US Ambassador, three other Americans, assassinated in Libya

US Ambassador to Libya John Christopher Stevens and three other embassy employees were assassinated as their car was ambushed by gunmen while fleeing the US consulate in Benghazi, which was under attack by armed Islamists.

The consulate was burned to the ground.

Washington Post:

U.S. Ambassador to Libya John Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed Tuesday in an assault on the American consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi, the White House said.

In a statement issued by the White House early Wednesday morning, President Obama said he had directed an increase in security at U.S. diplomatic posts around the world. CNN reported that the Defense Department has dispatched two Marine anti-terrorism security teams to Libya to reinforce security there.

Stevens, 52, and the others were fleeing the consulate when a rocket-propelled grenade struck their vehicle, news reports from Benghazi said.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton identified one of the dead as Sean Smith, a Foreign Service information management officer. The names of the other two people killed were being withheld pending notification of their families.  [...]

Both the Egyptian and Libyan governments condemned the violence outside the American diplomatic compounds. But local security officials in both countries appeared slow to provide protection for the American diplomatic installations, and have issued no firm statements explaining the violence or expressing strong concern.

The incidents raised the question of to what extent governments in countries where suspicions of the United States run high are willing or able to provide security for American diplomats.

In a news conference in Tripoli Wednesday, Libya's prime minister and parliamentary speaker apologized for the assault and extended sympathy for the deaths to the United States and families of the victims.

The fact that the ambassador and the other three Americans were killed while fleeing the consulate raises the question of whether he was specifically targeted for death. The attack on the consulate may have been a ruse to flush the ambassador from the compound where the gunmen, armed with RPG's, lay in wait.

But this is speculation. Few details have emerged about the ambassador's death, although the attacks seemed well coordinated for a spur of the moment protest.

And where were the police and army to protect our consulate? That facility is American soil and the host government has a responsibilty for security. In both Libya -- which is still in chaos following the fall of Gaddafi -- and Egypt -- which isn't -- there appeared to be a lack of will on the part of authorities to protect our citizens and property.

So foreign policy is about ready to enter the campaign for president in a big way -- something that we hope Mitt Romney is prepared for. On the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, America was attacked again -- just as deliberately, just as cold bloodedly.

The Egyptian Islamists who raised the black flag of al-Qaeda over our embassy after tearing down the American flag and ripping it to shreds and the Libyan thugs who murdered our ambassador could care less about some pitifully amateur film that offends them Since when do these fanatics need an excuse to commit violence against the US? The attacks were designed to show US - the Obama administration's - impotence in the face of radical Islamism.

In this, they were successful beyond their dreams.