U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney (FL-16), a member of the House Armed Services and Intelligence Committees, today issued the following statement:
"The events in the Middle East over the last few days highlight how the Arab Spring has devolved into an "Arab Fall.' Sadly, no one can say that these acts of violence were wholly unforeseen.
"When the Obama Administration failed to seek Congressional authority for military action in Libya, he deprived the American people of the full, deliberative debate they deserved. We supported the rebels without taking into account their individual values or motives, and without understanding their ability or plan to govern. We helped these individuals topple a dictator, but then stood on the sidelines as radical extremists assumed power. It should come as no surprise that these movements in the region have given way to violent, anti-American actions.
"The murderers who killed our citizens and the thugs who stormed our embassies may claim their motivation was in response to a movie, or because that day marked the anniversary of 9/11, but the reality is that they attacked us not because of a particular incident, but because they have a pervasive and consistent hatred of who we are as Americans and what we stand for. Projecting weakness will not make us safer or discourage attacks against us. We need to show leadership and strength by demonstrating that we will not tolerate violent acts against our people, and we will not leave our citizens or our interests vulnerable to an attack."