The new 9/11 attack in Libya

The U.S. Ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, was killed, along with three other Americans, when Islamists fired rocket grenadees at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.   Mobs were protesting an American-made movie ostensibly funded by Jewish militants entitled  Innocence of Muslims, which depicts Mohammad and portrays him (some say pornographically) as a sexual predator.  (All that had been released was a YouTube trailer, since taken down.  See this on questions about the filmmaker.)  Officials are saying, however, that the protests may have only been a cover for a planned attack designed to avenge the recent assassination by drone of a major al-Qaeda leader on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

The killing of an Ambassador is traditionally considered an act of war.  American warships are taking positions off Libya and Marines have moved in to secure the Embassy.  Meanwhile, the protests over the film are spreading to other Muslim countries, with the U.S. Embassy in Cairo under siege.  With the alleged Jewish connection to the movie, Israel will be a sure target.

For details, see  U.S. officials: Attack on consulate in Libya may have been planned – The Washington Post.

Also this.

So now a major international crisis breaks out just before the election.  For the political fallout, see this.  Normally, when America is attacked, the country rallies together and partisan divisions are set aside.  But Mitt Romney has chosen to take the occasion to blast President Obama for his foreign policy weakness and his poor handling of this incident.  Now Romney is getting blowback for inappropriate and unpatriotic criticism at a time of crisis.  Who’s right here?

 

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Dan Kempin

    “the protests may have only been a cover for a planned attack”

    Sure. A coordinated attack against the US on September 11 MAY NOT have been a spontaneous reaction of “religious hurt feelings.”

    Maybe.

    We’re not sure.

    We’ll have to wait for the full report.

  • Dan Kempin

    “the protests may have only been a cover for a planned attack”

    Sure. A coordinated attack against the US on September 11 MAY NOT have been a spontaneous reaction of “religious hurt feelings.”

    Maybe.

    We’re not sure.

    We’ll have to wait for the full report.

  • BW

    There is evidence that this “movie” was never made and is just a clip on youtube. The producer may be phony, there may be no Israeli-Jewish connection.

  • BW

    There is evidence that this “movie” was never made and is just a clip on youtube. The producer may be phony, there may be no Israeli-Jewish connection.

  • Michael B.

    “depicts Mohammad and portrays him as a sexual predator. ”

    So does the Koran. It states that Mohammad as a grown man, married a 6 year old and slept with her when she was 9.

  • Michael B.

    “depicts Mohammad and portrays him as a sexual predator. ”

    So does the Koran. It states that Mohammad as a grown man, married a 6 year old and slept with her when she was 9.

  • Robin

    Is it me or does this seem to be similar to Jimmy Carter and the kidnappings right before the 1980 elections?

  • Robin

    Is it me or does this seem to be similar to Jimmy Carter and the kidnappings right before the 1980 elections?

  • Jon

    You mean, there were no Marines guarding the Embassy in Libya at the time?! But we’re sending them now?!

  • Jon

    You mean, there were no Marines guarding the Embassy in Libya at the time?! But we’re sending them now?!

  • Pete

    Careful, Michael B @ 3. Can you say , “fatwa”?

  • Pete

    Careful, Michael B @ 3. Can you say , “fatwa”?

  • Mary

    Do you not remember the attacks on the Johnson administration and their handling of Viet Nam by Nixon in the 1968 run for president? Or the McGovern attacks on Nixon in their race? How about Kerry’s attacking Bush’s strategies and involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan? I don’t think a new precedent is being set, it was changed decades ago.

  • Mary

    Do you not remember the attacks on the Johnson administration and their handling of Viet Nam by Nixon in the 1968 run for president? Or the McGovern attacks on Nixon in their race? How about Kerry’s attacking Bush’s strategies and involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan? I don’t think a new precedent is being set, it was changed decades ago.

  • Tom Hering

    Marines were on guard at the embassy in Tripoli, but not at the consulate in Benghazi, which is where the attack took place.

  • Tom Hering

    Marines were on guard at the embassy in Tripoli, but not at the consulate in Benghazi, which is where the attack took place.

  • Trey

    Robin I thought the exact same thing. Yemen embassy is now under siege.

    Michael where in the Quran does it say this?

    I think Romney was right to criticize the admin for apologizing for the video while our embassy are under attack. The president lacks leadership.

  • Trey

    Robin I thought the exact same thing. Yemen embassy is now under siege.

    Michael where in the Quran does it say this?

    I think Romney was right to criticize the admin for apologizing for the video while our embassy are under attack. The president lacks leadership.

  • Tom Hering

    Mary @ 7, a candidate taking political advantage of a crisis/tragedy within 24 hours of the event is a little different.

  • Tom Hering

    Mary @ 7, a candidate taking political advantage of a crisis/tragedy within 24 hours of the event is a little different.

  • Mary

    On another note, there is a lot of chatter on internet sites (with pictures) about the fact that the ambassador’s body was dragged through the streets of Benghazzi. I have seen nothing of this in the MSM. Why did the administration choose to hide this fact, and instead say that the Libyans took him to the hospital? I realize he did end up at a hospital, but 12 hours later?

  • Mary

    On another note, there is a lot of chatter on internet sites (with pictures) about the fact that the ambassador’s body was dragged through the streets of Benghazzi. I have seen nothing of this in the MSM. Why did the administration choose to hide this fact, and instead say that the Libyans took him to the hospital? I realize he did end up at a hospital, but 12 hours later?

  • Tom Hering

    Trey @ 9, the President was trying to defuse the situation. He can buy them all dinner as far I’m concerned, if that would quickly prevent more American deaths. But how come he’s the bad guy in all this? Couldn’t be because you, too, want to use this crisis/tragedy for your own political purposes, would it?

  • Tom Hering

    Trey @ 9, the President was trying to defuse the situation. He can buy them all dinner as far I’m concerned, if that would quickly prevent more American deaths. But how come he’s the bad guy in all this? Couldn’t be because you, too, want to use this crisis/tragedy for your own political purposes, would it?

  • mikeb

    Normally, when America is attacked, the country rallies together and partisan divisions are set aside. But Mitt Romney has chosen to take the occasion to blast President Obama for his foreign policy weakness and his poor handling of this incident. Now Romney is getting blowback for inappropriate and unpatriotic criticism at a time of crisis. Who’s right here?

    OK, let me get this straight. The embassy in Cairo issues a statement sympathizing with the protestors decrying the “movie” and, since high level foreign policy statements like this should be cleared with the president, Romney blasts Obama’s foreign policy. The embassy’s statement is so out of line the White House makes them retract it and says it was not official U.S. policy. But Mitt Romney is out of line criticizing the president’s foreign policy (policy espoused by the team in Cairo that the president walked back) because, well its just not the right time because, well, there is an election and politics should stop at the water’s edge, and people were just killed, and … Give me a break. Romney’s statement was a valid criticism, and even though politics should stop at the water’s edge, when the policy is the problem, you have to say so.

    Obama was broadcasting weakness. Or poor leadership — he didn’t have control of his people who issued that statement that he made them retract. And as a result, his foreign policy is subject to valid criticism.

    Obama hasn’t been attending intelligence briefings. The CIA didn’t see anything coming. It was the anniversary of 9/11. What idiot wouldn’t expect an attack? What idiot would think that a policy of appeasement will win the day? Apparently the president and his team. And that is fair criticism.

    PS – Can you say hypocrite? Obama used the deaths of 8 troops to criticize Bush and McCain in ’08. http://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/barack-obama-used-troop-deaths-to-ding-bush-mccai

  • mikeb

    Normally, when America is attacked, the country rallies together and partisan divisions are set aside. But Mitt Romney has chosen to take the occasion to blast President Obama for his foreign policy weakness and his poor handling of this incident. Now Romney is getting blowback for inappropriate and unpatriotic criticism at a time of crisis. Who’s right here?

    OK, let me get this straight. The embassy in Cairo issues a statement sympathizing with the protestors decrying the “movie” and, since high level foreign policy statements like this should be cleared with the president, Romney blasts Obama’s foreign policy. The embassy’s statement is so out of line the White House makes them retract it and says it was not official U.S. policy. But Mitt Romney is out of line criticizing the president’s foreign policy (policy espoused by the team in Cairo that the president walked back) because, well its just not the right time because, well, there is an election and politics should stop at the water’s edge, and people were just killed, and … Give me a break. Romney’s statement was a valid criticism, and even though politics should stop at the water’s edge, when the policy is the problem, you have to say so.

    Obama was broadcasting weakness. Or poor leadership — he didn’t have control of his people who issued that statement that he made them retract. And as a result, his foreign policy is subject to valid criticism.

    Obama hasn’t been attending intelligence briefings. The CIA didn’t see anything coming. It was the anniversary of 9/11. What idiot wouldn’t expect an attack? What idiot would think that a policy of appeasement will win the day? Apparently the president and his team. And that is fair criticism.

    PS – Can you say hypocrite? Obama used the deaths of 8 troops to criticize Bush and McCain in ’08. http://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/barack-obama-used-troop-deaths-to-ding-bush-mccai

  • Julian

    @ Mary and Tom,

    And taking political advantage of a tragedy based on statements made before the tragedy even occurred is a new low. Look it up. The Libyan consulate was attacked well after the Cairo embassy made its statement.

  • Julian

    @ Mary and Tom,

    And taking political advantage of a tragedy based on statements made before the tragedy even occurred is a new low. Look it up. The Libyan consulate was attacked well after the Cairo embassy made its statement.

  • Tom Hering

    Mary @ 11, those photos were indeed carried by MSM news sites, and were reported to show Libyans trying to get the ambassador’s body out of the attack area. It was later that the nut-job internet sites started claiming that they showed Libyans “dragging” the ambassador’s body through the streets – though not one of the photos shows the body being literally dragged, which ought to give you and others pause, at the least.

  • Tom Hering

    Mary @ 11, those photos were indeed carried by MSM news sites, and were reported to show Libyans trying to get the ambassador’s body out of the attack area. It was later that the nut-job internet sites started claiming that they showed Libyans “dragging” the ambassador’s body through the streets – though not one of the photos shows the body being literally dragged, which ought to give you and others pause, at the least.

  • SKPeterson

    What is interesting is that the attackers apparently knew that the ambassador was going to be at the unguarded Benghazi consulate and had enough foreknowledge to coordinate a concerted attack. This would appear to be an intelligence/security failure on the part of State and the embassy staff.

    Although I advocate a vastly reduced military presence around the world, I am continually taken aback by the persistent refusal to defend our embassies when they come under assault as in Cairo or Sana’a. While I understand the reluctance to fire on civilians if they are coming over the walls the assumption should be that they are not clamoring for immigration visas. If the local government and police cannot or will not control the crowd and allows or encourages people to violate U.S. territory and/or place our embassy staffs in harms way, the Marines should be used. Otherwise, why have them?

  • SKPeterson

    What is interesting is that the attackers apparently knew that the ambassador was going to be at the unguarded Benghazi consulate and had enough foreknowledge to coordinate a concerted attack. This would appear to be an intelligence/security failure on the part of State and the embassy staff.

    Although I advocate a vastly reduced military presence around the world, I am continually taken aback by the persistent refusal to defend our embassies when they come under assault as in Cairo or Sana’a. While I understand the reluctance to fire on civilians if they are coming over the walls the assumption should be that they are not clamoring for immigration visas. If the local government and police cannot or will not control the crowd and allows or encourages people to violate U.S. territory and/or place our embassy staffs in harms way, the Marines should be used. Otherwise, why have them?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    And before the rage against all Muslims take off, I’ll re-post this link:

    http://imgur.com/a/tlCyI

    and this one:

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/09/20129112108737726.html

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    And before the rage against all Muslims take off, I’ll re-post this link:

    http://imgur.com/a/tlCyI

    and this one:

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/09/20129112108737726.html

  • Jon

    mikeb@13 is right.

  • Jon

    mikeb@13 is right.

  • Tom Hering

    Julian @ 14, not only was it before the events in Libya, but the “apologetic” statement was issued before the security wall at the Cairo embassy was breached – while the Egyptian protest was still peaceful. How could the statement have been a weak response to attacks that hadn’t happened yet?

  • Tom Hering

    Julian @ 14, not only was it before the events in Libya, but the “apologetic” statement was issued before the security wall at the Cairo embassy was breached – while the Egyptian protest was still peaceful. How could the statement have been a weak response to attacks that hadn’t happened yet?

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom@everywhere:

    You know that I’m an equal opportunity loather, so I have no interest in making political hay of the responses offered by either Romney or Obama. But the fact is that the Obama Administration’s initial response was just dismal. There’s really no defending it. Indeed, that an international incident, to which Obama has responded poorly (he wasn’t there to answer that 3 a.m. phone call!), has become somehow a commentary on Romney is…baffling.

    SKPeterson: Isn’t it typically the responsibility of the host country to ensure the physical security of foreign embassies on their soil? I mean, I agree with your general critique, but one wonders whether we should even maintain embassies in countries where we are clearly not wanted. Do we really need a garrison of Marines stationed in every mildly dangerous country (i.e., most of them) on the globe?

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom@everywhere:

    You know that I’m an equal opportunity loather, so I have no interest in making political hay of the responses offered by either Romney or Obama. But the fact is that the Obama Administration’s initial response was just dismal. There’s really no defending it. Indeed, that an international incident, to which Obama has responded poorly (he wasn’t there to answer that 3 a.m. phone call!), has become somehow a commentary on Romney is…baffling.

    SKPeterson: Isn’t it typically the responsibility of the host country to ensure the physical security of foreign embassies on their soil? I mean, I agree with your general critique, but one wonders whether we should even maintain embassies in countries where we are clearly not wanted. Do we really need a garrison of Marines stationed in every mildly dangerous country (i.e., most of them) on the globe?

  • Tom Hering

    Cincinnatus, in what way was the administration’s initial response “dismal”? And do you mean the President’s first statement (issued after the attacks) or the Cairo embassy’s first statement (issued before the attacks)?

  • Tom Hering

    Cincinnatus, in what way was the administration’s initial response “dismal”? And do you mean the President’s first statement (issued after the attacks) or the Cairo embassy’s first statement (issued before the attacks)?

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom@21:

    In what way is Romney’s commentary on Obama’s initial response the real issue here?

    Here’s why my newsfeed has looked like this morning:

    ROMNEY’S FECKLESS FOREIGN POLICY GAFFE: AMATEUR HOUR IN THE ROMNEY CAMPAIGN; UNFIT TO BE PRESIDENT

    Also, the American ambassador to Libya was murdered, our embassy in Yemen is being stormed, blood in the streets, etc.

    Curiously missing: What does Obama plan to do about it? What was he doing–besides endorsing apologetic press releases–when all this has been happening? Remember back in 2008? When we were all promised that Obama is the one we want answering the 3 a.m. phone call? This is essentially the first true international incident during Obama’s tenure. Are you impressed with his handling of this matter?

    Also, in case NavyChaps is reading: The attack on our Yemeni embassy is quite possibly the clearest example of blowback ever. I wouldn’t be too happy if the world’s superpower were waging an undeclared drone war against my fellow citizens either (not that the targets of said drone war are upstanding human beings).

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom@21:

    In what way is Romney’s commentary on Obama’s initial response the real issue here?

    Here’s why my newsfeed has looked like this morning:

    ROMNEY’S FECKLESS FOREIGN POLICY GAFFE: AMATEUR HOUR IN THE ROMNEY CAMPAIGN; UNFIT TO BE PRESIDENT

    Also, the American ambassador to Libya was murdered, our embassy in Yemen is being stormed, blood in the streets, etc.

    Curiously missing: What does Obama plan to do about it? What was he doing–besides endorsing apologetic press releases–when all this has been happening? Remember back in 2008? When we were all promised that Obama is the one we want answering the 3 a.m. phone call? This is essentially the first true international incident during Obama’s tenure. Are you impressed with his handling of this matter?

    Also, in case NavyChaps is reading: The attack on our Yemeni embassy is quite possibly the clearest example of blowback ever. I wouldn’t be too happy if the world’s superpower were waging an undeclared drone war against my fellow citizens either (not that the targets of said drone war are upstanding human beings).

  • Cincinnatus

    Here’s how* my newsfeed.

    And, hm, my HTML coding didn’t work out: The “Also, the American ambassador to Libya,” etc., section was supposed to be in tiny script.

    You know, to emphasize the fact that the coverage of these events has almost entirely missed the point.

  • Cincinnatus

    Here’s how* my newsfeed.

    And, hm, my HTML coding didn’t work out: The “Also, the American ambassador to Libya,” etc., section was supposed to be in tiny script.

    You know, to emphasize the fact that the coverage of these events has almost entirely missed the point.

  • Tom Hering

    In what way is Romney’s commentary on Obama’s initial response the real issue here?

    It isn’t. When did I say it was?

    What does Obama plan to do about it?

    So far, he’s spoken with the leaders of Egypt and Libya, and sent in more Marines for security.

    What was he doing–besides endorsing apologetic press releases–when all this has been happening?

    I don’t know. I wasn’t in the White House at 3 AM this morning. Were you? As for “endorsing apologetic press releases,” do you mean he thought it was an appropriate attempt to head off any escalation of protests that were still peaceful at the time of the press release?

  • Tom Hering

    In what way is Romney’s commentary on Obama’s initial response the real issue here?

    It isn’t. When did I say it was?

    What does Obama plan to do about it?

    So far, he’s spoken with the leaders of Egypt and Libya, and sent in more Marines for security.

    What was he doing–besides endorsing apologetic press releases–when all this has been happening?

    I don’t know. I wasn’t in the White House at 3 AM this morning. Were you? As for “endorsing apologetic press releases,” do you mean he thought it was an appropriate attempt to head off any escalation of protests that were still peaceful at the time of the press release?

  • http://www.cyberbrethren.com Rev. Paul T. McCain

    I’m waiting for more details but my first thought was how could the US Ambassador travel to a consulate without a contingent of armored vehicles and without a platoon of heavily armed United States Marines?

    Maybe he had all that, but if not, why not?

  • http://www.cyberbrethren.com Rev. Paul T. McCain

    I’m waiting for more details but my first thought was how could the US Ambassador travel to a consulate without a contingent of armored vehicles and without a platoon of heavily armed United States Marines?

    Maybe he had all that, but if not, why not?

  • Tom Hering

    @ 25, because Libya isn’t Iraq, we aren’t fighting in Libya, and most of the Libyan people considered ambassador Stevens a friend of Libya. All of which supports the administration’s suspicion that the attack was the work of al Qaeda.

    ————————–

    The latest news is that the Libyan government has arrested suspects, and Yemen police have killed one protester and wounded five.

  • Tom Hering

    @ 25, because Libya isn’t Iraq, we aren’t fighting in Libya, and most of the Libyan people considered ambassador Stevens a friend of Libya. All of which supports the administration’s suspicion that the attack was the work of al Qaeda.

    ————————–

    The latest news is that the Libyan government has arrested suspects, and Yemen police have killed one protester and wounded five.

  • Steve Billingsley

    You know I can’t remember the last time a Presidential candidate used foreign policy events to criticize a sitting President….oh, wait.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2012/09/13/flashback-major-party-nominee-uses-war-deaths-to-score-political-points/

  • Steve Billingsley

    You know I can’t remember the last time a Presidential candidate used foreign policy events to criticize a sitting President….oh, wait.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2012/09/13/flashback-major-party-nominee-uses-war-deaths-to-score-political-points/

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    I do not think that the White House handled this badly. Obama’s “apology” should be seen against the cause of the tragedy – it was what one could call a “preventative” apology. As such, it achieves a lot, and is a sensible foreign policy option. Being a hard-ass all the time doesn’t win you any friends.

    I think Romney’s response could have been better, but in the tone of the campaign thus far, knee-jerks and foot-in-mouth disease is to be expected from both sides.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    I do not think that the White House handled this badly. Obama’s “apology” should be seen against the cause of the tragedy – it was what one could call a “preventative” apology. As such, it achieves a lot, and is a sensible foreign policy option. Being a hard-ass all the time doesn’t win you any friends.

    I think Romney’s response could have been better, but in the tone of the campaign thus far, knee-jerks and foot-in-mouth disease is to be expected from both sides.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Klasie Kraalogies,

    Exactly – in the midst of a political campaign should we be surprised that politicians act like – oh, I don’t know – politicians?

    It isn’t exactly a news flash that Republicans (including their Presidential nominee) think the Obama administration has handled foreign policy wrongly. Or that the Obama administration thinks that a Romney administration would be bad at foreign policy. Isn’t that what we have elections for?

  • Steve Billingsley

    Klasie Kraalogies,

    Exactly – in the midst of a political campaign should we be surprised that politicians act like – oh, I don’t know – politicians?

    It isn’t exactly a news flash that Republicans (including their Presidential nominee) think the Obama administration has handled foreign policy wrongly. Or that the Obama administration thinks that a Romney administration would be bad at foreign policy. Isn’t that what we have elections for?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Romney needs to fight fire with fire. He needs to dog Obama on this issue and make it stick. He needs to air ads showing how lame the president’s response was. He cannot back down at all.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Romney needs to fight fire with fire. He needs to dog Obama on this issue and make it stick. He needs to air ads showing how lame the president’s response was. He cannot back down at all.

  • WebMonk

    All that had been released was a YouTube trailer, since taken down.

    Minor clarification: the clip was NOT removed from YouTube. You can go watch it now if you like.

    YouTube blocked IPs originating in Libya and Egypt from seeing the video, but that doesn’t have an effect because the majority of people in those countries already use services to access the Internet from sources outside those countries anyway.

  • WebMonk

    All that had been released was a YouTube trailer, since taken down.

    Minor clarification: the clip was NOT removed from YouTube. You can go watch it now if you like.

    YouTube blocked IPs originating in Libya and Egypt from seeing the video, but that doesn’t have an effect because the majority of people in those countries already use services to access the Internet from sources outside those countries anyway.

  • DonS

    The alleged film is a smokescreen to cover a coordinated attack on U.S. interests in the Middle East in conjunction with 9/11 and in response to what these terrorists believe are a host of provocations. Interestingly, according to the AP here:
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jTgaNN5cro-AnbzHU9PrUrYoS2LQ?docId=e14f729e382644008500ed61c62534a0

    The protesters in Egypt were chanting “We are all Osama”. Think that might have something to do with the Obama/Biden team repeatedly crowing about the killing of Osama for campaign purposes? Clinton saying “We came, we saw, he died”, Biden in his stump speech and at the DNC Convention saying “Osama Bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive” — cheap political points by an administration that has no concept of a cogent foreign policy may well have gotten their ambassador and others killed.

    The issue in this whole mess is certainly not Romney. What Romney said needed to be said. The Egyptian Embassy statement was abysmal, and, in the way it was formulated, was a complete repudiation of fundamental American values of free speech. The administration now claims it was unapproved, but it took 16 hours for any kind of repudiation of that statement to issue, after political pressure reached a fever pitch. This has been an utter disaster for the Obama administration.

    Of course, Obama himself is still on the campaign trail. Nice leadership, but understandable, since campaigning is the only part of the job he likes. Maybe now, though, he’ll see fit to occasionally attend a foreign intelligence briefing.

  • DonS

    The alleged film is a smokescreen to cover a coordinated attack on U.S. interests in the Middle East in conjunction with 9/11 and in response to what these terrorists believe are a host of provocations. Interestingly, according to the AP here:
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jTgaNN5cro-AnbzHU9PrUrYoS2LQ?docId=e14f729e382644008500ed61c62534a0

    The protesters in Egypt were chanting “We are all Osama”. Think that might have something to do with the Obama/Biden team repeatedly crowing about the killing of Osama for campaign purposes? Clinton saying “We came, we saw, he died”, Biden in his stump speech and at the DNC Convention saying “Osama Bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive” — cheap political points by an administration that has no concept of a cogent foreign policy may well have gotten their ambassador and others killed.

    The issue in this whole mess is certainly not Romney. What Romney said needed to be said. The Egyptian Embassy statement was abysmal, and, in the way it was formulated, was a complete repudiation of fundamental American values of free speech. The administration now claims it was unapproved, but it took 16 hours for any kind of repudiation of that statement to issue, after political pressure reached a fever pitch. This has been an utter disaster for the Obama administration.

    Of course, Obama himself is still on the campaign trail. Nice leadership, but understandable, since campaigning is the only part of the job he likes. Maybe now, though, he’ll see fit to occasionally attend a foreign intelligence briefing.

  • DonS

    Heh. Last night, Obama condescendingly said, in a CBS interview, that Romney has a tendency to “shoot first and aim later”. Of course, that is so NOT Romney, but no matter — Obama says whatever suits his campaign needs. However, in that same interview, when asked if he considered Egypt an ally, he said “no”, clarifying that he also doesn’t consider them an enemy.

    Now this:

    http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/09/13/white_house_clarifies_obama_s_statement_that_egypt_is_not_an_ally

    Who shot first and aimed later, again?

  • DonS

    Heh. Last night, Obama condescendingly said, in a CBS interview, that Romney has a tendency to “shoot first and aim later”. Of course, that is so NOT Romney, but no matter — Obama says whatever suits his campaign needs. However, in that same interview, when asked if he considered Egypt an ally, he said “no”, clarifying that he also doesn’t consider them an enemy.

    Now this:

    http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/09/13/white_house_clarifies_obama_s_statement_that_egypt_is_not_an_ally

    Who shot first and aimed later, again?

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom: Obama hasn’t attended intelligence briefings since September 5th. That, to me, seems a bit of a dereliction of duty.

    Could Romney’s response have been more measured? Eh, maybe. In my jaded opinion, his words are just the stuff of modern politicking. Obama’s response is the one that matters, and it’s not just a “one-off” thing that he bungled. What happened–and is still happening–in Libya, Egypt, and Yemen is directly rooted in Obama’s foreign policy (which is basically identical to Bush’s foreign policy). Libya is a nation of tribes; some of the major tribes supported Gaddafi. What a surprise, then, that some people in Libya might not appreciate the fact that we spent $1 billion pumping bombs into their cities! What a surprise that those in Yemen don’t appreciate our undeclared drone war, which has amounted to an assassination campaign against Yemeni citizens! (Yes, they were probably terrorists, but we’re talking about blowback here, not moral propriety.) What a surprise that some Egyptians don’t appreciate the fact that we armed and funded Mubarek for 30 years! The Obama administration participated in this scheme, of course.

    What am I missing? Why are the headlines today savaging Romney while the actual events are figuratively consigned to section C?

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom: Obama hasn’t attended intelligence briefings since September 5th. That, to me, seems a bit of a dereliction of duty.

    Could Romney’s response have been more measured? Eh, maybe. In my jaded opinion, his words are just the stuff of modern politicking. Obama’s response is the one that matters, and it’s not just a “one-off” thing that he bungled. What happened–and is still happening–in Libya, Egypt, and Yemen is directly rooted in Obama’s foreign policy (which is basically identical to Bush’s foreign policy). Libya is a nation of tribes; some of the major tribes supported Gaddafi. What a surprise, then, that some people in Libya might not appreciate the fact that we spent $1 billion pumping bombs into their cities! What a surprise that those in Yemen don’t appreciate our undeclared drone war, which has amounted to an assassination campaign against Yemeni citizens! (Yes, they were probably terrorists, but we’re talking about blowback here, not moral propriety.) What a surprise that some Egyptians don’t appreciate the fact that we armed and funded Mubarek for 30 years! The Obama administration participated in this scheme, of course.

    What am I missing? Why are the headlines today savaging Romney while the actual events are figuratively consigned to section C?

  • Tom Hering

    … an administration that … may well have gotten their ambassador and others killed … The Egyptian Embassy statement … was a complete repudiation of fundamental American values of free speech. (Predictable @ 32)

    Right. It’s all Obama’s fault. We won’t blame the filmmakers, who are so sleazy they can’t even be identified. Oh wait. Maybe they’ve hidden their identities because they’re concerned about repercussions. For themselves. Not others. And oh yes, the embassy staff should have stood up for American values instead. Because that would’ve played well in the streets of Cairo, and immediately defused the situation. Gosh, I can’t imagine why didn’t you pursue a career in diplomacy, Don. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    … an administration that … may well have gotten their ambassador and others killed … The Egyptian Embassy statement … was a complete repudiation of fundamental American values of free speech. (Predictable @ 32)

    Right. It’s all Obama’s fault. We won’t blame the filmmakers, who are so sleazy they can’t even be identified. Oh wait. Maybe they’ve hidden their identities because they’re concerned about repercussions. For themselves. Not others. And oh yes, the embassy staff should have stood up for American values instead. Because that would’ve played well in the streets of Cairo, and immediately defused the situation. Gosh, I can’t imagine why didn’t you pursue a career in diplomacy, Don. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    Oh come on Cincinnatus @ 34. Are you really joining the Republicans in their desperate attempt to make something out of intelligence briefings? Do you seriously believe Obama isn’t kept up-to-the-minute by his national security people, whether he’s present at meetings or not? Or that he isn’t intelligent, while his opponent is simply, uh, “brief” upstairs? :-D

  • Tom Hering

    Oh come on Cincinnatus @ 34. Are you really joining the Republicans in their desperate attempt to make something out of intelligence briefings? Do you seriously believe Obama isn’t kept up-to-the-minute by his national security people, whether he’s present at meetings or not? Or that he isn’t intelligent, while his opponent is simply, uh, “brief” upstairs? :-D

  • Tom Hering

    Don @ 33, “Middle East experts” are speculating that Obama’s ally comment was meant to goad President Morsy. Apparently, it worked. Egyptian security is being quite aggressive today about keeping demonstrators at a distance from our Cairo embassy.

  • Tom Hering

    Don @ 33, “Middle East experts” are speculating that Obama’s ally comment was meant to goad President Morsy. Apparently, it worked. Egyptian security is being quite aggressive today about keeping demonstrators at a distance from our Cairo embassy.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @35

    “We won’t blame the filmmakers”

    That’s right. We won’t.

    The filmmakers didn’t kill the ambassador or the others.

    The people who did the killing are the ones at fault. Period.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @35

    “We won’t blame the filmmakers”

    That’s right. We won’t.

    The filmmakers didn’t kill the ambassador or the others.

    The people who did the killing are the ones at fault. Period.

