While presiding over a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this afternoon, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) made the following remarks about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
"Today, the Senate Foreign Relations committee mourns the loss of four brave Americans in Libya, including our Ambassador John Christopher Stevens. As many of you probably know, Ambassador Stevens was very close to this committee. He was a Pearson Fellow. He worked for Senator Lugar, our ranking member. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith and two other victims have not yet been officially named out of respect for the need to contact their next of kin.
"I strongly condemn, what the President has already correctly defined, as an outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi. This is a tragic loss and our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of the victims.
"I, like other members of this committee, had met with Ambassador Stevens to discuss the changes occurring in Libya. He had expressed a hope that Libya would emerge a strong democratic state, which respected the rule of law and the principles of freedom and justice that we as Americans cherish. Ambassador Stevens knew there was much work to be done. I have no doubt, as President Obama has stated, 'His legacy will endure wherever human beings reach for liberty and justice.'
"Before we begin this hearing to consider the nominations of three other Americans who continue to serve our country courageously, I would like to ask the committee to take a moment of silence to remember and honor the Americans who were unjustly killed in Libya, and all the other Americans who serve our country overseas everyday. These individuals have all made extraordinary sacrifices and their service deserves our recognition."