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