Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, running for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, spoke with thousands of enthusiastic supporters on July 6th at the Cross Insurance Arena/ Portland Civic Center. Crowd estimates range from 7500 (MPBN) to as high as 9000 (BDN).
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Rally of over 1400 supporters held 10/24/14 at Scarborough High School. Order of speakers:
1. State Senator Jim Boyle of Gorham
2. US Senate candidate Shenna Bellows
3. ME-02 2CD candidate State Senator Emily Cain
4. Congressman Chellie Pingree, 1CD
5. Former Obama admin/ SBA head Karen Mills of Brunswick
6. Gubernatorial candidate Congressman Mike Michaud
7. Former First Lady/ Secretary of State/ Potential 2016 Presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton
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Full Statement of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
on the deaths of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi, Libya.
Yesterday, our U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya was attacked. Heavily armed militants assaulted the compound and set fire to our buildings. American and Libyan security personnel battled the attackers together. Four Americans were killed. They included Sean Smith, a Foreign Service information management officer, and our Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens. We are still making next of kin notifications for the other two individuals.
This is an attack that should shock the conscience of people of all faiths around the world. We condemn in the strongest terms this senseless act of violence, and we send our prayers to the families, friends, and colleagues of those we’ve lost.
All over the world, every day, America’s diplomats and development experts risk their lives in the service of our country and our values, because they believe that the United States must be a force for peace and progress in the world, that these aspirations are worth striving and sacrificing for. Alongside our men and women in uniform, they represent the best traditions of a bold and generous nation.
In the lobby of this building, the State Department, the names of those who have fallen in the line of duty are inscribed in marble. Our hearts break over each one. And now, because of this tragedy, we have new heroes to honor and more friends to mourn.
Chris Stevens fell in love with the Middle East as a young Peace Corps volunteer teaching English in Morocco. He joined the Foreign Service, learned languages, won friends for America in distant places, and made other people’s hopes his own.
In the early days of the Libyan revolution, I asked Chris to be our envoy to the rebel opposition. He arrived on a cargo ship in the port of Benghazi and began building our relationships with Libya’s revolutionaries. He risked his life to stop a tyrant, than gave his life trying to help build a better Libya. The world needs more Chris Stevenses. I spoke with his sister, Ann, this morning, and told her that he will be remembered as a hero by many nations.
Sean Smith was an Air Force veteran. He spent 10 years as an information management officer in the State Department, he was posted at The Hague, and was in Libya on a brief temporary assignment. He was a husband to his wife Heather, with whom I spoke this morning. He was a father to two young children, Samantha and Nathan. They will grow up being proud of the service their father gave to our country, service that took him from Pretoria to Baghdad, and finally to Benghazi.
The mission that drew Chris and Sean and their colleagues to Libya is both noble and necessary, and we and the people of Libya honor their memory by carrying it forward. This is not easy. Today, many Americans are asking – indeed, I asked myself – how could this happen? How could this happen in a country we helped liberate, in a city we helped save from destruction? This question reflects just how complicated and, at times, how confounding the world can be.
But we must be clear-eyed, even in our grief. This was an attack by a small and savage group – not the people or Government of Libya. Everywhere Chris and his team went in Libya, in a country scarred by war and tyranny, they were hailed as friends and partners. And when the attack came yesterday, Libyans stood and fought to defend our post. Some were wounded. Libyans carried Chris’ body to the hospital, and they helped rescue and lead other Americans to safety. And last night, when I spoke with the President of Libya, he strongly condemned the violence and pledged every effort to protect our people and pursue those responsible.
The friendship between our countries, borne out of shared struggle, will not be another casualty of this attack. A free and stable Libya is still in America’s interest and security, and we will not turn our back on that, nor will we rest until those responsible for these attacks are found and brought to justice. We are working closely with the Libyan authorities to move swiftly and surely. We are also working with partners around the world to safeguard other American embassies, consulates, and citizens.
There will be more time later to reflect, but today, we have work to do. There is no higher priority than protecting our men and women wherever they serve. We are working to determine the precise motivations and methods of those who carried out this assault. Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior, along with the protest that took place at our Embassy in Cairo yesterday, as a response to inflammatory material posted on the internet. America’s commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear – there is no justification for this, none. Violence like this is no way to honor religion or faith. And as long as there are those who would take innocent life in the name of God, the world will never know a true and lasting peace.
It is especially difficult that this happened on September 11th. It’s an anniversary that means a great deal to all Americans. Every year on that day, we are reminded that our work is not yet finished, that the job of putting an end to violent extremism and building a safe and stable world continues. But September 11th means even more than that. It is a day on which we remember thousands of American heroes, the bonds that connect all Americans, wherever we are on this Earth, and the values that see us through every storm. And now it is a day on which we will remember Sean, Chris, and their colleagues.
May God bless them, and may God bless the thousands of Americans working in every corner of the world who make this country the greatest force for peace, prosperity, and progress, and a force that has always stood for human dignity – the greatest force the world has ever known. And may God continue to bless the United States of America.
