Attacks by protestors on U.S. embassies in Egypt and Libya are spurring various reactions around the nation. U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens was killed Tuesday night as protestors stormed the U.S. Consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi.
Third District Congressman Jeff Duncan, a Republican, said he wanted to see a strong statement from the Commander-in-Chief.
“That’s sovereign U.S territory. That embassy or that consulate is just like invading or attacking the United States itself,” Duncan told Greenwood radio station WCRS. “They desecrated our United States flag yesterday. They killed the ambassador, who is the Ambassador of the United States, but he’s also the President’s envoy.”
In a press conference Wednesday, President Obama condemned what he called an “outrageous attack.” “We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act,” the President told reporters.
Reports suggest the attacks at both embassies were apparently sparked by anger over the anti-Islam online film ‘Innocence of Muslims’ that was produced by a U.S-Israeli filmmaker. Prior to the attacks, the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt issued a statement condemning the film, calling it, “an effort by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.”
Duncan says the statement, he describes as an apology, was unnecessary.
“This is something that the United States government had nothing to do with, and that’s the act of an independent filmmaker who filmed something and put it out there that caused all this uproar. We shouldn’t have apologized for that,” says Duncan.
An administration official told media at the White House that no one in Washington approved the statement before it was released and it doesn’t reflect the views of the U.S. government.
Meanwhile, U.S Sen. Lindsey Graham made it clear that he felt a small minority was behind the attacks. “What happened doesn’t represent the spirit of the Libyan revolution or the people,” he told Fox News, “I know that, because I’ve been there.”
Graham said Ambassador Stevens was one of Libya’s best allies. “What happened doesn’t represent the Libyan people or the movement that Chris gave his life for. We’re not going to disengage because of a bunch of thugs who kill wonderful people.”
Graham added that he worried the Obama Administration was “disengaging” from the Middle East and said the U.S. needed to lead the region in the aftermath of the Arab Spring.
Anne Eller, WCRS, contributed to this report.