  • NavyChaps

    1. The reason Gov. Romney is the issue, is (a) because what he said was true; even the WH has been forced to agree with Gov. Romney’s statement. (b) The reason Gov. Romney is the issue is because he had the temerity to speak the truth when the WH had said nothing. The MSM are not journalists — they are propagandists who are protecting the President — we saw expressly in the coordination prior to Gov. Romney’s press conference. They didn’t listen and ask questions on the basis of his statement — they asked the same question over and over in a pathetic game of gotcha. Not journalists — “presstitutes.”
    2. The statement from the Embassy, with its continued support throughout the day, is consistent with the attitude of the administration over the past 3+ years — beginning with the President’s speech in Cairo. Why was it called the Apology Tour?
    3. At this late date, the President is boxed into a very tight corner with fewer options than we had just a few years ago. He assumed that the Arab Spring was a good thing. Unfortunately from my perspective, the U.S. supported uprisings that undermined leaders who were supportive of the U.S. in favor of Islamists (Egypt), did little/nothing to help form a leadership supportive of the U.S. (Libya/Syria) thus allowing for Islamists to fill the leadership vacuum, or ignored the pleas of pro-U.S. uprisings in favor of maintaining the Islamist status quo (Iran). We’ve isolated/eliminated friends and facilitated enemies.
    3. Cincinnatus @22. I agree with you (wow!) ;-) The problem is what we do about AQ in Yemen which is very strong and very active well beyond their shores (Ft. Hood and others). I understand that the action creates the possibility of blowback, I just don’t have any better option that drones and SpecWar to take out those enemies (and I’m pretty sure we also agree that they ARE enemies).
    4. Tom @35. Yes, Don is exactly right. Here in the U.S. we have freedom of speech, which is why we are on this blog today commenting. That means, that IF (and it now seems to be if) someone made a dumb video, that is their right. If someone is offended, that is their problem. ANY attempt by our government to shift blame to the film/maker rather than those who committed the violence is wrong because it expressly undermines our freedom of speech. The guy may be stupid, but that doesn’t mean we can limit his speech (as has been called for in academia, and encouraged by a military leader). Place the blame where it should lie: the militant Islamists who look for any opportunity to scream “death to America!”
    5. Cincinnatus @ 20. I can attest that you are in fact an equal opportunity loather (trust me, said with a smile on my face and joy in my heart). But you are exactly correct to question why the media’s focus has been on Gov. Romney with minimal coverage of the actual events or of what the administration intends to do in response.
    6. Sadly, these events, which are growing across the region, demonstrate that any attempt to play nice with Islamists (like the Muslim Brotherhood) is doomed to failure. All it does is encourage them more. They don’t respect our President and they don’t fear any reprisal from the U.S. As I wrote yesterday, it is easy to be a brave militant when you know the other side won’t shoot. There is nothing that we can do or not do that will encourage the Islamists to like us. It seems that all we can do is find ways to support the more moderate Muslim leaders who are “more” pro-U.S.; unfortunately they tend to be dictators who are forced to use a heavy hand to tamp down the Islamists. But my preference would be better they do so than us.

    With tomorrow being Friday, things are about to get even worse. Please pray for our Marines tonight. They are not going to get much help from the host nation’s security forces.

  • NavyChaps

    1. The reason Gov. Romney is the issue, is (a) because what he said was true; even the WH has been forced to agree with Gov. Romney’s statement. (b) The reason Gov. Romney is the issue is because he had the temerity to speak the truth when the WH had said nothing. The MSM are not journalists — they are propagandists who are protecting the President — we saw expressly in the coordination prior to Gov. Romney’s press conference. They didn’t listen and ask questions on the basis of his statement — they asked the same question over and over in a pathetic game of gotcha. Not journalists — “presstitutes.”
    2. The statement from the Embassy, with its continued support throughout the day, is consistent with the attitude of the administration over the past 3+ years — beginning with the President’s speech in Cairo. Why was it called the Apology Tour?
    3. At this late date, the President is boxed into a very tight corner with fewer options than we had just a few years ago. He assumed that the Arab Spring was a good thing. Unfortunately from my perspective, the U.S. supported uprisings that undermined leaders who were supportive of the U.S. in favor of Islamists (Egypt), did little/nothing to help form a leadership supportive of the U.S. (Libya/Syria) thus allowing for Islamists to fill the leadership vacuum, or ignored the pleas of pro-U.S. uprisings in favor of maintaining the Islamist status quo (Iran). We’ve isolated/eliminated friends and facilitated enemies.
    3. Cincinnatus @22. I agree with you (wow!) ;-) The problem is what we do about AQ in Yemen which is very strong and very active well beyond their shores (Ft. Hood and others). I understand that the action creates the possibility of blowback, I just don’t have any better option that drones and SpecWar to take out those enemies (and I’m pretty sure we also agree that they ARE enemies).
    4. Tom @35. Yes, Don is exactly right. Here in the U.S. we have freedom of speech, which is why we are on this blog today commenting. That means, that IF (and it now seems to be if) someone made a dumb video, that is their right. If someone is offended, that is their problem. ANY attempt by our government to shift blame to the film/maker rather than those who committed the violence is wrong because it expressly undermines our freedom of speech. The guy may be stupid, but that doesn’t mean we can limit his speech (as has been called for in academia, and encouraged by a military leader). Place the blame where it should lie: the militant Islamists who look for any opportunity to scream “death to America!”
    5. Cincinnatus @ 20. I can attest that you are in fact an equal opportunity loather (trust me, said with a smile on my face and joy in my heart). But you are exactly correct to question why the media’s focus has been on Gov. Romney with minimal coverage of the actual events or of what the administration intends to do in response.
    6. Sadly, these events, which are growing across the region, demonstrate that any attempt to play nice with Islamists (like the Muslim Brotherhood) is doomed to failure. All it does is encourage them more. They don’t respect our President and they don’t fear any reprisal from the U.S. As I wrote yesterday, it is easy to be a brave militant when you know the other side won’t shoot. There is nothing that we can do or not do that will encourage the Islamists to like us. It seems that all we can do is find ways to support the more moderate Muslim leaders who are “more” pro-U.S.; unfortunately they tend to be dictators who are forced to use a heavy hand to tamp down the Islamists. But my preference would be better they do so than us.

    With tomorrow being Friday, things are about to get even worse. Please pray for our Marines tonight. They are not going to get much help from the host nation’s security forces.

  • Cincinnatus

    sg beat me to it, Tom. You should know better. American constitutional law and liberal democracy more generally absolutely does not endorse the notion that a speaker is responsible for the actions of those who don’t like what is said. Period.

    It’s called the “Heckler’s Veto”: Look it up. We don’t allow it.

    I suppose matters might be more nuanced were the video explicitly counseling the attackers to, well, attack explicitly and imminently. But even then, the responsibility in question would be moral, not legal.

  • Cincinnatus

    sg beat me to it, Tom. You should know better. American constitutional law and liberal democracy more generally absolutely does not endorse the notion that a speaker is responsible for the actions of those who don’t like what is said. Period.

    It’s called the “Heckler’s Veto”: Look it up. We don’t allow it.

    I suppose matters might be more nuanced were the video explicitly counseling the attackers to, well, attack explicitly and imminently. But even then, the responsibility in question would be moral, not legal.

  • Tom Hering

    Why was it called the Apology Tour?

    Because that’s what the President’s critics call it??

    If someone is offended, that is their problem.

    Clearly not the problem, then, of those who die or are injured as a result of repercussions.

    … it is easy to be a brave militant when you know the other side won’t shoot.

    They know we might invade, fight multiple wars, or launch drones, but they’re confident we “won’t shoot.” Huh.

  • Tom Hering

    Why was it called the Apology Tour?

    Because that’s what the President’s critics call it??

    If someone is offended, that is their problem.

    Clearly not the problem, then, of those who die or are injured as a result of repercussions.

    … it is easy to be a brave militant when you know the other side won’t shoot.

    They know we might invade, fight multiple wars, or launch drones, but they’re confident we “won’t shoot.” Huh.

  • DonS

    Tom @ 37: your point is interesting, except that the White House has already walked back what is being termed Obama’s “gaffe”.

  • DonS

    Tom @ 37: your point is interesting, except that the White House has already walked back what is being termed Obama’s “gaffe”.

  • Tom Hering

    sg and Cincinnatus, we don’t hold the person who falsely shouts “Fire!” in a crowded theater responsible for the crowd trampling people? Seems to me the measure used to determine responsibility is an intention to incite. Given the descriptions we’ve had of the film, and the generally deceitful and cowardly behavior of the filmmakers, I feel pretty sure the intention was there.

  • Tom Hering

    sg and Cincinnatus, we don’t hold the person who falsely shouts “Fire!” in a crowded theater responsible for the crowd trampling people? Seems to me the measure used to determine responsibility is an intention to incite. Given the descriptions we’ve had of the film, and the generally deceitful and cowardly behavior of the filmmakers, I feel pretty sure the intention was there.

  • DonS

    Tom @ 35: Diplomacy doesn’t mean subverting your values and ideals, Tom. If that’s what it means, what’s the point? The problem with the embassy’s statement, besides the fact that the administration did not immediately repudiate it, is that it clearly implied the government’s rejection of the right of free speech. If it felt compelled, it could have issued a statement that the United States respects and honors the religious rights of all peoples, and does not endorse or condone a particular work which attacks a religion or religious values (of course, they would have to issue this statement for about half of Hollywood’s output as it attacks Christianity). BUT, the government must also make clear that the right of free speech is a cherished American value, and vital to a free people.

    Good diplomacy takes courage and wordsmanship. Neither were on display in Egypt, nor in Washington yesterday, unfortunately.

  • DonS

    Tom @ 35: Diplomacy doesn’t mean subverting your values and ideals, Tom. If that’s what it means, what’s the point? The problem with the embassy’s statement, besides the fact that the administration did not immediately repudiate it, is that it clearly implied the government’s rejection of the right of free speech. If it felt compelled, it could have issued a statement that the United States respects and honors the religious rights of all peoples, and does not endorse or condone a particular work which attacks a religion or religious values (of course, they would have to issue this statement for about half of Hollywood’s output as it attacks Christianity). BUT, the government must also make clear that the right of free speech is a cherished American value, and vital to a free people.

    Good diplomacy takes courage and wordsmanship. Neither were on display in Egypt, nor in Washington yesterday, unfortunately.

  • DonS

    And, Tom @ 35, as you snidely dismiss my connection to Obama’s shameless political exploitation of the Seal Team 6 action against Osama, why were the protesters chanting ” We are all Osama”?

  • DonS

    And, Tom @ 35, as you snidely dismiss my connection to Obama’s shameless political exploitation of the Seal Team 6 action against Osama, why were the protesters chanting ” We are all Osama”?

  • NavyChaps

    Tom @41. It is the not the fault of a filmmaker that our Ambassador is dead. It is the fault of the murderer. To shift blame is the same thing that I train against in sexual assault prevention: don’t blame the rape victim — blame the perpetrator, because no actions on “her” part give permission for his action. Watching the news in my hotel room just now, I saw a “liberal” suggesting that there ought to be substantial limits to free speech. Where does that stop? When our free speech is limited, we are no longer a free people.

    By the way, it was called the Apology Tour because the President repeatedly apologized for America’s actions. You may agree with him, but that’s immaterial at this point — it established a mindset that has been carried through by the Embassy’s statement which was repeated.

    “They know we might invade…” Yes, they are confident that we won’t shoot. They violated our sovereign territory and we didn’t shoot. And unless the rules of engagement have changed (which I certainly hope they have), they will do again and we will again do nothing.

    One more thing: how can the WH claim that the Embassy’s statement does not reflect their position? An Ambassador (and thus the Embassy when making official statements) by definition speaks on behalf of the President. I do not think that word means what they think it does….

  • NavyChaps

    Tom @41. It is the not the fault of a filmmaker that our Ambassador is dead. It is the fault of the murderer. To shift blame is the same thing that I train against in sexual assault prevention: don’t blame the rape victim — blame the perpetrator, because no actions on “her” part give permission for his action. Watching the news in my hotel room just now, I saw a “liberal” suggesting that there ought to be substantial limits to free speech. Where does that stop? When our free speech is limited, we are no longer a free people.

    By the way, it was called the Apology Tour because the President repeatedly apologized for America’s actions. You may agree with him, but that’s immaterial at this point — it established a mindset that has been carried through by the Embassy’s statement which was repeated.

    “They know we might invade…” Yes, they are confident that we won’t shoot. They violated our sovereign territory and we didn’t shoot. And unless the rules of engagement have changed (which I certainly hope they have), they will do again and we will again do nothing.

    One more thing: how can the WH claim that the Embassy’s statement does not reflect their position? An Ambassador (and thus the Embassy when making official statements) by definition speaks on behalf of the President. I do not think that word means what they think it does….

  • Jonathan

    DonS, repeating Drudge headlines does not a coherent argument make. :(

    The first foreign policy debate between Rom and the president should be interesting. Romney’s foreign policy experience consists of visiting his Swiss bank accounts. Or perhaps it was dealing with New Hampshire while he was governor of Mass.

  • Jonathan

    DonS, repeating Drudge headlines does not a coherent argument make. :(

    The first foreign policy debate between Rom and the president should be interesting. Romney’s foreign policy experience consists of visiting his Swiss bank accounts. Or perhaps it was dealing with New Hampshire while he was governor of Mass.

  • NavyChaps

    Jonathan @47.

    And the President’s foreign policy chops when candidate were what exactly? Oh yeah. …crickets…

    The real question is one of world view. You may like the “Weaker America — Lead From Behind” style. If so you will vote for the President’s reelection. If you find that view to be ineffective and damaging to our nation’s security and interest, then you will vote for the other guy.

    Don’t go down the “Gov. Romney lacks experience” route. It isn’t a winning argument for the President’s team.

  • NavyChaps

    Jonathan @47.

    And the President’s foreign policy chops when candidate were what exactly? Oh yeah. …crickets…

    The real question is one of world view. You may like the “Weaker America — Lead From Behind” style. If so you will vote for the President’s reelection. If you find that view to be ineffective and damaging to our nation’s security and interest, then you will vote for the other guy.

    Don’t go down the “Gov. Romney lacks experience” route. It isn’t a winning argument for the President’s team.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Jonathan @ 47

    And what is your coherent argument?

  • Steve Billingsley

    Jonathan @ 47

    And what is your coherent argument?

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ C-Christian Soldier

    ” Who’s right here?”
    JEFFERSON-who finally said enough of the tribute $$$$ going to Barbary (muslims) to the tune of 20% of GDP- the pirates (muslims) continuously took U S hostages and ships-breaking their word–to not take U S citizens hostage—Hmmmmmm (sound familiar!)
    so- he sent the new U S Marines (SHORES OF TRIPOLI) —the piracy stopped for awhile but – then started again so -
    MADISON finished the job—

    Time to finish the job- bring our BEST home- stop paying tribute (it’s called aid now)–and start drilling ….for oil –and managing our borders…
    C-CS

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ C-Christian Soldier

    ” Who’s right here?”
    JEFFERSON-who finally said enough of the tribute $$$$ going to Barbary (muslims) to the tune of 20% of GDP- the pirates (muslims) continuously took U S hostages and ships-breaking their word–to not take U S citizens hostage—Hmmmmmm (sound familiar!)
    so- he sent the new U S Marines (SHORES OF TRIPOLI) —the piracy stopped for awhile but – then started again so -
    MADISON finished the job—

    Time to finish the job- bring our BEST home- stop paying tribute (it’s called aid now)–and start drilling ….for oil –and managing our borders…
    C-CS

  • NavyMom

    Gov. Romney was right. The Obama administration’s foreign policy is an absolute sham. Just like Ronald Reagan did 30 years ago in response to Pres. Carter’s anemic handling of the Iranian hostage crisis, Gov. Romney needs to issue daily press releases demanding that Obama do something — anything — to protect our people on foreign soil. The media is howling because their beloved Obama looks pathetic in this, and Romney just needs to ignore them.