Right-Wing USA Extremists Create Inflammatory Anti-Muslim Clip > Tensions Rise in Middle East> U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, Other Staff Killed in Benghazi Embassy Attack> GOP Politicizes Situation Immediately
UPDATED: It is now being reported that troops are on their way to Libya. Hearing numbers from 50 to now 200 troops, via MSNBC.
When 1 person sets dominoes into motion, they can ALL fall. And right now, we are seeing that play out with horrific results on the world stage.
It all started with Pastor Terry Jones in Florida, long known as being one of America’s most inflammatory figures, and a California film-maker. They got it into their heads to make a lil film viciously slamming Islam– and a YouTube clip of the project went wild via the Internet, on the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, despite an earlier pledge of silence on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, on Tuesday night issued the following statement:
“I’m outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American consulate worker in Benghazi. It’s disgraceful that the Obama Administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.”
Not to be left out, RNC Chair Reince Priebus weighed in on Twitter:
Obama sympathizes with attackers in Egypt.Sad and pathetic.
— Reince Priebus (@Reince) September 12, 2012
Wow. That both the RNC and their presidential candidate are so willing to expose their own ignorance in both foreign policy issues as complicated as the nuanced layers of diplomacy, is staggering and clearly illustrate that neither is prepared to lead on an international level. Romney is being widely panned for his eagerness to speak out so quickly.
Watch this clip, for a solid overview of the resulting violence (via CNN):
Overnight it was learned that among those killed in the Benghazi U.S. Embassy attack was the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens:
U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens was killed when Libyan militants stormed the U.S. consulate in Benghazi Tuesday night. Stevens, 52, died as 20 gun-wielding attackers descended on the U.S. consulate, firing automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades, Libya’s Deputy Interior Minister Wanis al-Sharif told a news conference in Benghazi.
The militants burned down at least one building in the attack. It’s not clear whether Stevens was killed by smoke inhalation or was in a car, which may have been hit by a mortar, as he tried to escape. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith died from smoke inhalation during the attack. Two more Americans, possibly guards who were trying to get Stevens out of the area, were also killed.
It is with profound sadness that I share the news of the death of four American personnel in Benghazi, Libya, yesterday. Among them were United States Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith. We are still making next of kin notifications for the other two individuals. Our hearts go out to all their families and colleagues.
A 21-year veteran of the Foreign Service, Ambassador Stevens died last night from injuries he sustained in the attack on our office in Benghazi.
I had the privilege of swearing in Chris for his post in Libya only a few months ago. He spoke eloquently about his passion for service, for diplomacy and for the Libyan people. This assignment was only the latest in his more than two decades of dedication to advancing closer ties with the people of the Middle East and North Africa, which began as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco. As the conflict in Libya unfolded, Chris was one of the first Americans on the ground in Benghazi. He risked his own life to lend the Libyan people a helping hand to build the foundation for a new, free nation. He spent every day since helping to finish the work that he started. Chris was committed to advancing America’s values and interests, even when that meant putting himself in danger.
Sean Smith was a husband and a father of two, who joined the Department ten years ago. Like Chris, Sean was one of our best. Prior to arriving in Benghazi, he served in Baghdad, Pretoria, Montreal and most recently The Hague.
All the Americans we lost in yesterday’s attacks made the ultimate sacrifice. We condemn this vicious and violent attack that took their lives, which they had committed to helping the Libyan people reach for a better future.
America’s diplomats and development experts stand on the front lines every day for our country. We are honored by the service of each and every one of them.
It is now being reported on MSNBC that Mitt Romney has issued yet another statement this morning, standing by his earlier statement. He is speaking live at a campaign stop in Jacksonville and doubling down on his attacks upon both President Obama and reinforcing his previous stance. Some of his remarks:
It’s never too early for the United States government to condemn attacks on Americans and to defend our values. The White House distanced itself last night from the statement saying it wasn’t cleared by Washington. That reflects the mixed signals they are sending to the world. The attacks in Libya and Egypt underscore that the world remains a dangerous place and that American leadership is still sorely needed.
The White House has issued the following statement from the President; he will be addressing the nation at 10:35 this morning:
Statement by the President on the Attack in Benghazi
I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Right now, the American people have the families of those we lost in our thoughts and prayers. They exemplified America’s commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe, and stand in stark contrast to those who callously took their lives.
I have directed my Administration to provide all necessary resources to support the security of our personnel in Libya, and to increase security at our diplomatic posts around the globe. While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants.
On a personal note, Chris was a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States. Throughout the Libyan revolution, he selflessly served our country and the Libyan people at our mission in Benghazi. As Ambassador in Tripoli, he has supported Libya’s transition to democracy. His legacy will endure wherever human beings reach for liberty and justice. I am profoundly grateful for his service to my Administration, and deeply saddened by this loss.
The brave Americans we lost represent the extraordinary service and sacrifices that our civilians make every day around the globe. As we stand united with their families, let us now redouble our own efforts to carry their work forward.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )