"Today we pause to mark the death of the United States Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, in an unjustified attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi. Also killed were Information Management Officer Sean Smith and two other American colleagues whose names have not yet been released," said Cong. Chris Smith (NJ-04), chairman of the House subcommittee on human rights and senior member of Foreign Affairs Committee.
"Ambassador Stevens had served throughout the Middle East and northern Africa. Beginning as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco, his entire career of public service was devoted to advancing America's goals of peace, democracy, rule of law, friendship, and understanding in the region. He had traveled to Benghazi to open a new American cultural center, a visible symbol of our desire to establish ties of friendship, education, exchange, and mutual understanding with a nation embarked on a new history free of dictatorship. For those of us who work in the halls of Congress, we also remember Chris Stevens as a Pearson Fellow on the staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
"Sean Smith's career in the State Department had already taken him to South Africa, Iraq, Canada, and the Netherlands before he began his work in Libya. As an information management officer, his work helped the U.S. Mission to Libya communicate with the world. He too was building a partnership between the United States and Libya in its transition to democracy.
"We mourn the death of these distinguished members of the Foreign Service, whose dedication to our nation often takes them to difficult and dangerous parts of the world. They are Americans who answer the ancient call, "whom shall I send, who will go for us?" with "send me."
"I offer my heartfelt condolences and prayers to the victims' families. There must be an immediate assessment of security for our embassies, consulates and personnel overseas and those who committed these atrocities must be held accountable and brought to justice."