This timeline of events (with my thoughts added) is taken from this article on the Huffington Post:
Shortly before noon, EDT: The U.S. Embassy in Cairo issues a statement condemning the video promoted by anti-Muslim Florida pastor Terry Jones. “The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions,” it reads. “Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”
This came out, as is noted, when the embassies began to be attacked in reaction to the ridiculous video posted on You Tube that was designed to inflame Muslims. No one in Libya had been injured or killed at this point. The statement – BY THE EMBASSY OFFICE IN CAIRO – was a CLEAR attempt by the diplomats there to defuse the anger at the video and to try and protect the people working at the embassies in the middle east region. These people were on the ground there and most likely feeling a completely different set of circumstances than anyone over here would know about. It was issued before any state department officials were injured or killed in Libya. It is still, IMHO, quite a stretch to claim that the statement was a show or “support” for attackers storming the embassies in either compound.
However, I can see how, as events unfolded subsequently, this ends up not being the best position to take. Clearly the embassy should have added that they ALSO condemn any violence that results as a reaction to the abhorrent video.
But let’s be clear, it was NOT a statement by “The Obama administration” or President Obama.
10:09 p.m.: The Mitt Romney campaign sends out a statement embargoed for release after midnight — in other words, after the 9/11 truce for the presidential campaign has ended — attacking the Obama administration’s response to incidents in Libya and Egypt. “I’m outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American consulate worker in Benghazi,” Romney says. “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.”
10:10 p.m.: Politico reports that the Obama administration is disavowing the statement by the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.
10:25 p.m.: The embargo on Romney’s statement is prematurely lifted.
10:44 p.m.: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemns attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.
Naturally, Mitt Romney couldn’t WAIT to spin that embassy statement into something to use to attack Obama directly once information comes out that the situation in Libya became deadly. Going right to the furthest possible stretch of the facts to accuse “the Obama administration” of “sympathizing with those who waged the attacks”. It was completely disingenuous and truly disgraceful that his statement was not one of sympathy for those killed. No, the point of the remarks was to lie about Obama.
Also – notice that the 9/11 embargo was supposed to be held until midnight EST? Because, I guess…there are NO OTHER people in America in any OTHER time zones?? Guess what folks – I was reading these statements and then a tweet that followed it before I went to bed at 10pm PST. Yep, for those of us in the Central, Mountain, Pacific and beyond time zones, our 9/11 ended with partisan blowhard statements.
Peace, love & understanding, My Ass.
12:01 a.m.: Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Preibus tweets, “Obama sympathizes with attackers in Egypt. Sad and pathetic.”
12:09 a.m.: Obama campaign press secretary Ben LaBolt responds, “We are shocked that, at a time when the United States of America is confronting the tragic death of one of our diplomatic officers in Libya, Governor Romney would choose to launch a political attack.”
That Reince Preibus tweet should, in a reasonably sane world, get him fired from his job. Again – not one WORD of sympathy to those killed. Not one word condemning the attacks. Just a straight out LIE and cheap shot aimed directly at Obama.
Sometime after midnight: Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin pens a stinging Facebook post: “Apparently President Obama can’t see Egypt and Libya from his house.” She asks when President Obama will speak out. “If he doesn’t have a ‘big stick’ to carry, maybe it’s time for him to grow one.”
6:06 a.m.: The Associated Press tweets that Libyan officials say U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other embassy staffers were killed at the Benghazi consulate, which was under attack by a mob with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades.
7:21 a.m.: President Obama issues a statement condemning the deaths in Benghazi, including the death of Ambassador Stevens. “Right now, the American people have the families of those we lost in our thoughts and prayers. They exemplified America’s commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe, and stand in stark contrast to those who callously took their lives.”
8:38 a.m.: House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) condemns the attack on Americans in Libya, without criticizing Obama.
9:14 a.m.: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) issues a statement much along the same lines, condemning the attacks.
9:16 a.m.: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) condemns the attacks.
9:52 a.m.: Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) condemn the attacks. “We cannot resign ourselves to the false belief that the Arab Spring is doomed to be defined not by the desire for democracy and freedom that has inspired millions of people to peaceful action, but by the dark fanaticism of terrorists,” they say.
10:32 a.m.: Priebus tweets again, “Our prayers are w/Ambassador Stevens’ family and the families of those killed in the attacks in Libya. We mourn their loss and grieve w/them”
Please note how none of the other GOP leaders sunk to the level of Romney or Preibus. That’s telling because by the time they issued their statements, there had been 8+ hours of online outrage aimed at them. In an election year for those officials to distance themselves from their party chair and their Presidential nominee is a sign that those two folks *might* have been a tad…oh…DUMB..about their reactions.
Kudos to Mr Preibus for figuring out 10 hours later that perhaps a message of sympathy would be a nice touch.
What is missing from this timeline is that, in between live statements by Sec of State Clinton and President Obama, Mitt Romney made his own live statement AND took questions.
And? He *doubled down* on his outrage at that initial embassy statement! He AGAIN attributed those statements to President Obama and his Administration and accused the President of “apologizing” for America. Again. A ridiculous accusing he continues to level against Obama despite there being NO ACTUAL FACTS to support that characterization. Certainly there was NOTHING within the last 24 hours of actions to base that claim upon. No, Mr Romney smirked and grinned and leveled his attacks as if nothing tragic had occurred.
Worse still – when asked what he would have done differently in regards to Egypt & Libya – he had NO ANSWER!
I know that most people have already made up their minds in this election. But I really do have to wonder – if you are planning to vote for Romney – were you happy with the way he has handled these last 24 hours? How did he and Reince Preibus not make you cringe with what they said? (I’m ignoring that SP drivel because she is simply a joke who shouldn’t even have a voice in this)
Is your Obama derangement syndrome so ingrained that you cannot see just how callous and disgraceful they were?