Overnight, more protests took place in the Middle East, this time in Yemen. These latest protests follow the violent protests in Egypt where citizens breached the walls of the US Embassy and took down the US flag and the armed attack on the US Consulate in Libya where US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others were assassinated. It's been discovered the attack on the US Consulate and assassination of Ambassador Stevens was a planned attack, speculated to have been organized by al-Qaeda. Below is Congressman Westmoreland's statement.
"The assassination of US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other American officials and the attacks on the US Embassy in Egypt and the US Embassy in Yemen are deplorable and I condemn them in the strongest of terms. Any attack on an American embassy or an American ambassador is an attack on this country.
"We are still learning exactly what is behind these anti-American uprisings. Initially, the news media reported it was spontaneous protests in reaction to an online anti-Muslim film that got out of hand. We have now learned the attack on the Libyan Consulate was actually a planned, armed attack by terrorists. However, at the end of the day, the "reason' for the actions by these terrorists in Libya, Egypt, and Yemen is not my primary concern. These people violated international law, they breached the walls of our embassy in a violent attack, and they have murdered four Americans, including a US Ambassador. It is shameful that there are those around the world who are trying to justify these attacks because of an online film. There is absolutely no justification for these attacks. We must hold the terrorists who committed these acts responsible.
"We cannot keep pandering to these radical regimes in the Middle East. It is unfortunate that officials in the Egyptian Embassy sent out a statement condemning some American filmmaker rather than condemning the people attacking their embassy walls. While the president didn't specifically approve that statement, those staffers are under his jurisdiction.
"The president's blame tour has done nothing but make this country look weak in the eyes of our enemies. While thankfully the intelligence community tracked down Osama bin Laden and members of our military killed him, the president taking credit for the raid and promoting it as the one and only reason to justify his foreign policy of apology shows his lack of understanding of the true threat these terrorist regimes and organizations in the Middle East pose to this country. One action of strength does not make up for almost four years of weakness.
"Joan and I send our prayers to the families of Ambassador Stevens, Sean Smith, and the other two American officials who were killed in Libya. The events around their deaths have sparked international attention, but for these families, they only care that they have lost their loved one in a violent manner far from home. I hope they can find comfort in God and I hope we can provide them closure by finding those responsible and bringing them to justice," stated Westmoreland.