their points, and criticisms, of American foreign policy. There will be upcoming debates, where Romney can directly challenge the president on his actions. That's fair game.

But the immediate hours after a horrendous attack on American citizens abroad is not the time to further divide the American people in an attempt to push up poll numbers.

Irresponsible. And totally unwarranted."

(9) Steve Schmidt, senior campaign strategist to Sen. John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign: "There are legitimate criticisms to be made but you foreclose on your ability to make them when you try to score easy political points. And the American people, when the country is attacked, whether they're a Republican or Democrat or independent, want to see leaders who have measured responses, not leaders whose first instinct is to try to score political points."

(10) Foreign policy expert Anthony Cordesman, a John McCain campaign adviser in 2008: "(Romney's behavior) is the worst possible reaction to what happened. We need to be extremely cautious about rushing out and politicizing it....It may be the duty of an opposition candidate to criticize and challenge, but not at the cost of America's strategic interests, lasting relations with key nations in the Middle East, or somehow making this an issue that puts Christian against Muslim or the West against the Arab world."

(11) Daniel Larison, at The American Conservative magazine: "When senior Republican foreign policy professionals start referring to this as (Romney's) 'Lehman moment,' likening it to McCain's mid-September '08 meltdown in response to the financial crisis, we can see that Romney’s latest attempt to seize on an international event has done significant and possibly irreparable damage to his campaign. Most Americans may not sympathize with Romney’s more aggressive foreign policy, but they might have been willing to believe him to be competent and have good judgment. This blunder undermines his claims to both of these."

(12) Mark Salter, former McCain speechwriter and chief of staff: "(Romney's attack on Obama) is as tortured in its reasoning as it is unseemly in its timing....This is hardly the moment to demonstrate greater resolve to take the fight to the president. Four good Americans, brave and true, have just died in service to their country....Nothing said or done by the president or anyone in the U.S. government is responsible for the violence that led to their deaths....There are legitimate criticisms to make about the administration's foreign policy. But, please, let's refrain from making this terrible loss an occasion for more unfair and hyperbolic soundbites..."

Take it from Republicans, a total disaster for Romney - not very presidential at all.
Glenn Kirby
10:24AM SEP 13TH 2012
I read where obama is praying for the families that lost their love ones.
Who is he praying to? He had to vote on replacing the word God in his convenion. I believe that God has closed his ears to child killing, same sex marriage and and liars.
Where are our so called preachers at? They keep their mouth shut, they might loose a dime in the collection plate.
9:55PM SEP 13TH 2012
What a jerk. Which god is yours - - - it certainly isn't one that includes Jesus Christ and his message of peace, love, salvation and forgiveness.

11:26PM SEP 12TH 2012
Romney's and Gingrich's comments today are absolutely despicable.

To basically say that "It’s disgraceful that the Obama administration’s first response was . . . to sympathize with those who waged the attacks" is unforgivable and beyond the pale, extraordinary politics of the "Big Lie".

This from a man who's foreign policy errors pop up seemingly everytime he opens his mouth about a foreign country, be it a friend like Great Britain, or simply knowing the difference between a consultate or an embassy and understanding that our embassy is located in the Libyan Capitol, Tripoli, and not Benghazi.

And then to repeat the Obama comments again today was just incredible.

Even Republicans leaders are running away from Romney's comments, and some are abandoning ship.

Despicable Romney politics.
1:44PM SEP 13TH 2012
Romney’s timely defense of our country’s First Amendment certainly looked presidential. Too bad the MSM and progressive sycophants willingly accept the administration’s shortcomings.
12:22AM SEP 14TH 2012
Romney's idiotic comments were condemned by many Republicans, although a few made some weak attempts to try and defend him today.

Romney's attack will go down historically as a bad and infamous mistake - want to bet how moderates will see this?

Presidential? You have to be kidding . . . . . NO ONE, not even strident Republicans believe this looked presidential.
4:05PM SEP 12TH 2012
When the proverbial dust settles, the killers will clearly be anything but an angry mob. Everything points to a calculated and well-armed hit squad with specific goals that included killing the U.S. ambassador.
11:15PM SEP 12TH 2012
So what else isn't new - what's your point?
1:36PM SEP 13TH 2012
My comment challenged the premise proffered in the first sentence, “… a religiously fevered mob that attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, killing four Americans including the U.S. ambassador.” Geez, I thought even you were sharp enough to distinguish the none-too-subtle difference between the actions of a fevered mob and a coordinated militant operation.
12:19AM SEP 14TH 2012
This was surmised well before your comments - you added nothing new that hadn't already been reported, even by this article.

But then, I guess I can't expect you to actually read the article where Democratic Senator Nelson was quoted as indicating that “These murders have the markings of revenge by al-Qaida for the death of the No. 2 leader of the terrorist group, Abu Yahya al-Libi.”

No, you probably did read any further than Republican Senator Rubio's "mob" indication that "It is imperative that these senseless mob attacks be condemned by the Libyan government and that it commit to stop this violence and bring those responsible for the deaths of our American diplomats to justice".

Guess you're still only into reading one side of the story.


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