(Reuters) - The U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other embassy staff were killed in a rocket attack on their car, a Libyan official said, as they were rushed from a consular building stormed by militants denouncing a U.S.-made film insulting the Prophet Mohammad.
Gunmen had attacked and burned the U.S. consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi, a center of last year's uprising against Muammar Gaddafi, late on Tuesday evening, killing one U.S. consular official. The building was evacuated.
The Libyan official said the ambassador, Christopher Stevens, was being driven from the consulate building to a safer location when gunmen opened fire.
"The American ambassador and three staff members were killed when gunmen fired rockets at them," the official in Benghazi told Reuters.
There was no immediate comment from the State Department in Washington. U.S. ambassadors in such volatile countries are accompanied by tight security, usually travelling in well-protected convoys. Security officials will be considering whether the two attacks were coordinated.
I had to agree that the administration's response -- to condemn whoever it was that might have upset the attackers -- seemed like parody. Someone murders your people, and you say you're so sorry the murderers were upset? It clarifies, if we still needed clarification: our administration doesn't have the priorities we would expect. It bears asking what those priorities are and where they will take us.
This kind of thing--the preemptive apology--was also featured in the September 11 message published by the American Embassy in Cairo.
I can halfway understand it, if the first priority is restoring calm. But I actually agree with you here - freedom of speech is not a halfway measure. You either mean it, or you don't.
1. Recall all US diplomatic personnel & expel Libyan diplomats from the US
2. Immediately stop all aid
3. The bombing begins in 5 minutes
In 1980 Time magazine named the Ayatollah Khomeni "Man of the Year". The next issue published a letter to the editor which asked them "how can you name that madman MotY". The following week another letter replied: "He was not a madman - a madman would have taken over the Soviet embassy".
And this assumes the attacker was Libyan. For example, I read a piece in the Irish Times by a French surgeon who just came back from working in Syria. In the rebel hospital he worked, over 50% of the injured fighters he treated were non-Syrian jihadists who've come to fight with the rebels.
The attacker need not be Libyan. What matters is what the Libyan gov't is going to do about this & in what way it was involved.
I agree. Like the ultimatum Bush gave the Taliban with regards to Al-Quida. If the Libyans show less than expected eagerness in upholding the rule of law on this then the US would be justified in defending its people (and seeing as this is ambassadors we are talking about, that includes war).
This may come back to haunt Mr. Obama, who seems to have led from behind in the liberation of Libya. As well, let us see what comes of the situation in Egypt, another of Mr. Obama's legacies...
While that might be a little extreme, we need to do something.
Wait, I don't get this. I agree that the radicals behind the attack should be hanged by their own goolies, but who exactly are we going to be bombing? Is this some kind of "one bad apple..." philosophy (ok, more than one but that's how the saying goes), or did my hippie, liberal eyes refuse to read the part where this was sanctioned by the Libyan government?
It's not the liberal eyes, it's the fact that you are brainless. Embassies in a country are protected by the laws of that country; the inviolability of ambassadors is the sine qua non of international relations. These laws of international conduct were known very well thousands of years ago. Then liberal mindlessness unlearned, untaught, undid them...
Had it been a terrorist attack, every liberal in the world could have pretended the gov't knew nothing about this--only the American gov't does, even as it's working behind the back of the people, of course--but when it's mobs, not even your garden-variety liberal could pretend that the locals know nothing...