I’ve come here to Cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect, and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles–principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.
The Government Accountability Institute, a new conservative investigative research organization, examined President Obama’s schedule from the day he took office until mid-June 2012, to see how often he attended his Presidential Daily Brief (PDB) — the meeting at which he is briefed on the most critical intelligence threats to the country. During his first 1,225 days in office, Obama attended his PDB just 536 times — or 43.8 percent of the time. During 2011 and the first half of 2012, his attendance became even less frequent — falling to just over 38 percent. By contrast, Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush almost never missed his daily intelligence meeting.
[T]he Imprisoned Omar Abdul Rahman Brigades … emerged earlier this year claiming responsibility for an attack on the International Red Cross offices. It has been linked to a rocket attack on the British ambassador’s convoy in Benghazi in June, and was responsible for a bomb attack outside the US consulate the same month. The attack did not cause injuries, but the group left leaflets saying the bomb was in retaliation for the American drone strike that killed Libi. It also filmed the explosion and used it in a jihadist video. The leaflets promised more attacks against the US.
According to senior diplomatic sources, the US State Department had credible information 48 hours before mobs charged the consulate in Benghazi, and the embassy in Cairo, that American missions may be targeted, but no warnings were given for diplomats to go on high alert and “lockdown”, under which movement is severely restricted.
QUESTION: Thanks for doing this. Listen, there’ve been troubles in Benghazi for some time now. I understand the Consulate was attacked or bombed two, three months ago. The British have put out threat warnings about Benghazi. Was there any consideration before the attack yesterday of beefing up security there? …
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: … What I would say … is that we did, as we did in missions around the world, review the security there in the context of preparing for the anniversary of September 11th. And at that point, there was no information and there were no threat streams to indicate that we were insufficiently postured.
Years of warning about embassy security preceded Libya attack
The election is in 8 weeks. Sign up to volunteer: OFA.BO/s3tXFz—
Barack Obama (@BarackObama) September 11, 2012
As painful as this day is and always will be, it leaves us with the lesson that no act of terrorism can ever change what we stand for. -bo—
Barack Obama (@BarackObama) September 11, 2012
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. 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.
“The statement by Embassy Cairo was not cleared by Washington and does not reflect the views of the United States government,” an administration official told POLITICO.
“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,” Obama’s campaign press secretary Ben LaBolt said in a statement.
A White House official said national security advisor Tom Donilon first briefed the president on the violence in Benghazi on Tuesday afternoon, at the top of a weekly meeting with the Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey.
The president was updated throughout the evening, and notified late Tuesday that Stevens was unaccounted for. Obama learned Wednesday that Stevens was confirmed dead Wednesday morning, the official said.
While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants.