Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham-Clinton, spoke on Wednesday morning about the recent killing of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three embassy staffers in Libya.
During a press conference, Clinton said emotionally, "Our hearts break" over the killing of 52-year-old Stevens and three others, who died in an attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi Tuesday.
The American consulate was reportedly attacked by an angry mob firing machine guns and wielding knifes and swords ostensibly because they were upset over a film they felt disrespected the Prophet Muhammad.
Stevens and the other staffers were assassinated when they reportedly tried to evacuate the embassy and a rocket launcher was fired, turning the building into a blazing death trap.
Clinton, with her eyes tearing up, sang the praises of Ambassador Stevens, whom she described as "brilliant," and totally dedicated to his country. She said he leaves behind his wife and two sons, who will grow up knowing their father was a brave and tireless hero. This is the first assassination of an American diplomat in the Middle East since 1979.
Secretary Clinton said the attacks "should shock the conscience of all people of faith around the world" for it was a senseless act of violence that will not be tolerated.
"How could this happen?" Clinton asked, adding that it is confounding that a country America helped liberate, could have some citizens who would carry out these kinds of shameful vicious acts. She said this showed the magnitude and complexities of the world we live in.
She added that the attack and killings were carried out by a "small and savage group, not the people of Libya." Others are not so sure and talk of Al Qaeda being behind the violence, has started in the rumor mill. Reports say the embassy attack seemed too well organised to be just an angry mob responding to an anti-Muslim film. Then there is the coinciding of the killings with September 11 anniversary. President Obama has ordered security to be beefed up for Americans currently in Libya and embassies around the world.
Meanwhile in the Gaza Strip, there were additional riots by bands of protesting Palestinians carrying weapons of swords, axes and black flags,who were also angry over the film promoted by Egyptian-born Christian Morris Sadek. Protesters also hacked Sadek's picture to bits in their rage.
In Egypt, a few hours before the killings in Libya, protesters had climbed the walls of the U.S. embassy there, where they dragged down the America flag to replace it with a black Muslim banner.
Though Clinton was quick to point out that the violence against the American embassy was not carried out by the general public, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney did not waste any time in slamming President Obama.
Giving a brief press conference on the heels of Secretary Rodham-Clinton, Romney repimanded the White House for their earlier statement, saying duing these trouble times, we "need America to lead" and not apologize and coddle those who perpetuate violence against American citizens. he had already released a scathing statement Tuesday night.
President Obama is expected to speak any moment on the turmoil in the Middle East and the killings at the U.S. consulate in Libya.