Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-02) released the following statement in response to yesterday's attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya:
"On the anniversary of September 11th, a day that will forever frame America memory and discourse about the threat of radical ideologies across the Middle East, we once again stand in solidarity and are reminded that our firm resolve against Islamist extremism in the Middle East is not yet complete.
"Even as we reflect on that tragic day eleven years ago, the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt and diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya were violently attacked by parts of the radical Salafi movement. My prayers and go out to the families of the four innocent Americans -- including U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens --who lost their lives as they selflessly worked on behalf of the Libyan people. This heartless and evil attack on innocent human beings starkly reveals the hateful ideology of these radical Salafis.
"As a nation, we must not play into the hands of those who actively seek to trample on the freedoms of conscience and speech of all people. I was deeply disturbed that the initial response of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo was to apologize for 'hurting the feelings of' the very extremists responsible for these violent attacks. I particularly appreciated Governor Romney's timely condemnation of this Administration's 'mixed signals.'
"We stand at a critical point in history and strong U.S. leadership is desperately needed. We are a country that strongly stands on the foundation of our First Amendment and freedom of speech for all religions.
"I urge the U.S. Administration to demand that the Libyan and Egyptian governments prosecute the perpetrators to dismantle the Salafi networks in their respective countries."