  • NavyMom

    Gov. Romney was right. The Obama administration’s foreign policy is an absolute sham. Just like Ronald Reagan did 30 years ago in response to Pres. Carter’s anemic handling of the Iranian hostage crisis, Gov. Romney needs to issue daily press releases demanding that Obama do something — anything — to protect our people on foreign soil. The media is howling because their beloved Obama looks pathetic in this, and Romney just needs to ignore them.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    The more I look at it, the more it seems a bit a game is being played.

    Okay.

    We know that regimes like Gadaffy in Libya, Mubarak in Egypt, and Assad in Syria are not exactly popularly supported.

    We know that the people who oppose the regimes are comprised of various groups of militant nuts and just regular folks who wish there better governance so they could have better lives.

    We know in those countries there is not a general ideological/philosophical trend towards enlightenment ideals like we had at our country’s founding.

    We know those countries are fundamentally different from the U.S. at its founding because they are overcrowded and resource scarce and getting worse by the day and the U.S. at its founding was exactly the opposite.

    So, when you look at what happens it is easy to accept the bs that is promoted as explanations, but none of it really adds up when you look at the actual conditions over there.

    So I guess I am sort of seeing a bunch of people frustrated with their governments and angry at their governments. Then when some dumb thing like a provocative youtube stunt comes out, it is just a trigger to already frustrated people. They are mad at their government, mad at our government, mad at the neighboring tribe and can’t resolve these conflicts with any real hope of improvement in this life.

    If Israel disappeared tomorrow, like we just woke up and it had vanished, then what? Would those people be any happier? Would they love their rulers, love the neighboring tribe, love their unemployment and resource scarcity? I am guessing, no.

    So, for all the talk of religion and democracy and Israel, I am pretty skeptical that those are the real issues.

    Just 2¢

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    The more I look at it, the more it seems a bit a game is being played.

    Okay.

    We know that regimes like Gadaffy in Libya, Mubarak in Egypt, and Assad in Syria are not exactly popularly supported.

    We know that the people who oppose the regimes are comprised of various groups of militant nuts and just regular folks who wish there better governance so they could have better lives.

    We know in those countries there is not a general ideological/philosophical trend towards enlightenment ideals like we had at our country’s founding.

    We know those countries are fundamentally different from the U.S. at its founding because they are overcrowded and resource scarce and getting worse by the day and the U.S. at its founding was exactly the opposite.

    So, when you look at what happens it is easy to accept the bs that is promoted as explanations, but none of it really adds up when you look at the actual conditions over there.

    So I guess I am sort of seeing a bunch of people frustrated with their governments and angry at their governments. Then when some dumb thing like a provocative youtube stunt comes out, it is just a trigger to already frustrated people. They are mad at their government, mad at our government, mad at the neighboring tribe and can’t resolve these conflicts with any real hope of improvement in this life.

    If Israel disappeared tomorrow, like we just woke up and it had vanished, then what? Would those people be any happier? Would they love their rulers, love the neighboring tribe, love their unemployment and resource scarcity? I am guessing, no.

    So, for all the talk of religion and democracy and Israel, I am pretty skeptical that those are the real issues.

    Just 2¢

  • The Jones

    Romney holds that President Obama is responsible for the words of America’s Egyptian embassy because the President is the head of the State Department, which runs all American embassies. Romney criticized Obama, because it happened on his watch. That is totally a legitimate and understandable thing to criticize the head of an administration for the actions of that administration.

    It is also understandable for Obama to avoid the responsibility of his position by calling Romney’s comment’s unpatriotic. It’s understandable, but not legitimate. The President AGREES with Mitt Romney’s comments. That’s why the President Obama ALSO denounced the US Egyptian Embassy statement.

    The only thing at issue is whether saying something about a foreign policy crisis is acceptable. I say: why not? They’re running for president. Why not talk about important issues? Obama criticized McCain and Bush over American deaths in Iraq. Reagan criticized Carter when hostages were in Iran. What makes Obama exempt from the regular rules of presidential discourse?

    Mitt Romney should stick to his guns and triple down. After all, he agrees with the president: the presidents subordinates are way out of line. That’s not a gaffe. That’s an inkling of leadership, something we haven’t seen in a while.

  • The Jones

    Romney holds that President Obama is responsible for the words of America’s Egyptian embassy because the President is the head of the State Department, which runs all American embassies. Romney criticized Obama, because it happened on his watch. That is totally a legitimate and understandable thing to criticize the head of an administration for the actions of that administration.

    It is also understandable for Obama to avoid the responsibility of his position by calling Romney’s comment’s unpatriotic. It’s understandable, but not legitimate. The President AGREES with Mitt Romney’s comments. That’s why the President Obama ALSO denounced the US Egyptian Embassy statement.

    The only thing at issue is whether saying something about a foreign policy crisis is acceptable. I say: why not? They’re running for president. Why not talk about important issues? Obama criticized McCain and Bush over American deaths in Iraq. Reagan criticized Carter when hostages were in Iran. What makes Obama exempt from the regular rules of presidential discourse?

    Mitt Romney should stick to his guns and triple down. After all, he agrees with the president: the presidents subordinates are way out of line. That’s not a gaffe. That’s an inkling of leadership, something we haven’t seen in a while.

  • mikeb

    NavyChaps @ 46

    kudos on the princess bride quote!

  • mikeb

    NavyChaps @ 46

    kudos on the princess bride quote!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Okay, maybe I’m missing something, but wasn’t the embassy statement made before this issue blew up? As such, isn’t criticizing the statement in light of the incident disingenuous?

    And I feel like several people are saying (as did The Jones @53, to pick an example) that

    President Obama is responsible for the words of America’s Egyptian embassy because the President is the head of the State Department, which runs all American embassies.

    Okay, yes, but does that mean that every single statement the embassies release goes before the President’s eyes before it is issued? And do we even want that kind of micro-management in the administration? It seems odd to do as The Jones did and state that the President is to blame for it being issued, in the same comment that he acknowledged that the President disagreed with the statement. If we assume that the President did not personally vet this (or every other such statement), then what else could he do but react as he has done?

    I mean, the President is also the Commander in Chief, but that doesn’t mean he approves of every action taken by a member of the military. When our soldiers do get out of line, the President does the same thing, he points out they’re out of line. So … ?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Okay, maybe I’m missing something, but wasn’t the embassy statement made before this issue blew up? As such, isn’t criticizing the statement in light of the incident disingenuous?

    And I feel like several people are saying (as did The Jones @53, to pick an example) that

    President Obama is responsible for the words of America’s Egyptian embassy because the President is the head of the State Department, which runs all American embassies.

    Okay, yes, but does that mean that every single statement the embassies release goes before the President’s eyes before it is issued? And do we even want that kind of micro-management in the administration? It seems odd to do as The Jones did and state that the President is to blame for it being issued, in the same comment that he acknowledged that the President disagreed with the statement. If we assume that the President did not personally vet this (or every other such statement), then what else could he do but react as he has done?

    I mean, the President is also the Commander in Chief, but that doesn’t mean he approves of every action taken by a member of the military. When our soldiers do get out of line, the President does the same thing, he points out they’re out of line. So … ?

  • reg

    NacvChaps, Sg, Greggie, Dougie and the other Hitler youth,
    All I see on this thread are a bunch of right wing zealots freaking out that their candidate is losing the election and therefore grasping at straws and lashing out in anger at anything they can in hope of righting their foundering ship. Obama the apologist? Right, ask Osama, ask Al Zarkowi, and all the other AQ thugs he killed. He is too indecisive? seems to me foreign policy is one area where (thanks to Hillary) there can be little criticism. So if the election will be about foreign policy cred, by all means lets do it, its Obama’s strong suit.
    And hey, if it floats your boat to rant about the illegitimate, black, socialist in the WH be my guest. It appears the American people are perhaps a little more sophisticated on this point as his lead is growing, not shrinking.

  • reg

    NacvChaps, Sg, Greggie, Dougie and the other Hitler youth,
    All I see on this thread are a bunch of right wing zealots freaking out that their candidate is losing the election and therefore grasping at straws and lashing out in anger at anything they can in hope of righting their foundering ship. Obama the apologist? Right, ask Osama, ask Al Zarkowi, and all the other AQ thugs he killed. He is too indecisive? seems to me foreign policy is one area where (thanks to Hillary) there can be little criticism. So if the election will be about foreign policy cred, by all means lets do it, its Obama’s strong suit.
    And hey, if it floats your boat to rant about the illegitimate, black, socialist in the WH be my guest. It appears the American people are perhaps a little more sophisticated on this point as his lead is growing, not shrinking.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Also, DonS (@32) … are you joking?

    The protesters in Egypt were chanting “We are all Osama”. Think that might have something to do with the Obama/Biden team repeatedly crowing about the killing of Osama for campaign purposes? Clinton saying “We came, we saw, he died”, Biden in his stump speech and at the DNC Convention saying “Osama Bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive” — cheap political points by an administration that has no concept of a cogent foreign policy may well have gotten their ambassador and others killed.

    O…kay. So the Muslim protesters in Egypt first learned about Osama’s death when they were tuned in to the DNC? Or were they all pretty okay with his being taken out by order of the President, up until his death was mentioned in a political context? (“You know, I didn’t mind a man regarded as a Muslim folk hero being taken out by special operations of the country popularly regarded as the Great Satan, but seeing Osama’s death being treated so callously for cheap political points, and at such a sacred event as a political convention for that same Great Satan, well, forgive me, but that’s too much. I wouldn’t normally riot, but now I have to burn something!”)

    I mean, honestly. You make all the protesters in Egypt sound like Republican Americans. Is it possible you’re projecting there?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Also, DonS (@32) … are you joking?

    The protesters in Egypt were chanting “We are all Osama”. Think that might have something to do with the Obama/Biden team repeatedly crowing about the killing of Osama for campaign purposes? Clinton saying “We came, we saw, he died”, Biden in his stump speech and at the DNC Convention saying “Osama Bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive” — cheap political points by an administration that has no concept of a cogent foreign policy may well have gotten their ambassador and others killed.

    O…kay. So the Muslim protesters in Egypt first learned about Osama’s death when they were tuned in to the DNC? Or were they all pretty okay with his being taken out by order of the President, up until his death was mentioned in a political context? (“You know, I didn’t mind a man regarded as a Muslim folk hero being taken out by special operations of the country popularly regarded as the Great Satan, but seeing Osama’s death being treated so callously for cheap political points, and at such a sacred event as a political convention for that same Great Satan, well, forgive me, but that’s too much. I wouldn’t normally riot, but now I have to burn something!”)

    I mean, honestly. You make all the protesters in Egypt sound like Republican Americans. Is it possible you’re projecting there?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @godwin 56

    Hysterical much?

    The point is that if Romney makes a point on principle (even if you don’t agree with him) he should not back down. People need to stick by what they say, unless they really didn’t mean it. If he meant it, then he needs to stick with it. Otherwise it is just petty sniping and phony posturing which is worse than just being wrong.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @godwin 56

    Hysterical much?

    The point is that if Romney makes a point on principle (even if you don’t agree with him) he should not back down. People need to stick by what they say, unless they really didn’t mean it. If he meant it, then he needs to stick with it. Otherwise it is just petty sniping and phony posturing which is worse than just being wrong.

  • helen

    The filmmakers didn’t kill the ambassador or the others.

    The people who did the killing are the ones at fault. Period.

    Right. The guy who lit matches next to open gasoline is not at fault.

    It was the gasoline which blew up and burned.

  • helen

    The filmmakers didn’t kill the ambassador or the others.

    The people who did the killing are the ones at fault. Period.

    Right. The guy who lit matches next to open gasoline is not at fault.

    It was the gasoline which blew up and burned.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg
  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg
  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Are we really free if we can’t offend anyone, or anyway, not certain someones, because, you know, they will go crazy and kill us?
    Seriously?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Are we really free if we can’t offend anyone, or anyway, not certain someones, because, you know, they will go crazy and kill us?
    Seriously?

  • dust

    could it be that, as a candidate for president, Romney received the intelligence briefing that the president did not?

    it could be he had the sad truth before the media, and, assuming that the president had the same briefing, could not believe the kind of stoic statements coming from him?

    well, this is one way to put the best construction on the situation :)

    cheers!

  • dust

    could it be that, as a candidate for president, Romney received the intelligence briefing that the president did not?

    it could be he had the sad truth before the media, and, assuming that the president had the same briefing, could not believe the kind of stoic statements coming from him?

    well, this is one way to put the best construction on the situation :)

    cheers!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG (@58), ha! Godwin. I laughed.

    But that Scribd document (@60) doesn’t refer to this current film. What’s your point?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG (@58), ha! Godwin. I laughed.

    But that Scribd document (@60) doesn’t refer to this current film. What’s your point?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @63 Apparently the nut had served his fraud sentence and was on five years of supervised release, the terms of which are pretty restrictive including computer usage, etc. So, it seems he may have been violating those terms, I suppose. It would be pretty embarrassing for the probation officer, a U.S. government employee, to have to say that yeah, he had approved the youtube posting, etc.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @63 Apparently the nut had served his fraud sentence and was on five years of supervised release, the terms of which are pretty restrictive including computer usage, etc. So, it seems he may have been violating those terms, I suppose. It would be pretty embarrassing for the probation officer, a U.S. government employee, to have to say that yeah, he had approved the youtube posting, etc.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG (@64), “it seems he may have been violating those terms, I suppose”. Well, yeah. Doesn’t that seem the most likely of the two scenarios you posited?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG (@64), “it seems he may have been violating those terms, I suppose”. Well, yeah. Doesn’t that seem the most likely of the two scenarios you posited?

  • mikeb

    helen @ 59

    The filmmakers didn’t kill the ambassador or the others.

    The people who did the killing are the ones at fault. Period.

    Right. The guy who lit matches next to open gasoline is not at fault.

    It was the gasoline which blew up and burned.

    If some guy beats his wife because she burned his dinner, is it her fault or his that he hits her? I mean, she knew he expected to good dinner and she agreed to love, honor, cherish, and obey him and such. She obviously had it coming, according to your twisted logic.

  • mikeb

    helen @ 59

    The filmmakers didn’t kill the ambassador or the others.

    The people who did the killing are the ones at fault. Period.

    Right. The guy who lit matches next to open gasoline is not at fault.

    It was the gasoline which blew up and burned.

    If some guy beats his wife because she burned his dinner, is it her fault or his that he hits her? I mean, she knew he expected to good dinner and she agreed to love, honor, cherish, and obey him and such. She obviously had it coming, according to your twisted logic.

  • NavyChaps

    mikeb @ 54 Thanks!! :-) In my top 5 all time favorites.

    tODD @55 Partially true, the initial statement came out before the riot. Then throughout the assault on the compound, they continued to issue their affirmation of the statement made earlier.

    BUT even so, it is NOT the timing that is bad, it is the statement itself. It said the following: “We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.” The key word is ABUSE. If speech is illegitimate because it offends someone’s religious belief, then freedom of speech is a lie. This was Gov. Romney’s point. And now, under pressure, the WH has issued its agreement with the Gov’s point.

    And then, once the protest turns into a violation of U.S. sovereignty, wouldn’t there need to be something stronger, don’t you think? If not from the Embassy for whatever reason, then definitely from Dept of State.

    And to your question about the President’s responsibility for the statement, YES, he is — for the very reason cited. That’s the point of an Ambassador — when the Ambassador speaks, it is as if the President were speaking. When the Embassy issues an official statement, it is from the President. If a ship runs aground in the middle of the night and the Captain is asleep, who is responsible and is held accountable (loses his job)? The Captain as well others in the chain of command. In this case, the President is the Captain; he is responsible. It remains to be seen whether his higher ups (the American people) choose to hold him accountable.

    reg @56 woah. Please seek counseling.

    Helen @59 Did I force you to post a comment, or did you choose to do so because you felt compelled to respond. Who is responsible for your action? Me or you? Again, your logic FORCES you to blame the rape victim because she was clearly asking for it. Everyone is responsible for their own actions. You CHOOSE to act or not. In this case, militant Islamists have chosen to demonstrate and use violence. No one forced them to do so, therefore no one is to blame but them.

  • NavyChaps

    mikeb @ 54 Thanks!! :-) In my top 5 all time favorites.

    tODD @55 Partially true, the initial statement came out before the riot. Then throughout the assault on the compound, they continued to issue their affirmation of the statement made earlier.

    BUT even so, it is NOT the timing that is bad, it is the statement itself. It said the following: “We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.” The key word is ABUSE. If speech is illegitimate because it offends someone’s religious belief, then freedom of speech is a lie. This was Gov. Romney’s point. And now, under pressure, the WH has issued its agreement with the Gov’s point.

    And then, once the protest turns into a violation of U.S. sovereignty, wouldn’t there need to be something stronger, don’t you think? If not from the Embassy for whatever reason, then definitely from Dept of State.

    And to your question about the President’s responsibility for the statement, YES, he is — for the very reason cited. That’s the point of an Ambassador — when the Ambassador speaks, it is as if the President were speaking. When the Embassy issues an official statement, it is from the President. If a ship runs aground in the middle of the night and the Captain is asleep, who is responsible and is held accountable (loses his job)? The Captain as well others in the chain of command. In this case, the President is the Captain; he is responsible. It remains to be seen whether his higher ups (the American people) choose to hold him accountable.

    reg @56 woah. Please seek counseling.

    Helen @59 Did I force you to post a comment, or did you choose to do so because you felt compelled to respond. Who is responsible for your action? Me or you? Again, your logic FORCES you to blame the rape victim because she was clearly asking for it. Everyone is responsible for their own actions. You CHOOSE to act or not. In this case, militant Islamists have chosen to demonstrate and use violence. No one forced them to do so, therefore no one is to blame but them.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 57: Well, it makes just as much or more sense as the idea that all of this violence was set off by a film that was never finished, never distributed, and made by a guy of very doubtful character and ability.

    Attacks on embassies are done because of opposition to the country they represent, not an obviously unofficial film made, such as it was, by a Coptic Christian from Egypt. What I really believe is that these attacks are coordinated and serious threats to our overseas interests and diplomatic corps, and our president should be dealing with them a lot more intensely and competently than he has so far.

    This is a sobering article, if even a portion of it is true, indicating that our interests and allies in Libya have been seriously compromised, and that the U.S. government had a 48 hour warning of likely attacks and did nothing: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/revealed-inside-story-of-us-envoys-assassination-8135797.html

  • DonS

    tODD @ 57: Well, it makes just as much or more sense as the idea that all of this violence was set off by a film that was never finished, never distributed, and made by a guy of very doubtful character and ability.

    Attacks on embassies are done because of opposition to the country they represent, not an obviously unofficial film made, such as it was, by a Coptic Christian from Egypt. What I really believe is that these attacks are coordinated and serious threats to our overseas interests and diplomatic corps, and our president should be dealing with them a lot more intensely and competently than he has so far.

    This is a sobering article, if even a portion of it is true, indicating that our interests and allies in Libya have been seriously compromised, and that the U.S. government had a 48 hour warning of likely attacks and did nothing: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/revealed-inside-story-of-us-envoys-assassination-8135797.html

  • Michael B.

    @Trey@9

    “Michael where in the Quran does it say this?”

    Technically it’s in the hadiths. But these writings are regarded as holy in Islam, in addition to the Koran. (The five pillars of Islam are actually from 1 of the hadiths, not from the Koran.)

  • Michael B.

    @Trey@9

    “Michael where in the Quran does it say this?”

    Technically it’s in the hadiths. But these writings are regarded as holy in Islam, in addition to the Koran. (The five pillars of Islam are actually from 1 of the hadiths, not from the Koran.)

  • fjsteve

    Michael, #69,

    I have to correct a couple of things. First, hadith are simply sayings. They aren’t necessarily considered “holy” in Islam. The hadith from Mohammed are indeed considered holy but other hadith are rules or guides to interpreting the Quran. Yet still other hadith are considered of questionable importance or validity. Further compounding the issue is that Shia and Sunni follow different hadith and different schools of fiqh follow different hadith. So just because something is hadith doesn’t necessarily mean anything. For example, the two hadith that mention Aisha’s age, Sihah Bukhari and Sunan abu Dawood, are from the core Sunni hadith but not regarded at all by Shia.

    Another point is that Aisha’s age was not only not that big of a deal in 7th century Bedouin culture, it actually plays a big part in both her suitability as a mate for Mohammed, since it implies purity both physically as well as spiritually. To sunni, that is. To shia, apparently, she’s somewhat of a nag.

  • fjsteve

    Michael, #69,

    I have to correct a couple of things. First, hadith are simply sayings. They aren’t necessarily considered “holy” in Islam. The hadith from Mohammed are indeed considered holy but other hadith are rules or guides to interpreting the Quran. Yet still other hadith are considered of questionable importance or validity. Further compounding the issue is that Shia and Sunni follow different hadith and different schools of fiqh follow different hadith. So just because something is hadith doesn’t necessarily mean anything. For example, the two hadith that mention Aisha’s age, Sihah Bukhari and Sunan abu Dawood, are from the core Sunni hadith but not regarded at all by Shia.

    Another point is that Aisha’s age was not only not that big of a deal in 7th century Bedouin culture, it actually plays a big part in both her suitability as a mate for Mohammed, since it implies purity both physically as well as spiritually. To sunni, that is. To shia, apparently, she’s somewhat of a nag.

  • fjsteve

    I fear for the safety of Egypt’s Coptic population because of the stupidity and, most probably, greed of one man. There is already so much distrust and ridiculous propaganda going around about the Copts. This can’t help.

    That’s not to say that this film is what triggered the violence. I think we’re going to find that the planners of these protests just got lucky that this movie was out there on Youtube to help foment anger. It should be noted that the movie clips had been around for a few months. So, the movie that’s getting so much attention right now is really a side note in a much bigger protest timed to occur around 9/11.

  • fjsteve

    I fear for the safety of Egypt’s Coptic population because of the stupidity and, most probably, greed of one man. There is already so much distrust and ridiculous propaganda going around about the Copts. This can’t help.

    That’s not to say that this film is what triggered the violence. I think we’re going to find that the planners of these protests just got lucky that this movie was out there on Youtube to help foment anger. It should be noted that the movie clips had been around for a few months. So, the movie that’s getting so much attention right now is really a side note in a much bigger protest timed to occur around 9/11.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com tODD

    NavyChaps (@67),

    Partially true, the initial statement came out before the riot. Then throughout the assault on the compound, they continued to issue their affirmation of the statement made earlier.

    “They” who? As has already been discussed, certainly the President has not “continued to issue [his] affirmation of the statement”. Who did what when, again?

    It said the following: “We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.” The key word is ABUSE. If speech is illegitimate because it offends someone’s religious belief…

    Now hold on. How did you get from “we firmly reject” to some assertion about whether the speech was “illegitimate” or not? If, in fact, speech is free, then the government is likewise free to reject, repudiate, disavow, disown, or whatever, any speech that is made freely by its citizens. Because, you know, more or less everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial for diplomatic purposes. And pointing out that some hothead pumping out F-grade religious screeds does not, in fact, speak for the US government just might serve a purpose.

    Or do you imagine that all our Middle East embassies should host free viewings of all such inflammatory anti-Muslim tirades on large screens visible outside of the compound walls, perhaps on Friday evenings, just to celebrate free speech? Because maybe that’ll work, as well?

    And now, under pressure, the WH has issued its agreement with the Gov’s point.

    Would it hurt you to quote something? I don’t know what, specifically, you’re referring to.

    …once the protest turns into a violation of U.S. sovereignty, wouldn’t there need to be something stronger, don’t you think?

    Like, gosh, I don’t know, sending in warships, drones, and Marines, maybe? But I guess that’s not something enough, or fast enough? For the love of Pete, people, even President Bush waited a month before invading Afghanistan after a notably larger violation of US sovereignty! Or were you just hoping for a statement from the President, even though others have already acknowledged that he’s made one?

    That’s the point of an Ambassador — when the Ambassador speaks, it is as if the President were speaking. When the Embassy issues an official statement, it is from the President.

    Look, I get the whole chain of command thing, but you seem to be deliberate ignoring what the President has actually said vis-a-vis the embassy statement. Would you likewise claim that Bush should have been held responsible, as Commander-in-Chief, for any action undertaken by a member of the military, even if Bush had repudiated said action (like, I don’t know, soldiers murdering civilians)? Or is this chain-of-command argument applied inconsistently, as it appears?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com tODD

    NavyChaps (@67),

    Partially true, the initial statement came out before the riot. Then throughout the assault on the compound, they continued to issue their affirmation of the statement made earlier.

    “They” who? As has already been discussed, certainly the President has not “continued to issue [his] affirmation of the statement”. Who did what when, again?

    It said the following: “We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.” The key word is ABUSE. If speech is illegitimate because it offends someone’s religious belief…

    Now hold on. How did you get from “we firmly reject” to some assertion about whether the speech was “illegitimate” or not? If, in fact, speech is free, then the government is likewise free to reject, repudiate, disavow, disown, or whatever, any speech that is made freely by its citizens. Because, you know, more or less everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial for diplomatic purposes. And pointing out that some hothead pumping out F-grade religious screeds does not, in fact, speak for the US government just might serve a purpose.

    Or do you imagine that all our Middle East embassies should host free viewings of all such inflammatory anti-Muslim tirades on large screens visible outside of the compound walls, perhaps on Friday evenings, just to celebrate free speech? Because maybe that’ll work, as well?

    And now, under pressure, the WH has issued its agreement with the Gov’s point.

    Would it hurt you to quote something? I don’t know what, specifically, you’re referring to.

    …once the protest turns into a violation of U.S. sovereignty, wouldn’t there need to be something stronger, don’t you think?

    Like, gosh, I don’t know, sending in warships, drones, and Marines, maybe? But I guess that’s not something enough, or fast enough? For the love of Pete, people, even President Bush waited a month before invading Afghanistan after a notably larger violation of US sovereignty! Or were you just hoping for a statement from the President, even though others have already acknowledged that he’s made one?

    That’s the point of an Ambassador — when the Ambassador speaks, it is as if the President were speaking. When the Embassy issues an official statement, it is from the President.

    Look, I get the whole chain of command thing, but you seem to be deliberate ignoring what the President has actually said vis-a-vis the embassy statement. Would you likewise claim that Bush should have been held responsible, as Commander-in-Chief, for any action undertaken by a member of the military, even if Bush had repudiated said action (like, I don’t know, soldiers murdering civilians)? Or is this chain-of-command argument applied inconsistently, as it appears?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com tODD

    DonS (@68):

    Well, it makes just as much or more sense as the idea that all of this violence was set off by a film that was never finished, never distributed, and made by a guy of very doubtful character and ability.

    No, no it doesn’t. Whether or not the movie was finished (one article I read said it was, though it was only screened once), an inflammatory-ehough clip certainly was distributed on the Internet. And if you think the “Arab street” bases its reactions on the quality of inflammatory materials or the character of their creators … Sheesh. I mean, c’mon, Don.

    Look, I get that the DNC stuff bothered you, but you really, really sound like you’re projecting when you make it sound like that’s the main animus behind these recent actions in the Middle East.

    Attacks on embassies are done because of opposition to the country they represent, not an obviously unofficial film made, such as it was, by a Coptic Christian from Egypt.

    Criminy, Don, what world do you live in?! Do you even remember the Danish Muhammed cartoons? Do you recall if any embassies were bombed as a result? Do you think those attacking the embassies were embarrassed when they found out the cartoons were not official publications of the Danish government?

    I’m not denying that the film kerfuffle was a front for a more targeted revenge act. But your arguments really don’t bear a lot of resemblance to reality, all the same.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com tODD

    DonS (@68):

    Well, it makes just as much or more sense as the idea that all of this violence was set off by a film that was never finished, never distributed, and made by a guy of very doubtful character and ability.

    No, no it doesn’t. Whether or not the movie was finished (one article I read said it was, though it was only screened once), an inflammatory-ehough clip certainly was distributed on the Internet. And if you think the “Arab street” bases its reactions on the quality of inflammatory materials or the character of their creators … Sheesh. I mean, c’mon, Don.

    Look, I get that the DNC stuff bothered you, but you really, really sound like you’re projecting when you make it sound like that’s the main animus behind these recent actions in the Middle East.

    Attacks on embassies are done because of opposition to the country they represent, not an obviously unofficial film made, such as it was, by a Coptic Christian from Egypt.

    Criminy, Don, what world do you live in?! Do you even remember the Danish Muhammed cartoons? Do you recall if any embassies were bombed as a result? Do you think those attacking the embassies were embarrassed when they found out the cartoons were not official publications of the Danish government?

    I’m not denying that the film kerfuffle was a front for a more targeted revenge act. But your arguments really don’t bear a lot of resemblance to reality, all the same.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 72: You ignored NavyChap’s main point, and the point that many of us on this blog and countless others have been making all day. The embassy’s statement was an abomination because it identified speech which the administration doesn’t happen to like as an ABUSE of the right of free speech.

    A bad movie that skewers a particular religious faith is not an abuse of free speech. Otherwise, Bill Maher’s “Religulous” would certainly fall into that category. As I and others have said above, it would have been fair for the administration to “reject” the message of the movie, to express its displeasure, etc., but that should be done in the context of strongly affirming the American principle that the right of free speech is sacrosanct to the American people.

    The Obama administration’s failure was in allowing the Egyptian Embassy’s wrongheaded statement to stand without refutation for some sixteen hours. In that context, Romney had every right and obligation to step in and set the record straight.

    The problem isn’t with the conduct of a filmmaker or any other person exercising his right of free speech. It’s with a religious culture that cannot tolerate criticism and that believes murderous violence is an appropriate and measured response for speech it does not like. U.S. policy should be to clearly lay the responsibility where it belongs.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 72: You ignored NavyChap’s main point, and the point that many of us on this blog and countless others have been making all day. The embassy’s statement was an abomination because it identified speech which the administration doesn’t happen to like as an ABUSE of the right of free speech.

    A bad movie that skewers a particular religious faith is not an abuse of free speech. Otherwise, Bill Maher’s “Religulous” would certainly fall into that category. As I and others have said above, it would have been fair for the administration to “reject” the message of the movie, to express its displeasure, etc., but that should be done in the context of strongly affirming the American principle that the right of free speech is sacrosanct to the American people.

    The Obama administration’s failure was in allowing the Egyptian Embassy’s wrongheaded statement to stand without refutation for some sixteen hours. In that context, Romney had every right and obligation to step in and set the record straight.

    The problem isn’t with the conduct of a filmmaker or any other person exercising his right of free speech. It’s with a religious culture that cannot tolerate criticism and that believes murderous violence is an appropriate and measured response for speech it does not like. U.S. policy should be to clearly lay the responsibility where it belongs.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 73:

    Now, to hopefully clarify for you the main point. Neither the film nor Obama’s silly grandstanding over Osama’s death were the cause of the current Middle East violence. Although, hopefully, Obama will shut up about Osama now that he realizes he hasn’t resolved anything in the Middle East. No, the film and the “We are all Osama” protests are sideshows. The attack on the Libyan Consulate was clearly a coordinated military operation — read the article I posted. The entire U.S. foothold in Libya has been seriously compromised. How closely the other embassy attacks are tied into what looks like an Al Quada operation is yet to be seen, but this is a serious matter, deserving of our president’s full attention.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 73:

    Now, to hopefully clarify for you the main point. Neither the film nor Obama’s silly grandstanding over Osama’s death were the cause of the current Middle East violence. Although, hopefully, Obama will shut up about Osama now that he realizes he hasn’t resolved anything in the Middle East. No, the film and the “We are all Osama” protests are sideshows. The attack on the Libyan Consulate was clearly a coordinated military operation — read the article I posted. The entire U.S. foothold in Libya has been seriously compromised. How closely the other embassy attacks are tied into what looks like an Al Quada operation is yet to be seen, but this is a serious matter, deserving of our president’s full attention.

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  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Maybe I’m missing something here, but isn’t attacking an embassy tantamount to an act of war?

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Maybe I’m missing something here, but isn’t attacking an embassy tantamount to an act of war?

  • SKPeterson

    J @ 76 – Go fire some rpg’s at the Egyptian embassy or consulate. Have you just committed an act of war or an act of criminal intent?

  • SKPeterson

    J @ 76 – Go fire some rpg’s at the Egyptian embassy or consulate. Have you just committed an act of war or an act of criminal intent?

  • Julian

    A note of clarification: It is possible to abuse the 1st Amendment. Fred Phelps does it all the time. So do Insane Clown Posse. Just because the 1st Amendment protects your speech in America doesn’t mean you are free from a guilty conscience when your free speech has far-ranging negative consequences.

  • Julian

    A note of clarification: It is possible to abuse the 1st Amendment. Fred Phelps does it all the time. So do Insane Clown Posse. Just because the 1st Amendment protects your speech in America doesn’t mean you are free from a guilty conscience when your free speech has far-ranging negative consequences.

  • DonS

    Julian:

    Thanks for your comment @ 78, because it provides opportunity to clarify the nature of our civil rights. Your view, unfortunately, prevails today, as our education system has completely failed to teach the nature of our constitutional protections, and the media is abysmal on these issues, as witnessed by its horrendous performance this week.

    It is completely fine for you or me or any other private citizen to consider, and, more importantly, to say that Fred Phelps, or anyone else, “abuses” the 1st Amendment. That is our own free speech right. However, the courts have very clearly held that Fred Phelps is not abusing the 1st Amendment with his disgusting speech, nor were the Nazis in Skokie. And, right the courts are. Free speech is not free if it is subject to any sort of content review or restriction by the government. The government, simply put, should never label any speech as an abuse of the 1st Amendment, unless it meets the very narrow time, place, and manner restrictions that have been permitted by the courts for the sake of public order (not yelling “fire” falsely in a crowded theater, not obeying legally imposed free speech zones in public spaces, etc.).

    That is what was so terrible about the Cairo Embassy’s statement. And why, when the administration initially confirmed it, and didn’t repudiate it for some 16 hours, Romney had every right to clarify that U.S. policy is NOT what was announced by that embassy.

  • DonS

    Julian:

    Thanks for your comment @ 78, because it provides opportunity to clarify the nature of our civil rights. Your view, unfortunately, prevails today, as our education system has completely failed to teach the nature of our constitutional protections, and the media is abysmal on these issues, as witnessed by its horrendous performance this week.

    It is completely fine for you or me or any other private citizen to consider, and, more importantly, to say that Fred Phelps, or anyone else, “abuses” the 1st Amendment. That is our own free speech right. However, the courts have very clearly held that Fred Phelps is not abusing the 1st Amendment with his disgusting speech, nor were the Nazis in Skokie. And, right the courts are. Free speech is not free if it is subject to any sort of content review or restriction by the government. The government, simply put, should never label any speech as an abuse of the 1st Amendment, unless it meets the very narrow time, place, and manner restrictions that have been permitted by the courts for the sake of public order (not yelling “fire” falsely in a crowded theater, not obeying legally imposed free speech zones in public spaces, etc.).

    That is what was so terrible about the Cairo Embassy’s statement. And why, when the administration initially confirmed it, and didn’t repudiate it for some 16 hours, Romney had every right to clarify that U.S. policy is NOT what was announced by that embassy.

  • Jonathan

    @79 A more mangled and confused understanding of the First Amendment than yours would be hard to find. The Amendment protects against government suppression of speech, not comment on it.

  • Jonathan

    @79 A more mangled and confused understanding of the First Amendment than yours would be hard to find. The Amendment protects against government suppression of speech, not comment on it.

  • Abby

    According to Henry Kissinger: Romney.

  • Abby

    According to Henry Kissinger: Romney.

  • DonS

    Jonathan @ 80: When the government issues an official statement condemning particular speech as being “abusive” of the 1st Amendment, that IS government suppression of speech. I already stated in an earlier comment that it would have been OK for the government to state that it disagreed with the speech at issue, as long as it also clarified that the speaker had every right under the Constitution to say what he did. Instead, the government labeled it “abuse”, thus clearly implying that the filmmaker had acted beyond his rights under the 1st Amendment, and further apparently initiated an investigation of the filmmaker and outed his identity publicly.

    I will refrain from the personal insults of your intelligence which you so glibly apply to me and others.

  • DonS

    Jonathan @ 80: When the government issues an official statement condemning particular speech as being “abusive” of the 1st Amendment, that IS government suppression of speech. I already stated in an earlier comment that it would have been OK for the government to state that it disagreed with the speech at issue, as long as it also clarified that the speaker had every right under the Constitution to say what he did. Instead, the government labeled it “abuse”, thus clearly implying that the filmmaker had acted beyond his rights under the 1st Amendment, and further apparently initiated an investigation of the filmmaker and outed his identity publicly.

    I will refrain from the personal insults of your intelligence which you so glibly apply to me and others.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DonS (@74), you keep trying to make the initial statement say something it didn’t say. As such, you’ve been forced to pin your entire analysis on the word “abuse”, and then act as if there were significant, First-Amendment portent in the use of that word. The embassy’s statement was not a ruling in a First Amendment case. They were quite clearly trying to distance the our government and its policies from the actions of one of its citizens.

    it would have been fair for the administration to “reject” the message of the movie, to express its displeasure, etc., but that should be done in the context of strongly affirming the American principle that the right of free speech is sacrosanct to the American people.

    And that is why you probably should never serve in the diplomatic corps. Diplomacy, Don. To quote Merriam-Webster, “skill in handling affairs without arousing hostility”, also known as “tact”.

    Then you said (@75):

    Neither the film nor Obama’s silly grandstanding over Osama’s death were the cause of the current Middle East violence. Although, hopefully, Obama will shut up about Osama now that he realizes he hasn’t resolved anything in the Middle East.

    First off, you appear to now be completely walking back your (frankly, ridiculous) suggestions from earlier (@32). So I guess that’s good?

    Secondly, I think it’s clear that the film is, in fact, a cause of the current uproar. You even admitted as much in your previous comment:

    The problem … [is] with a religious culture that cannot tolerate criticism and that believes murderous violence is an appropriate and measured response for speech it does not like.

    See?

    But remember earlier how you blamed “liberal” politics for being all about envy? Yeah, you (and lots of Republicans) sound really jealous of the fact that Osama was killed under the Obama administration, by orders given by Obama. You just can’t stand it, can you? Because I’m quite certain you would never have suggested Bush “shut up” about such a coup (had he accomplished it).

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DonS (@74), you keep trying to make the initial statement say something it didn’t say. As such, you’ve been forced to pin your entire analysis on the word “abuse”, and then act as if there were significant, First-Amendment portent in the use of that word. The embassy’s statement was not a ruling in a First Amendment case. They were quite clearly trying to distance the our government and its policies from the actions of one of its citizens.

    it would have been fair for the administration to “reject” the message of the movie, to express its displeasure, etc., but that should be done in the context of strongly affirming the American principle that the right of free speech is sacrosanct to the American people.

    And that is why you probably should never serve in the diplomatic corps. Diplomacy, Don. To quote Merriam-Webster, “skill in handling affairs without arousing hostility”, also known as “tact”.

    Then you said (@75):

    Neither the film nor Obama’s silly grandstanding over Osama’s death were the cause of the current Middle East violence. Although, hopefully, Obama will shut up about Osama now that he realizes he hasn’t resolved anything in the Middle East.

    First off, you appear to now be completely walking back your (frankly, ridiculous) suggestions from earlier (@32). So I guess that’s good?

    Secondly, I think it’s clear that the film is, in fact, a cause of the current uproar. You even admitted as much in your previous comment:

    The problem … [is] with a religious culture that cannot tolerate criticism and that believes murderous violence is an appropriate and measured response for speech it does not like.

    See?

    But remember earlier how you blamed “liberal” politics for being all about envy? Yeah, you (and lots of Republicans) sound really jealous of the fact that Osama was killed under the Obama administration, by orders given by Obama. You just can’t stand it, can you? Because I’m quite certain you would never have suggested Bush “shut up” about such a coup (had he accomplished it).

  • Julian

    @ DonS, I didn’t realize my view prevailed. I don’t think many people in the US think very hard about the difference between what they have a right to say and what they ought to say.

    When I speak of “abuse” of the 1st Amendment, I’m not speaking of illegal actions. Crying “fire” in a theater is not an abuse of the 1st, it is an illegal action not protected by the 1st.

    An abuse of the 1st amendment relies on the protection it affords to cause harm.

    Legal doesn’t always equal ethical.

    Perhaps we need a proper definition of “abuse” for those of us who have been completely failed by our educational system.

  • Julian

    @ DonS, I didn’t realize my view prevailed. I don’t think many people in the US think very hard about the difference between what they have a right to say and what they ought to say.

    When I speak of “abuse” of the 1st Amendment, I’m not speaking of illegal actions. Crying “fire” in a theater is not an abuse of the 1st, it is an illegal action not protected by the 1st.

    An abuse of the 1st amendment relies on the protection it affords to cause harm.

    Legal doesn’t always equal ethical.

    Perhaps we need a proper definition of “abuse” for those of us who have been completely failed by our educational system.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DonS (@79), this is a good example of what I was just talking about:

    Free speech is not free if it is subject to any sort of content review or restriction by the government.

    Yeah, that’s not what happened here, so your warning seems entirely overblown.

    The government and its agents are entirely free to distance themselves from anything said by private citizens. That’s not restriction. That’s not “content review” in any meaningful, First-Amendment sense.

    And, it goes without saying, embassy statements are not Supreme Court rulings.

    the government labeled it “abuse”, thus clearly implying that the filmmaker had acted beyond his rights under the 1st Amendment…

    Um, no, that implication was not clear. You’re hanging your entire coat of outrage on this one tentative peg of reading. Which seems a bit forced to me.

    …and further apparently initiated an investigation of the filmmaker and outed his identity publicly.

    So what you’re suggesting is that the government should not investigate the provenance of media which are nominally the cause of conflagrations that get agents of our government murdered? Why, exactly?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DonS (@79), this is a good example of what I was just talking about:

    Free speech is not free if it is subject to any sort of content review or restriction by the government.

    Yeah, that’s not what happened here, so your warning seems entirely overblown.

    The government and its agents are entirely free to distance themselves from anything said by private citizens. That’s not restriction. That’s not “content review” in any meaningful, First-Amendment sense.

    And, it goes without saying, embassy statements are not Supreme Court rulings.

    the government labeled it “abuse”, thus clearly implying that the filmmaker had acted beyond his rights under the 1st Amendment…

    Um, no, that implication was not clear. You’re hanging your entire coat of outrage on this one tentative peg of reading. Which seems a bit forced to me.

    …and further apparently initiated an investigation of the filmmaker and outed his identity publicly.

    So what you’re suggesting is that the government should not investigate the provenance of media which are nominally the cause of conflagrations that get agents of our government murdered? Why, exactly?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Also, DonS (@82), I’ll be a little more explicit than Julian was (@84). You said (@82):

    I will refrain from the personal insults of your intelligence which you so glibly apply to me and others.

    …roughly three comments after you said this (@79):

    Your view, unfortunately, prevails today, as our education system has completely failed to teach the nature of our constitutional protections…

    Ahem.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Also, DonS (@82), I’ll be a little more explicit than Julian was (@84). You said (@82):

    I will refrain from the personal insults of your intelligence which you so glibly apply to me and others.

    …roughly three comments after you said this (@79):

    Your view, unfortunately, prevails today, as our education system has completely failed to teach the nature of our constitutional protections…

    Ahem.

  • Cincinnatus

    Here’s the thing:

    Why couldn’t the embassy–and, later, the administration–have released a statement to this effect:

    “The United States, founded on principles of religious tolerance, does not endorse the mockery of Islam or other religious beliefs. We value respect, etc., blah blah blah. The film, which we view as deeply offensive, emphatically does not represent the views of the United States government or its agents. However, the United States also recognizes that tolerance is a double-sided principle, and we reject the notion that violence is an acceptable response to offensive speech. Violent reprisals will not be tolerated, etc.”

    I mean, really. How hard is that? The role of a diplomat is to communicate the values and goals of the United States in an intelligible, winsome fashion, not throw them out the window to appease a mob of angry villagers.

  • Cincinnatus

    Here’s the thing:

    Why couldn’t the embassy–and, later, the administration–have released a statement to this effect:

    “The United States, founded on principles of religious tolerance, does not endorse the mockery of Islam or other religious beliefs. We value respect, etc., blah blah blah. The film, which we view as deeply offensive, emphatically does not represent the views of the United States government or its agents. However, the United States also recognizes that tolerance is a double-sided principle, and we reject the notion that violence is an acceptable response to offensive speech. Violent reprisals will not be tolerated, etc.”

    I mean, really. How hard is that? The role of a diplomat is to communicate the values and goals of the United States in an intelligible, winsome fashion, not throw them out the window to appease a mob of angry villagers.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 83:

    You do recognize that the Obama Administration has now, on two occasions, repudiated the statement the Cairo embassy initially made, right? It’s not like I’m way out here on the edge in recognizing that the statement was an incorrect statement of U.S. policy and an inappropriate incursion on the free speech rights of the filmmaker.

    And that is why you probably should never serve in the diplomatic corps. Diplomacy, Don. To quote Merriam-Webster, “skill in handling affairs without arousing hostility”, also known as “tact”.

    Um, Tom made this practically exact same point way up @ 35, and I already responded @ 44. In short, tact is important in diplomacy, but you still have to state truth and stand up for American values, or what’s the point? Again, remember, the Obama administration has already conceded that the statement was wrong and needed serious wordsmithing — keep up, tODD.

    As for the rest of your comment, I believe, based on what we know now, that these are coordinated attacks by AQ, and have nothing to do with Joe Biden or the film. They have to do with hatred for America and American values, and the specific issues used to justify the attacks are pretext. But, the film is at issue because of the embassy statement and ensuing actions by both Romney and the administration, and I will take that opportunity to address and defend 1st Amendment rights, regardless.

    The last paragraph in your comment is absurd speculation. Enjoy.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 83:

    You do recognize that the Obama Administration has now, on two occasions, repudiated the statement the Cairo embassy initially made, right? It’s not like I’m way out here on the edge in recognizing that the statement was an incorrect statement of U.S. policy and an inappropriate incursion on the free speech rights of the filmmaker.

    And that is why you probably should never serve in the diplomatic corps. Diplomacy, Don. To quote Merriam-Webster, “skill in handling affairs without arousing hostility”, also known as “tact”.

    Um, Tom made this practically exact same point way up @ 35, and I already responded @ 44. In short, tact is important in diplomacy, but you still have to state truth and stand up for American values, or what’s the point? Again, remember, the Obama administration has already conceded that the statement was wrong and needed serious wordsmithing — keep up, tODD.

    As for the rest of your comment, I believe, based on what we know now, that these are coordinated attacks by AQ, and have nothing to do with Joe Biden or the film. They have to do with hatred for America and American values, and the specific issues used to justify the attacks are pretext. But, the film is at issue because of the embassy statement and ensuing actions by both Romney and the administration, and I will take that opportunity to address and defend 1st Amendment rights, regardless.

    The last paragraph in your comment is absurd speculation. Enjoy.

  • DonS

    Julian @ 84: I did not mean to insult you by my criticism of the shortcomings of our education system and the press. I just think your view of civil rights is a product of that, as it is for most Americans.

    An abuse of the 1st amendment relies on the protection it affords to cause harm.
    Legal doesn’t always equal ethical.
    Perhaps we need a proper definition of “abuse” for those of us who have been completely failed by our educational system.

    Again, I have no issue with YOU, as a private citizen, opining about another’s speech as being an “abuse” of the 1st Amendment, and in that context, I can agree with your definition. My ONLY issue is with the government labeling, in an official statement, legal speech by a private citizen under the 1st Amendment as an “abuse”. The place of our government is to guarantee, not suppress, our free speech rights.

  • DonS

    Julian @ 84: I did not mean to insult you by my criticism of the shortcomings of our education system and the press. I just think your view of civil rights is a product of that, as it is for most Americans.

    An abuse of the 1st amendment relies on the protection it affords to cause harm.
    Legal doesn’t always equal ethical.
    Perhaps we need a proper definition of “abuse” for those of us who have been completely failed by our educational system.

    Again, I have no issue with YOU, as a private citizen, opining about another’s speech as being an “abuse” of the 1st Amendment, and in that context, I can agree with your definition. My ONLY issue is with the government labeling, in an official statement, legal speech by a private citizen under the 1st Amendment as an “abuse”. The place of our government is to guarantee, not suppress, our free speech rights.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 85:

    Yeah, that’s not what happened here, so your warning seems entirely overblown.
    The government and its agents are entirely free to distance themselves from anything said by private citizens. That’s not restriction. That’s not “content review” in any meaningful, First-Amendment sense.

    Um, no. That is EXACTLY what happened here. The government reviewed the content of a private individual’s free speech and labeled it an abuse. It also initiated an investigation. How in the heck is that not suppression? Given your overall view of constitutional rights, it’s hard to believe you are such an apologist for the government in this instance.

    Why, exactly, should the government be investigating private individuals for exercising their free speech rights, unless it has probable cause that something illegal has occurred? I don’t even understand the point you are making here, and will be anxious to see how you apply this new reasoning of yours to other circumstances, say, under the Patriot Act.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 85:

    Yeah, that’s not what happened here, so your warning seems entirely overblown.
    The government and its agents are entirely free to distance themselves from anything said by private citizens. That’s not restriction. That’s not “content review” in any meaningful, First-Amendment sense.

    Um, no. That is EXACTLY what happened here. The government reviewed the content of a private individual’s free speech and labeled it an abuse. It also initiated an investigation. How in the heck is that not suppression? Given your overall view of constitutional rights, it’s hard to believe you are such an apologist for the government in this instance.

    Why, exactly, should the government be investigating private individuals for exercising their free speech rights, unless it has probable cause that something illegal has occurred? I don’t even understand the point you are making here, and will be anxious to see how you apply this new reasoning of yours to other circumstances, say, under the Patriot Act.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 86: Ahem. Are you equating my comment that Julian’s views reflect a majority view today, largely because of a failure of our education system and the media to Jonathan’s comment that “A more mangled and confused understanding of the First Amendment than yours would be hard to find”? How does my comment in any way impugn Julian’s intelligence or level of confusion? I am merely stating that our education system has caused us to drift from a true understanding of the guarantees we have under our constitution, I believe to our detriment, and to the government’s advantage.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 86: Ahem. Are you equating my comment that Julian’s views reflect a majority view today, largely because of a failure of our education system and the media to Jonathan’s comment that “A more mangled and confused understanding of the First Amendment than yours would be hard to find”? How does my comment in any way impugn Julian’s intelligence or level of confusion? I am merely stating that our education system has caused us to drift from a true understanding of the guarantees we have under our constitution, I believe to our detriment, and to the government’s advantage.

  • DonS

    EXACTLY, Cincinnatus @ 87. And, what we have learned since is that the State Department rejected the embassy’s initial statement because it needed wordsmithing, probably in this very direction. So why is everyone now being so defensive of the embassy statement, when the Obama Administration itself no longer supports it and has repudiated it?

  • DonS

    EXACTLY, Cincinnatus @ 87. And, what we have learned since is that the State Department rejected the embassy’s initial statement because it needed wordsmithing, probably in this very direction. So why is everyone now being so defensive of the embassy statement, when the Obama Administration itself no longer supports it and has repudiated it?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DonS (@90) said:

    Why, exactly, should the government be investigating private individuals for exercising their free speech rights, unless it has probable cause that something illegal has occurred?

    As to the why: does it bear repeating that US citizens and agents of our government have been murdered? Are you saying that at no point should the government have had an interest in determining the provenance of a film that was, at least nomimally, a cause in provoking the riots and murders?

    How do you even know that the film was made by “private individuals” unless you investigate? How do we know it wasn’t made by a foreign state or entity, wishing to stir up trouble? Is that something you think our government should konw, or do you think that no media should ever be investigated in the process of assessing a crime, lest it turn out to have been made by US citizens?

    Also, I’m pretty certain you don’t need probable cause to launch an investigation. You need it to arrest someone, or to search his property. Have those things occurred with regard to the filmmaker?

    As for your Patriot Act reference, you do realize that an actual crime has occurred here, don’t you? That’s kind of a key difference.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DonS (@90) said:

    Why, exactly, should the government be investigating private individuals for exercising their free speech rights, unless it has probable cause that something illegal has occurred?

    As to the why: does it bear repeating that US citizens and agents of our government have been murdered? Are you saying that at no point should the government have had an interest in determining the provenance of a film that was, at least nomimally, a cause in provoking the riots and murders?

    How do you even know that the film was made by “private individuals” unless you investigate? How do we know it wasn’t made by a foreign state or entity, wishing to stir up trouble? Is that something you think our government should konw, or do you think that no media should ever be investigated in the process of assessing a crime, lest it turn out to have been made by US citizens?

    Also, I’m pretty certain you don’t need probable cause to launch an investigation. You need it to arrest someone, or to search his property. Have those things occurred with regard to the filmmaker?

    As for your Patriot Act reference, you do realize that an actual crime has occurred here, don’t you? That’s kind of a key difference.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DonS (@91), here’s how it sounds coming from you: “I’m not saying you, in particular, are stupid, Julian. I’m just saying you’re one of many stupid people. But I don’t blame you for your stupidity. I blame the public education system.”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DonS (@91), here’s how it sounds coming from you: “I’m not saying you, in particular, are stupid, Julian. I’m just saying you’re one of many stupid people. But I don’t blame you for your stupidity. I blame the public education system.”

  • Julian

    A clarification of my personal opinion in this matter:

    I agree that the blame for the attacks on US embassies and consulates rests solely on the active participants in those attacks.

    However, I do also believe that there is such a thing as cause and effect, and there is also a thing such as learning from history.

    Before we get to a point where this narrative starts with one solitary man acting out his constitutional rights against the decrees of the government, let me be absolutely clear:

    The man responsible for this Youtube clip is no champion of free speech and liberty. He, as a Copt, probably better than most people knew the ramifications of his actions. He purposely created a piece that would disrupt the majority community of his homeland. He is no hero. He is a nut with a vendetta and a platform.

    With that in mind, please carry on your Bill of Rights parade.

  • Julian

    A clarification of my personal opinion in this matter:

    I agree that the blame for the attacks on US embassies and consulates rests solely on the active participants in those attacks.

    However, I do also believe that there is such a thing as cause and effect, and there is also a thing such as learning from history.

    Before we get to a point where this narrative starts with one solitary man acting out his constitutional rights against the decrees of the government, let me be absolutely clear:

    The man responsible for this Youtube clip is no champion of free speech and liberty. He, as a Copt, probably better than most people knew the ramifications of his actions. He purposely created a piece that would disrupt the majority community of his homeland. He is no hero. He is a nut with a vendetta and a platform.

    With that in mind, please carry on your Bill of Rights parade.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 93, 94: Taking your comment @ 94 first, what does “coming from you” have to do with anything? I don’t believe I have a history, at all, of personally insulting commenters on this blog, and I recall making amends and apologizing when I have on occasion done so, or said something that could be perceived that way. I certainly didn’t intend to insult Julian with my comment, and when you pointed out that I may have, I apologized to him, and explained more fully what I meant.

    I don’t think Julian is offended personally by what I said, judging from his comments. So why should you be? His comment @ 95 indicates a disagreement with me over the issues, which I accept, and will allow to drop at this point, agreeing to disagree.

    Now, as for your comment @ 93, NO ONE has alleged or charged that the filmmaker murdered those American diplomats and citizens! I am not saying investigations and reprisals, as appropriate, not occur. I AM saying that the investigations should be focused on the perpetrators, the terrorists who committed the acts, not on the individual exercising his free speech rights. If that investigation somehow leads back to him, and indicates that he had criminal involvement, somehow, in the plot, so be it. But individuals should not be routinely investigation because the exercise of their free speech rights triggered a crime by lawless terrorists.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 93, 94: Taking your comment @ 94 first, what does “coming from you” have to do with anything? I don’t believe I have a history, at all, of personally insulting commenters on this blog, and I recall making amends and apologizing when I have on occasion done so, or said something that could be perceived that way. I certainly didn’t intend to insult Julian with my comment, and when you pointed out that I may have, I apologized to him, and explained more fully what I meant.

    I don’t think Julian is offended personally by what I said, judging from his comments. So why should you be? His comment @ 95 indicates a disagreement with me over the issues, which I accept, and will allow to drop at this point, agreeing to disagree.

    Now, as for your comment @ 93, NO ONE has alleged or charged that the filmmaker murdered those American diplomats and citizens! I am not saying investigations and reprisals, as appropriate, not occur. I AM saying that the investigations should be focused on the perpetrators, the terrorists who committed the acts, not on the individual exercising his free speech rights. If that investigation somehow leads back to him, and indicates that he had criminal involvement, somehow, in the plot, so be it. But individuals should not be routinely investigation because the exercise of their free speech rights triggered a crime by lawless terrorists.

  • MarkB

    Todd @93

    I have been following this thread and just about any news feed I can get on this and one of the questions that I had in the back of my mind is what you articulated here:

    “How do you even know that the film was made by “private individuals” unless you investigate? How do we know it wasn’t made by a foreign state or entity, wishing to stir up trouble?”

    I would not put it past some element in the Middle East to do something like this just to give them justification for have the riots that are occuring right now. Although, from what I have read and heard so far it appears a Coptic Christian did this on his own.

    I agree that the government should investigate and rule out that possibility, but the very act of putting that information out has now compromised a whole group of people in Egypt and the individual who made the movie in the first place. So in my view the government is going to be just as responsible for the chaos and deaths that will result from this particular outing of this individual.

  • MarkB

    Todd @93

    I have been following this thread and just about any news feed I can get on this and one of the questions that I had in the back of my mind is what you articulated here:

    “How do you even know that the film was made by “private individuals” unless you investigate? How do we know it wasn’t made by a foreign state or entity, wishing to stir up trouble?”

    I would not put it past some element in the Middle East to do something like this just to give them justification for have the riots that are occuring right now. Although, from what I have read and heard so far it appears a Coptic Christian did this on his own.

    I agree that the government should investigate and rule out that possibility, but the very act of putting that information out has now compromised a whole group of people in Egypt and the individual who made the movie in the first place. So in my view the government is going to be just as responsible for the chaos and deaths that will result from this particular outing of this individual.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ Karl Fessig

    DonS (@96), whoa there! I intentionally did not write (@94), “here’s how it sounds, coming from you” (please note the comma). No, I wrote “here’s how it sounds coming from you”. Maybe it’s my inner editor, but there’s a significant difference. I did not intend what you are reading. If it makes you feel better, I meant the exact same thing as if I’d written “here’s how you sound”.

    I don’t know what Julian thinks, frankly. Do you?

    NO ONE has alleged or charged that the filmmaker murdered those American diplomats and citizens.

    Oh come on. Do you really think that, when a murder has occurred, they only ask questions of one person? If the investigation had turned up that this film had been, in fact, the product of another state’s propaganda machine, I’m pretty sure your argument would be wholly different here. It doesn’t appear to be the fault of another state, however. Ah, but how would we know who was responsible for the film unless someone investigated the matter?

    If that investigation somehow leads back to him, and indicates that he had criminal involvement, somehow, in the plot, so be it.

    Come on. You obviously have no more knowledge of the inner workings of whatever investigations there are than I do, so how can you even know if it didn’t happen as you said above? You don’t. You’re just objecting to the notion that the filmmaker was investigated (as if that were somehow tantamount to criminal charges, even), even as you claim to allow for his being investigated.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ Karl Fessig

    DonS (@96), whoa there! I intentionally did not write (@94), “here’s how it sounds, coming from you” (please note the comma). No, I wrote “here’s how it sounds coming from you”. Maybe it’s my inner editor, but there’s a significant difference. I did not intend what you are reading. If it makes you feel better, I meant the exact same thing as if I’d written “here’s how you sound”.

