U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, a member of the House Committee Foreign Affairs, and a Montgomery County resident, issued a statement today in response to the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens, and three others U.S. officials. She said:
"The despicable attack on America's Consulate in Benghazi, Libya is a direct affront to America and the values of freedom and democracy that we hold true.
"My thoughts and prayers are with the families and colleagues of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith and the other personnel killed in Benghazi, Libya.
"America's diplomatic corps dedicate their lives to promoting America's values and interest abroad, spending time away from loved ones and knowingly put themselves in danger to serve their country. For that, as Americans, we owe them a debt of gratitude. We must - and we will - bring those responsible swiftly to justice."
The White House just released its statement from President Barack Obama:
Statement by the President on the Attack in Benghazi
I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Right now, the American people have the families of those we lost in our thoughts and prayers. They exemplified America's commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe, and stand in stark contrast to those who callously took their lives.
I have directed my Administration to provide all necessary resources to support the security of our personnel in Libya, and to increase security at our diplomatic posts around the globe. While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants.
On a personal note, Chris was a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States. Throughout the Libyan revolution, he selflessly served our country and the Libyan people at our mission in Benghazi. As Ambassador in Tripoli, he has supported Libya's transition to democracy. His legacy will endure wherever human beings reach for liberty and justice. I am profoundly grateful for his service to my Administration, and deeply saddened by this loss.
John Nagl, America’s foremost expert on counterinsurgency who helped write the nation’s manual on that topic and who logged combat time in Iraq, weighed in today, saying he is “just sick” about the killings.
Nagl will become headmaster of the Haverford School on Philadelphia’s Main Line next July 1. Since we interviewed him for a profile recently, we are seeking his comment as a soon-to-be Montgomery County figure.
"It is always wrong to mock the religious beliefs of others. Doing so at this time of tension and change in the Middle East is particularly unhelpful. This episode will do real and lasting harm to the United States and her interests. Innocents will die, terrorists will be inspired, and hatred will spread. All Americans should stand united against religious persecution in all its manifestations."
He suggested that readers consult an Atlantic Monthly story for background entitled: “The Movie So Offensive That Egyptians Just Stormed the U.S. Embassy Over It.” The post contains clips from the movie dubbed in English. We looked at the clips and found the film odd and disturbing.
Here are the URLs: