Your morning jolt: Who did, and didn’t, apologize for what in Egypt, Libya

cairo

Egyptian protesters chant anti-U.S. slogans in front of the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt, on Tuesday. Egyptian protesters, largely ultra conservative Islamists, have climbed the walls of the U.S. embassy in Cairo, went into the courtyard and brought down the flag, replacing it with a black flag with Islamic inscription, in protest of a film deemed offensive of Islam. AP/Nasser Nasser

Here’s the apparent time line on the “apology” furor that’s now raging between the Mitt Romney and Barack Obama camps, in response to riots over an anti-Islamic film that – in Libya – resulted in the deaths of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three staffers:

– Following an attack in which Egyptian protestors pulled down the American flag, the U.S. Embassy in Cairo issued a statement saying, in part, that it condemned “the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions.”

According to the Associated Press, the statement was an apparent reference to the video, and was posted hours before the four American deaths in Libya were reported.

– At 10:10 p.m., Politico.com posted a disavowal from an unnamed Obama administration official: “The statement by Embassy Cairo was not cleared by Washington and does not reflect the views of the United States government.”

– In a statement that was embargoed until midnight, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney declared his outrage at the attacks and at President Barack Obama’s response. “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,” he said.

– Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton issued her own statement at about the same time – again, the deaths in Libya had not been confirmed:

”Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind.”

From the Associated Press:

Libya’s interim president has apologized to the United States for the attack on the U.S. consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi that killed the American ambassador and three of his staff.

Mohammed el-Megarif described the attack as “cowardly”…

Latest reports say the U.S. Marines are on their way.

***
It is no doubt difficult for people who have lived under a dictatorship for decades to conceive that criticism of an entire religion is something that can be done without government permission. From the Associated Press:

Speaking by phone Tuesday from an undisclosed location, writer and director Sam Bacile remained defiant, saying Islam is a cancer and that the 56-year-old intended his film to be a provocative political statement condemning the religion….

“This is a political movie,” said Bacile. “The U.S. lost a lot of money and a lot of people in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but we’re fighting with ideas.”

Bacile, a California real estate developer who identifies himself as an Israeli Jew, said he believes the movie will help his native land by exposing Islam’s flaws to the world.

“Islam is a cancer, period,” he said repeatedly, his solemn voice thickly accented.

The two-hour movie, “Innocence of Muslims,” cost $5 million to make and was financed with the help of more than 100 Jewish donors, said Bacile, who wrote and directed it.

The film claims Muhammad was a fraud. An English-language 13-minute trailer on YouTube shows an amateur cast performing a wooden dialogue of insults disguised as revelations about Muhammad, whose obedient followers are presented as a cadre of goons.

It depicts Muhammad as a feckless philanderer who approved of child sexual abuse, among other overtly insulting claims that have caused outrage.

***
Last week, only days after he gave a video greeting to the Democratic National Convention, former President Jimmy Carter became the longest-living ex-president in U.S. history, surpassing Herbert Hoover’s 11,553 days in retirement.

But Carter is in no way retiring. From the Huffington Post:

ATLANTA — Former President Jimmy Carter issued a blistering indictment of the U.S. electoral process Tuesday, saying it is shot through with “financial corruption” that threatens American democracy.

Speaking at the international human rights center that bears his name, Carter said “we have one of the worst election processes in the world right in the United States of America, and it’s almost entirely because of the excessive influx of money.”

….Carter praised Mexico and several countries where Carter Center staff have monitored publicly financed elections, and he said the United States should return to publicly financed elections for president. The system technically is still in place, but it is voluntary and both President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney have chosen to bypass the taxpayer money because they can amass far more on their own.

***
More than a few people are poring over “Planned Bullyhood” to see what former secretary of state Karen Handel has to say about them. Click here to read today’s piece by my AJC colleague Jill Vejnoska on Handel’s book – which some harsh comments by her 2010 rivals for the GOP nomination for governor. Here’s the dedication Handel included:

”This book is dedicated to anyone who has ever been bullied for doing the right thing. In standing up for what you believe, you might not endear yourself to some, but who cares, they don’t define you; you do. Have faith – God has a plan, even if it’s a mystery to you.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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124 comments Add your comment

Skipper

September 12th, 2012
10:24 am

What a crock…..we are a bunch of panty-waist nuts to be apologetic to these goons! People counter with “What about the Christian extremists, etc., etc.” but these are just a few sick individuals. The Muslims are inciting crap all over the world. Everyone knows it, but apparantly won’t call it!

honested

September 12th, 2012
10:31 am

All religions should be despised equally and prevented from interfering with any exercise of Statecraft.

cc

September 12th, 2012
10:36 am

The wonderful peace-loving muslims marked the anniversary of 9/11 in Libya and Egypt resulting in the deaths of Americans. What can we expect from the ‘empty chair’ in response? Doubtless, another apology tour is necessary and increased financial aid will be a consideration.

America has no discernible foreign policy and has not had such since January, 2009. The only perceivable portion of our non-existent foreign policy has been appeasement, and we are reaping the dividends.

America faces no crisis in leadership. We have none . . .

Maybe they should have cleared it up their chain of command before releasing this statement...

September 12th, 2012
10:38 am

http://egypt.usembassy.gov/pr091112.html

U.S. Embassy Condemns Religious Incitement
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.”

Double Zero Eight

September 12th, 2012
10:47 am

Many will suggest that the policy utilized by the former
administration should be strongly considered,
attack and ask questions later.. We all know where
that philosophy.led. The last thing the U.S. needs
is to be involved in a war in Africa.

DJ Sniper

September 12th, 2012
10:54 am

Why am I not surprised that the Romney campaign would twist things around to criticize Obama. Par for the course with them.

Whoever made this anti-Islam film seems to forget all the atrocities that have been committed in the name of Christianity.

Don't Tread

September 12th, 2012
10:55 am

“it’s almost entirely because of the excessive influx of money”

Well Mr. Carter, YOUR candidate benefitted from 3/4 of a billion dollars and bypassed public funding during the last election. Take it up with him.

And now you want to whine about “excessive money” now that your attacks on 1st Amendment rights of people you don’t like has blown up in your face. Political speech is free speech…get over it.

Liberals really hate freedom, especially when others use it to say or do things they don’t like.

honested

September 12th, 2012
10:57 am

An expatriate from the ’51st State’ hides in the United States while fomenting international controversy over superstitions that have nothing to do with conduct of US policy.
Find him and send him back to his country of origin.
Let them deal with ALL the repercussions.

Double Zero Eight

September 12th, 2012
10:58 am

The question that needs to be answered is
what would Willard do? So far, he has only said
that he would have done things differently.in the
region, with no specifics. Maybe he will expound
on his philosophy during the debates.

honested

September 12th, 2012
10:58 am

don’t tread,

If someone uses their money to impinge on my life it is hardly ‘hating freedom’.
Someone else’s money does not have special privilege to hamper MY FREEDOM.

honested

September 12th, 2012
10:59 am

Double Zero Eight

I suspect willard will return to the Dead Sea area for the rest of his campaign cash.

Shar

September 12th, 2012
11:00 am

The film was not made ‘in the name of Christianity’, it was made by a rich, dogmatic, self-righteous and self-described “Israeli Jew” who is hiding behind the skirts of the United States as he blusters and defends his smear and the deadly consequences to others from his safe hiding place.

Bacile is as ignorant, amoral and self-righteous as the “savage mob” (in the words of the Secretary of State) that committed this atrocity. While we’re bringing the mob to justice, we ought to bring Bacile out of hiding and force him to give his millions to the families of the people he set up to be killed. All of these zealots are hate-ridden cowards.

DJ Sniper

September 12th, 2012
11:00 am

Don’t Tread, please stop with the right wing talking points about freedom and what not. Whether you like it or not, Citizens United was the worst decision ever handed down by the SCOTUS. Corporations are NOT people, and they should not be able to donate unlimited funds without having to disclose them. That goes for the right and left.

honested

September 12th, 2012
11:01 am

Inciting violence in the name of any superstition is still a criminal act.

The United States is under no obligation to protect the criminals involved.

J Throckmorton Malcontent

September 12th, 2012
11:02 am

Smells like Israeli provocation to me, who knows why they are so gung ho for war right now.
Somebody ran their mouth and somebody else had to defend to the death there right to say it.
It is all quite regrettable. Why not be sorry about it?

Shar

September 12th, 2012
11:04 am

And as far as political cash is concerned, I agree with the former president that there is far, far, far too much of it corrupting our electoral process. Any candidate who is supported by private donations in place of public funding should be forced to sign pledges that those donors will not receive patronage jobs or contracts after election, and any private spending for political campaigns or issue advertising should not be tax-exempt and should have to name every single donor, every single time.

honested

September 12th, 2012
11:05 am

In any statements today, the President needs to include a statement to Nuttyyahoo,

‘The answer is still NO!’

DJ Sniper

September 12th, 2012
11:06 am

Oh lord, now that twit Sarah Palin has decided to offer up her opinion on all of this. She is the last person that should be offering the POTUS advice.

Auntie Christ

September 12th, 2012
11:13 am

“condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions.”

Luckily atheists and agnostics are not so easily insulted, we would rather self identify as a human being, part of the human race, responsible to other human beings, to see that all life is treated as sacred and just as important as any other. We see the obsession to impose one’s philosophy and belief system on another as a sickness, and the idea of killing someone in order to impose that belief system on another as insanity. Unfortunately this insanity is infectious, We will now see 10 or 20 million christians in this country screaming their lust for muslim blood,acting just like the muslim crazies who perpetrated this atrocity, all because a jew thought it would be a good idea to ridicule another religion. And all of them call the atheists and agnostics “immoral,” and actually think we are lesser human beings because we are non-believers. What is immoral is allowing oneself to be so caught up in these religions, legends, fairy tales or whatever you categorize them, that you forget your own humanity and advocate slaughtering other humans over some perceived ‘insult’ to these beliefs.

Now let’s sit back and watch as our ‘leaders,’ religious and political, and our ‘pundits’ in the media play this out for all it’s worth, with no other goal than to divide us, and therein enrich themselves, and in the end it will be us, the everyday johns and janes who are the losers in it all.

Malthusian way

September 12th, 2012
11:18 am

Ah yes, the pacifist Carter/Clinton (now Obama) days of old return, maybe we can give Kim Jong Un some more money as well……..it won’t be long now!

DJ Sniper

September 12th, 2012
11:20 am

Amen Auntie Christ. Stuff like this is why I don’t really subscribe to any particular set of religious beliefs today.

ld

September 12th, 2012
11:27 am

honested @10:31 am: well said.

Standing: APPLAUSE.

Don't Tread

September 12th, 2012
11:28 am

If you don’t like it that someone else spends money that they earned to exercise their own 1st Amendment rights…too bad. Again…Political speech is free speech…get over it.

To quote your Dear Leader: You lost.

ld

September 12th, 2012
11:31 am

Auntie Christ @ 11:13:

I see the effort of the delusional among of — of all flavors — to impose their delusions on others as an effort in TYRANNY.

ld

September 12th, 2012
11:36 am

Don’t Tread @ 11:28: well said

Anyone that claims to be so personally offended by what someone else says and is convinced that they can use that offense to justify murder with impunity is not only seriously insecure and lacking personal self esteem but delusional to the point of a form of insanity.

ld

September 12th, 2012
11:39 am

Malcontent @ 11:02

It is regretable that there are zealots that are so easily offended by someone else exercising their right of free speech.

honested

September 12th, 2012
11:44 am

don’t tread,

Citizens United was just one case, poorly supported and improperly decided.
To assume it will not be revisited (especially in light of the abuses currently being proffered by the ‘empowered minority’) is folly.

After all, there is still the ‘let them eat cake’ solution.

Shar

September 12th, 2012
11:47 am

Don’t Tread: Let ‘em spend their dough in support of anything they choose. Just don’t let them hide their names when they do it, and don’t make the US taxpayer pick up the tax-exemption.

Auntie Christ @ 11:13: Yes.

yuzeyurbrane

September 12th, 2012
11:49 am

Romney’s allegations are just more partisan bs. As to Handel, per the separate AJC piece on her book, she simply confirms that she led Komen into the political swamp of abortion politics. Most of Planned Parenthood’s budget has nothing to do with abortion but addresses other important women’s health issues such as cancer prevention and cure. Handel’s problem was that her main allegiance was not to Komen’s main mission, cancer prevention, but to the Republican agenda of pandering to the anti-abortion extremists. She is a politician and obviously did, and still does, see this as a smart move for her personal political future as well. And she got caught. Put on your big boy pants, Karen. As to her comments about the political culture at the state capitol, I have seen it up close and I agree. The obvious solution is for voters to turn out the offenders. Apparently, she was not up to it and lost.

[...] The timeline: embassy statement –> attack –> Romney Statement –> White House remarks [...]

honested

September 12th, 2012
11:54 am

yuzeyurbrane,

Luckily for handel (unluckily for the rest of us) she lives in a State where being a dishonest manipulative crook does not preclude one from public office.

Auntie Christ

September 12th, 2012
11:57 am

honested
September 12th, 2012
11:54 am

yuzeyurbrane,

Luckily for handel (unluckily for the rest of us) she lives in a State where being a dishonest manipulative crook does not preclude one from public office.
**********************

Actually, I think that is a prerequisite.

GaBlue

September 12th, 2012
12:03 pm

Bullies… Yes, there are a few right here in Georgia, stealing databases with doctors’ personal information from a professional organization’s office, setting fire to health services clinics, authoring bills regulating medical practices without having any medical training whatsoever, and showing up at the Capitol day after day, getting in legislators’ faces, and threatening them with continued harassment if they don’t acquiesce to whatever badly-written bill they offer, no matter whom it hurts. Poor Ms.Handel. Was she bullied into joining these self-appointed judges? Or did she offer it all up to them willingly? Bless her heart.

jebbery

September 12th, 2012
12:09 pm

“Smells like Israeli provocation to me”

Want to know what’s “regrettable”…that some Americans, like you “J Throck” whatever share this mentality that Israel is somehow the cause of any and every Islamic extremist attack upon innocent people. Guess what buddy, Islamic extremists and even many moderates in Iran, Egypt, Libya, Syria, et al HATE Americans just as much as Israelis and would blow you or I up in a heartbeat given the chance.

“Why not be sorry about it?”

Are you kidding me? Show contrition to people acting like savages who storm our embassy, kill our ambassador?!?!? On 9/11? Are you serious?

Meanwhile, Obama’s current posture on foreign policy is weaker and more wishy washy than even Canada.

DJ Sniper

September 12th, 2012
12:15 pm

Looks like we still have some people on this blog who didn’t actually read the timeline of events. For the uninformed, the initial statement was issued BEFORE the ambassador was killed.

And Romney’s statements aren’t going over well with either side: http://www.buzzfeed.com/bensmith/foreign-policy-hands-voice-disbelief-at-romney-cai

jebbery

September 12th, 2012
12:26 pm

I’m completely aware of the timeline bro…

You’re focused on the statement — who delivered it, when it was delivered, etc.

I’m focused on the policy because it’s weak and getting weaker each day.

honested

September 12th, 2012
12:30 pm

jebbery,

Get this straight:
An ardent ‘Israeli Jew’ hiding behind the freedoms granted in the United States makes an overtly inflammatory hate film (not art, not legitimate opinion, just an attempt to enrage) and ‘distributes’ it in the United States in such a way to ensure it inflames anti-American sentiment abroad.

Now the clown is ‘in hiding’ and will probably seek ‘asylum’.

Send him back home in a clearly public manner.

And cut off all United States direct aid to ALL middle eastern countries until they can display a clear sense of generally accepted civilized behavior.

Jack

September 12th, 2012
12:30 pm

I kinda wish I’d said that, Auntie Christ. I too am offended when righteous folks seem to think that I ain’t righteous enough.

DJ Sniper

September 12th, 2012
12:37 pm

Jebbery, our foreign policy is fine. What’s not fine is the epic fail that Romney has committed regarding this whole incident. And as I said before, it was Romney’s own spokesperson who said that foreign policy is just a “shiny object” to distract voters.

jebbery

September 12th, 2012
12:38 pm

Yes…I agree. We should definitely make an example of this person by deny him the right to free speech and deporting him. Then, we should cut all ties and aid to the ONLY Middle Eastern ally we have.

We should definitely do that. Definitely.

Bernie

September 12th, 2012
12:39 pm

Mitt again signals the dog whistles to the Religious Conservative right wing of the Republican Party. A quiet message of the ” APOCALYPSE is ALL MOST HERE” do you want me or that BLACK MAN in the white House who does not know what he is doing?

This was Mitts message today. one of political grandstanding of the highest order. A message to further stoke division overseas and here at home. A division he wants to encourage, thinking that it all will somehow play to his advantage. His response is filled with HOLLOW SHOUTS of a Bellicose nature to incite more WAR for the American people without a care at all of the consequences that would be derived of such action.

We as Americans should reject such behavior and step back and make a fully informed assessment of the problem at Hand.

I trust President Obama’s wise and steady Leadership over one Mitt Romney, whose acts once again will reflects a VOLATILE and UNWISE reactionary behavior.

Mitt its time to SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE! More American Lives are at stake this very moment. something he has no care or concern for obviously.

Carol

September 12th, 2012
12:44 pm

The religous intolerance in American is just amazing. If an Islamic person made a movie identical to the one this idiot made the righ(wrong) would be up in arms. They would be calling for all Muslims to disavow that person. Yet there are NO calls for such because many of them believe that whatever the movie states is the truth.

The righ(wrong) believes in freedom of religion, as long as it’s their brand of Christianity. If you top it with a Israeli cherry, why it’s all the tastier.

J Throckmorton Malcontent

September 12th, 2012
12:49 pm

In this parcticular case, either an Israeli duel citizen or an American who identifies strongly with the Israelis started the whole brouhaha. It wasn’t like a Palestinian strapped on a bomb and sat on a bus full of regular Middle Eastern Joes. What acts is actual.
It’s the Xtian fundamentalists who feel they have a dog in the Israeli-Arab fight, because that’s where the Nazz is supposed to come back once the Israelis win the battle of Armageddon, right?
Not that that’s crazy talk or anything like that.
But for those of us who are more doctrinally sound Xtians, or just don’t care for ALL our constantly fighting neighbors on planet Earth,it is in no way the interest of the United States to be involved.
Let the UN declare the whole area a religious amusement park and place it under the administrationn of the Hindus and the Buddhists.

Retired Soldier

September 12th, 2012
12:58 pm

Carol-

Let’s run with your thoughts. A Libyan film maker makes an equally offensive film about Christians. Question: Would Americans storm the Libyan Embassy and kill their ambassador over a film?

Looking forward to your answer.

jebbery

September 12th, 2012
1:04 pm

“is in no way the interest of the United States to be involved”

Yes I agree. We should NOT be trying to stop Iran from developing nuclear capabilities. We should close our eyes and hope that UN sanctions (which have done NOTHING to discourage the Iranians in their quest thus far) will solve this problem.

Oh, by the way, the Hindus fight with Muslims rather frequently. Notice a pattern?

J Throckmorton Malcontent

September 12th, 2012
1:31 pm

If Iran is dumb enough to employ a nuclear weapon, they will be retaliated against and this particular problem will be solved, which is to say, replaced with a different but probably less intractable set of problems.
Muslims fight with Jews. Christians fight with Muslims. Buddhists fight with other Buddhists. King Henry fought with the Pope. Methodists fight with Baptists. The Mormons got tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail at one point. Total immersion Baptists fight with just one drop Baptists. No one fights with the snake handlers though, cause they’re some bad MFs, right there, they got the poison snakes, you know.

Committed to freedom

September 12th, 2012
1:34 pm

Has anyone appologized for our financial, military, torture training, etc. support of the two regimes that once ruled Egypt and Lybia? Just wondering. American history doesn’t begin on 9-11 and the amount of misery the US has caused in the middle east and around the world with our foreign policy, foreign aid, and CIA meddling in other country’s affairs is definitely more than most americans are willing to come to terms with.

Baron DeKalb

September 12th, 2012
1:36 pm

I wonder what the reaction of the US public and political establishment would be if Iran tried to stop us from making nuclear weapons. Our hamfisted and hypocritical approach to dealing with other countries does a lot to fuel the anti-American feeling in the world. Without the Iraq invasion and Guantanamo (actions which vaporized the considerable sympathy that we enjoyed around the world after 9/11), nobody in Libya would be paying attention to this movie.

Malthusian way

September 12th, 2012
1:45 pm

I’ve never seen so many pansy in one place. Thanks Jim, I now know why the President is apologizing…..for free speech. Just GUTLESS!

Retired Soldier

September 12th, 2012
1:48 pm

Baron-

You raise an interesting question. The U.S. has used nukes once, to end the war quickly with Japan. Since 45 the U.S. has not used them. Now the question to you.

Which would you prefer to have and trust to have these weapons, the United States or a country that denies the genocide of the Jews in WWII and is the primary sponsor of terrorism in the world today. Your answer is?