    I don’t know what Julian thinks, frankly. Do you?

    NO ONE has alleged or charged that the filmmaker murdered those American diplomats and citizens.

    Oh come on. Do you really think that, when a murder has occurred, they only ask questions of one person? If the investigation had turned up that this film had been, in fact, the product of another state’s propaganda machine, I’m pretty sure your argument would be wholly different here. It doesn’t appear to be the fault of another state, however. Ah, but how would we know who was responsible for the film unless someone investigated the matter?

    If that investigation somehow leads back to him, and indicates that he had criminal involvement, somehow, in the plot, so be it.

    Come on. You obviously have no more knowledge of the inner workings of whatever investigations there are than I do, so how can you even know if it didn’t happen as you said above? You don’t. You’re just objecting to the notion that the filmmaker was investigated (as if that were somehow tantamount to criminal charges, even), even as you claim to allow for his being investigated.

  • Julian

    @DonS

    I do not take “offense” at your statement about our educational system, even as I believe you assume a lot about my education and intellect. (I went to a Lutheran school for a while before public school, and I’m proud of the fact that my mother is a non-union public school teacher).

    Do you think our government should always give glowing reviews of any private citizen’s speech, whether good or evil, even as American interests suffer abroad?

    What you may forget is that even the government’s speech is protected by the 1st amendment.

  • Julian

    @DonS

    I do not take “offense” at your statement about our educational system, even as I believe you assume a lot about my education and intellect. (I went to a Lutheran school for a while before public school, and I’m proud of the fact that my mother is a non-union public school teacher).

    Do you think our government should always give glowing reviews of any private citizen’s speech, whether good or evil, even as American interests suffer abroad?

    What you may forget is that even the government’s speech is protected by the 1st amendment.

  • dust

    julian…am no constitutional scholar by any means, but my best guess is that the first amendment applies to citizens…it’s rights for them, not the government.

    it’s the government’s job to not infringe on them….the idea is that they protect us from a government who may not like what we say, and may want to try and stop us…particular if we are saying bad things against them?

    or something like that, eh :)

    cheers!

  • dust

    julian…am no constitutional scholar by any means, but my best guess is that the first amendment applies to citizens…it’s rights for them, not the government.

    it’s the government’s job to not infringe on them….the idea is that they protect us from a government who may not like what we say, and may want to try and stop us…particular if we are saying bad things against them?

    or something like that, eh :)

    cheers!

  • DonS

    “Karl” @ 98: Welcome to the conversation, “Karl”! I know you didn’t write comment 94, tODD did. ;-) But, I take your point.

    No, I don’t know what Julian thinks (though I know a bit more than you did when you wrote your comment, since he has now commented @ 99). But, what I said was “I don’t think Julian is offended personally by what I said, judging from his comments. That’s the best I can do, being human and all.

    If the investigation had turned up that this film had been, in fact, the product of another state’s propaganda machine, I’m pretty sure your argument would be wholly different here

    . Wow. Although you recognize that you can’t know what Julian is thinking, you sure have been doing a lot of speculating about what I would think, given certain strawman scenarios you have been dreaming up.

    The whole point is that there is absolutely no evidence or reason, at least that has been made public, to believe the filmmaker did anything illegal, or that he did anything at all other than exercise his first amendment rights to free speech. Tonight, Google, hardly a paragon of courage, refused to take down the film from Youtube, responsive to a governmental request, because it meets all Youtube terms of service. Clearly, the crimes/acts of war resulting in the deaths of at least 4 Americans, so far, were perpetrated by bad actors in the Middle East. They are the wrongdoers. Any investigations by the U.S., or reprisals, or security operations, should be directed towards the real threats and perpetrators. Yet the U.S. has, according to press reports, not only thoroughly investigated the filmmaker, it outed his real identity and location, thus putting him and his family directly in harm’s way from Muslim extremists who will commit murder because of perceived offense to their religious tenets.

    That is, in no way, an action consistent with the government’s Constitutional obligation to guarantee the right of free speech. You can spin it all you like, but you will never make a convincing case that the government has acted honorably in this matter.

    Having seen your spirited defense of civil rights during the Bush presidency, I find it hard to believe that you would be taking the same position you have been taking in this thread, being so deferential to governmental action, if Bush were still president.

  • DonS

    “Karl” @ 98: Welcome to the conversation, “Karl”! I know you didn’t write comment 94, tODD did. ;-) But, I take your point.

    No, I don’t know what Julian thinks (though I know a bit more than you did when you wrote your comment, since he has now commented @ 99). But, what I said was “I don’t think Julian is offended personally by what I said, judging from his comments. That’s the best I can do, being human and all.

    If the investigation had turned up that this film had been, in fact, the product of another state’s propaganda machine, I’m pretty sure your argument would be wholly different here

    . Wow. Although you recognize that you can’t know what Julian is thinking, you sure have been doing a lot of speculating about what I would think, given certain strawman scenarios you have been dreaming up.

    The whole point is that there is absolutely no evidence or reason, at least that has been made public, to believe the filmmaker did anything illegal, or that he did anything at all other than exercise his first amendment rights to free speech. Tonight, Google, hardly a paragon of courage, refused to take down the film from Youtube, responsive to a governmental request, because it meets all Youtube terms of service. Clearly, the crimes/acts of war resulting in the deaths of at least 4 Americans, so far, were perpetrated by bad actors in the Middle East. They are the wrongdoers. Any investigations by the U.S., or reprisals, or security operations, should be directed towards the real threats and perpetrators. Yet the U.S. has, according to press reports, not only thoroughly investigated the filmmaker, it outed his real identity and location, thus putting him and his family directly in harm’s way from Muslim extremists who will commit murder because of perceived offense to their religious tenets.

    That is, in no way, an action consistent with the government’s Constitutional obligation to guarantee the right of free speech. You can spin it all you like, but you will never make a convincing case that the government has acted honorably in this matter.

    Having seen your spirited defense of civil rights during the Bush presidency, I find it hard to believe that you would be taking the same position you have been taking in this thread, being so deferential to governmental action, if Bush were still president.

  • DonS

    Julian @ 99: As a reminder, this was my original statement:

    Your view, unfortunately, prevails today, as our education system has completely failed to teach the nature of our constitutional protections, and the media is abysmal on these issues, as witnessed by its horrendous performance this week.

    As you can see, I didn’t assume anything about either your education or intellect. All I said was that your situational view of civil rights is prevalent today. Both our educational system and our culture (media) utterly fail in teaching what it means to have a fundamental Constitutional right guaranteed by the government. Specifically, if those rights are not absolute, they are worthless. Once you allow the government to selectively encroach on those rights, because of exigent circumstances, then they are no longer granted by the Creator. They are, instead, granted by the government, and can be taken away whenever the government decides that circumstances demand it.

    Many liberals perfectly well understood this in the wake of 9/11 and the Patriot Act. They hated the surveillance of international wireless calls, for example, even though there was a clear security purpose for that surveillance, and even though no individual citizen was being targeted. However, when Obama became president, even though he continued the Bush wars and policies almost entirely intact, and has even further tightened TSA airport screening procedures, the complaints faded away. Now we have liberals defending the demonization and investigation, without apparent probable cause, of this individual filmmaker, trampling on his free speech rights, because terrorists took imagined offense and attacked Americans. So, if someone complains enough, or kills over an incident of free speech, that speech, in the minds of many Americans, including liberals who are supposedly stalwart defenders of civil rights, should be squelched.

    Do you think our government should always give glowing reviews of any private citizen’s speech, whether good or evil, even as American interests suffer abroad?
    What you may forget is that even the government’s speech is protected by the 1st amendment.

    My answer to your first question is NO. No one is saying that government should give glowing reviews of any private citizen’s speech. The government is to be content-neutral in its guarantee of free speech rights, but there is nothing to preclude the government from clarifying that a particular instance of speech does not reflect governmental policy. I have said the same on several occasion in this thread. But, particularly when making a policy statement in a diplomatic setting, that opinion should be accompanied by an explanation that the American government guarantees free speech rights for all private persons, regardless of content.

    As for your second question/statement, the government, per se, does not have first amendment rights. The bill of rights is a guarantee of inalienable rights, granted by the Creator, to private citizens. No such rights are granted to government.

  • DonS

    Julian @ 99: As a reminder, this was my original statement:

    Your view, unfortunately, prevails today, as our education system has completely failed to teach the nature of our constitutional protections, and the media is abysmal on these issues, as witnessed by its horrendous performance this week.

    As you can see, I didn’t assume anything about either your education or intellect. All I said was that your situational view of civil rights is prevalent today. Both our educational system and our culture (media) utterly fail in teaching what it means to have a fundamental Constitutional right guaranteed by the government. Specifically, if those rights are not absolute, they are worthless. Once you allow the government to selectively encroach on those rights, because of exigent circumstances, then they are no longer granted by the Creator. They are, instead, granted by the government, and can be taken away whenever the government decides that circumstances demand it.

    Many liberals perfectly well understood this in the wake of 9/11 and the Patriot Act. They hated the surveillance of international wireless calls, for example, even though there was a clear security purpose for that surveillance, and even though no individual citizen was being targeted. However, when Obama became president, even though he continued the Bush wars and policies almost entirely intact, and has even further tightened TSA airport screening procedures, the complaints faded away. Now we have liberals defending the demonization and investigation, without apparent probable cause, of this individual filmmaker, trampling on his free speech rights, because terrorists took imagined offense and attacked Americans. So, if someone complains enough, or kills over an incident of free speech, that speech, in the minds of many Americans, including liberals who are supposedly stalwart defenders of civil rights, should be squelched.

    Do you think our government should always give glowing reviews of any private citizen’s speech, whether good or evil, even as American interests suffer abroad?
    What you may forget is that even the government’s speech is protected by the 1st amendment.

    My answer to your first question is NO. No one is saying that government should give glowing reviews of any private citizen’s speech. The government is to be content-neutral in its guarantee of free speech rights, but there is nothing to preclude the government from clarifying that a particular instance of speech does not reflect governmental policy. I have said the same on several occasion in this thread. But, particularly when making a policy statement in a diplomatic setting, that opinion should be accompanied by an explanation that the American government guarantees free speech rights for all private persons, regardless of content.

    As for your second question/statement, the government, per se, does not have first amendment rights. The bill of rights is a guarantee of inalienable rights, granted by the Creator, to private citizens. No such rights are granted to government.

  • Julian

    Private citizens, eh? How about Citizens United ?

  • Julian

    Private citizens, eh? How about Citizens United ?

  • dust

    Julian….Citizens United = private citizens exercising their inalienable right protected under the constitution in the same amendment that guarantees freedom of speech:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    Note: probably the first right to go in the event the private citizens find themselves living under a repressive regime?

    Well, anyway, it isn’t always pretty (for example, offensive speech is way more likely than polite speech to need the protection guaranteed by the 1st amendment) but isn’t it great to live in a real democracy :)

    cheers!

  • dust

    Julian….Citizens United = private citizens exercising their inalienable right protected under the constitution in the same amendment that guarantees freedom of speech:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    Note: probably the first right to go in the event the private citizens find themselves living under a repressive regime?

    Well, anyway, it isn’t always pretty (for example, offensive speech is way more likely than polite speech to need the protection guaranteed by the 1st amendment) but isn’t it great to live in a real democracy :)

    cheers!

  • DonS

    Julian @ 103: You know the answer to that question. The Supreme Court said that a group of private citizens who organize a non-profit corporation in order to be able to fund and distribute a political movie have a right under the 1st Amendment to do that, and still be fully protected. Otherwise, only the wealthy would be able to afford the cost of media to actually fully exercise their free speech rights.

  • DonS

    Julian @ 103: You know the answer to that question. The Supreme Court said that a group of private citizens who organize a non-profit corporation in order to be able to fund and distribute a political movie have a right under the 1st Amendment to do that, and still be fully protected. Otherwise, only the wealthy would be able to afford the cost of media to actually fully exercise their free speech rights.

  • Julian

    For our collective education–
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_speech.

    Don’t trust everything you read on Wikipedia, so follow the trail.

    I can’t even remember what the original point was that we’re debating about. It’s probably petty, so I’m signing off.

  • Julian

    For our collective education–
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_speech.

    Don’t trust everything you read on Wikipedia, so follow the trail.

    I can’t even remember what the original point was that we’re debating about. It’s probably petty, so I’m signing off.

  • DonS

    Nothing about this topic is petty, Julian. As has been said on many occasions by a number of American leaders, eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. These kinds of urgent circumstances are the ones where the government tramples on our rights if we let it. We can’t let it.

  • DonS

    Nothing about this topic is petty, Julian. As has been said on many occasions by a number of American leaders, eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. These kinds of urgent circumstances are the ones where the government tramples on our rights if we let it. We can’t let it.

  • dust

    Dear Julian….you give us a link to a wikipedia article and then say don’t trust everything you read on wikipedia?

    the most glorious thing about our constitution and bill of rights is that it leaves those tough decisions to the people….unworthy as each of us may be individually, we respect the majority rule, and if not, then try to change it….democratically of course!

    God bless you Julian…hope you decide to once again sign in :)

    cheers!

  • dust

    Dear Julian….you give us a link to a wikipedia article and then say don’t trust everything you read on wikipedia?

    the most glorious thing about our constitution and bill of rights is that it leaves those tough decisions to the people….unworthy as each of us may be individually, we respect the majority rule, and if not, then try to change it….democratically of course!

    God bless you Julian…hope you decide to once again sign in :)

    cheers!

  • DonS

    On September 16, Obama’s UN Ambassador, Susan Rice, told Jake Tapper on ABC News that the Libyan attacks were not premeditated: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/09/ambassador-susan-rice-libya-attack-not-premeditated/ She claimed that they were totally the result of a spontaneous protest about the famous video. Of course, a number of us on this blog knew and said that was hogwash, and that this was obviously a premeditated, planned Al Quaida attack .

    Today, the administration finally admitted what everyone else already knew: http://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFL1E8KKA0820120920

    Romney would do well to point out the utter incompetency of the Obama administration in defending this consulate, and Obama’s refusal to take the attack on American soil and the American diplomatic corps seriously, as he continues his nonstop campaign in Las Vegas the on the couches of late night talk show hosts while our embassies are under siege.

  • DonS

    On September 16, Obama’s UN Ambassador, Susan Rice, told Jake Tapper on ABC News that the Libyan attacks were not premeditated: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/09/ambassador-susan-rice-libya-attack-not-premeditated/ She claimed that they were totally the result of a spontaneous protest about the famous video. Of course, a number of us on this blog knew and said that was hogwash, and that this was obviously a premeditated, planned Al Quaida attack .

    Today, the administration finally admitted what everyone else already knew: http://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFL1E8KKA0820120920

    Romney would do well to point out the utter incompetency of the Obama administration in defending this consulate, and Obama’s refusal to take the attack on American soil and the American diplomatic corps seriously, as he continues his nonstop campaign in Las Vegas the on the couches of late night talk show hosts while our embassies are under siege.


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