The US ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, was killed when the American Embassy was overrun in Benghazi. Several other embassy staffers were killed. Ambassador Stevens is the first US ambassador killed in the line of duty since 1979. There are lots of things in this world that I don’t understand. Senseless violence (or any violence for that matter) in the name of religion is sad, ironic and goes against the Judeo – Christian – Islamic heritage. The God that I worship, as a Christian, is about love, kindness and understanding. The God that I worship is supposed to be the exact same God of Islam. Then again, when you look back in history, senseless violence has followed religion everywhere. We had the Crusades. We had prolonged and extended violence in Northern Ireland as Protestants fought Catholics. In this country, the United States, we had an Al Qaeda-like terrorist organization, the Ku Klux Klan, who wrap themselves in biblical scripture to justify their acts of barbarism. We’ve also seen the rise of various extremist groups over the last decade or so and many of these groups try to use biblical scripture to justify their unjustifiable acts. (I do not want to forget to mention that other embassies were attacked in the Muslim world, including our embassy in Egypt.)
Tomorrow, or maybe later on tonight, I will talk about Mitt Romney’s senseless attack on President Obama. At some later time we will need to discuss the vulnerability of our ambassadors worldwide.
In a statement confirming the four fatalities, President Obama said he strongly condemned the killings and had ordered increased security at American diplomatic posts around the world. It was the first death of an American envoy abroad in more than two decades.
The attack at the compound in Benghazi was far more deadly than administration officials first announced on Tuesday night, when Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said one American had been killed and one injured.
Another of those killed was Sean Smith, an information management officer who joined the foreign service 10 years ago, Mrs. Clinton said in a statement. The State Department did not identify the other two, pending notification of their relatives. Mr. Smith, who was a husband and father of two, previously served in Iraq, Canada and the Netherlands.
“All the Americans we lost in yesterday’s attacks made the ultimate sacrifice,” Mrs. Clinton said. “We condemn this vicious and violent attack that took their lives, which they had committed to helping the Libyan people reach for a better future.”