Libya attack brings challenges for U.S.
The violent deaths of four American diplomatic personnel in Libya during a heavily armed and possibly planned assault on a flimsily protected consulate facility on the Sept. 11 anniversary provoked an uproar in Washington on Wednesday, presenting new challenges in the volatile Middle East less than two months before the American presidential election.
The killings of the four Americans on Tuesday, including the ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, also raised basic questions about security and intelligence in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, where the assault took place, as well as other American diplomatic facilities elsewhere in the region, where deep-seated anti-American sentiment remains a potent force despite United States support for the Arab Spring uprisings that have transfixed the region for nearly two years.
President Obama denounced the attack, promised to avenge the killings and ordered tighter security at all American diplomatic installations. The administration also dispatched 50 Marines to Libya for greater diplomatic protection, ordered all nonemergency personnel to leave Libya and warned Americans not to travel there, suggesting further attacks were possible.
“These four Americans stood up for freedom and human dignity,” Mr. Obama said in a televised statement from the White House Rose Garden, where he stood with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. “Make no mistake: we will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people.”
But the killings also led to heated exchanges between the Obama administration and the Republican presidential challenger, Mitt Romney, who criticized Mr. Obama’s handling of the killings in what Mr. Romney’s critics, including a few Republicans, called an unwarranted politicization of an American foreign policy tragedy.
There were unconfirmed reports that Ambassador Stevens, a highly regarded diplomat who was well liked by officials in the new Libyan government, had been pursued by Islamic militants to his death in a safe house, where he may have died of asphyxiation from smoke in a grenade explosion. He was the first American ambassador killed abroad in more than three decades.
Initial accounts of the assault in Benghazi were attributed to popular anger over what was described as an American-made video that lampooned the Prophet Muhammad, which had been publicized by Egyptian media and led to a mob protest at the United States Embassy protest in Cairo on Tuesday. But administration officials in Washington said the attack in Libya may have been plotted in advance.
i wonder if this attack was by the same guys who the west used to oust gaddafi?..was the attack pulled off with the use of American weapons?..the irony..who knows who did what to who..what we know is stevens is dead and he didnt die peacefully..apparently the libyan guards bolted at the first sight of a mob..stevens tried to get to a safehouse but was detected..