Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) said this morning that the “stupidity” of the filmmaker whose Muhammad film sparked mob violence is no excuse for the deadly attacks on U.S. installations in Libya and Egypt.
“The violence in Cairo and Benghazi is unacceptable and unjustifiable. The stupidity of one filmmaker, no matter how offensive, is not now, and never, a rationale for violence,” Kerry said in a statement. “A despicable act like this hurts us all –Americans and peaceful people who aspire to build their own democracy.”
“This is one of those moments when Americans must unite as Americans. It is exactly the wrong time to throw political punches. It is a time to restore calm and proceed wisely.”
Kerry called the death of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others “heartbreaking.”
“It’s easy for a lot of people to forget that our diplomats are on the frontlines of the world’s most dangerous places and they’re there trying to make the world safer at great risk to themselves and their families. Chris Stevens was all that and more,” he said. “He was a foreign service professional down to his toes, a guy who had served on the Foreign Relations Committee and embraced tough odds and tough assignments overseas. He had the guts and grit to serve as our envoy during the rebellion, and his presence there reminded Libyans that America stood with them for freedom in the face of violence”
“He was continuing that noble work as Ambassador with enormous skill,” Kerry added. “He was an important part of the work we are doing in Libya, and we will not let this deplorable violence turn back the progress he helped make possible.”