Just hours after the two attacks on American Embassies in Libya and Egypt, Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney went to work criticizing the Obama Administration, calling their response to the embassy attacks “disgraceful.” The President’s spokesperson Ben LaBolt said that the administration was “”shocked that, at a time when the United States of America is confronting the tragic death of one of our diplomatic officers in Libya, Gov. Romney would choose to launch a political attack.”
The President spoke at the Rose Garden at the White House along with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday Morning, and was broadcast on networks like NBC.
Protesters scaled the wall of the United States embassy and attacked, killing Chris Stephens, the US Ambassador to Libya. as well as three other American staff members including Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith. The attacks were based upon a film released by a filmmaker in California that was very critical of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, calling him a child molester among other things. While countries that restrict the opinions of dissenters may disagree with Geert Wilders film, called “Fitna,” that is the exact definition of free speech – to allow anyone to voice whatever opinion they want without reprisal.
The US Embassy in Cairo, Egypt, was the cause of Romney’s consternation. They released a statement that basically said that they didn’t agree with infringing on the beliefs of other religions. “Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy,” the statement said. “We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton released a similar statement.
But Mitt Romney was quick to call out the Obama Administration for this statement, saying that they had their priorities in the wrong place. “It’s disgraceful that the Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.” This is just a ridiculous excuse to try to sway a few voters, since the President was just being cautious, and did not even learn of the death of Stephens until Wednesday morning.
It is clear that Mitt Romney is using the tragic death of four Americans to further his own political agenda, and while the attacks should never have happened, those who are running for office should not be using a tragedy like this to get a few votes.
No one can ignore the coincidence that these embassy attacks were conducted on September 11th, eleven years after the World Trade Center attacks.
Gabriel Legend covers a wide range of breaking news for Gather. He writes fiction as well, with his first novel coming out in 2013. You can follow on Twitter at @GabrielLegend1 or contact him directly here.