Political reaction to attacks in Libya
Bob Rice and Alexis McGill Johnson discuss the political response to the Libya attacks on US officials
- Duration 16:14
- Date Sep 12, 2012
Bob Rice and Alexis McGill Johnson discuss the political response to the Libya attacks on US officials
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To my immediate right Bob -- Managing partner with tangent capital smartest man in the world to deceive -- still not true but -- his right Alexis McGill Johnson who is executive director.
With the American values in -- you could see Alexis.
-- this has become political inevitably in a political season but let's stick with a human side of this first Alexis.
This is -- -- Career diplomat a man who appeared to be loved by everybody who worked win.
And for him -- it's just a tragic loss an -- completely senseless loss of American lives.
Absolutely I mean you beyond senseless and I think one of them true lessons coming out of this is is.
Do you need.
Getting Americans to understand that the -- the powder -- that were actually sitting on in this region and the idea that there are things that that you I support free speech -- across the board that there are things that that Americans might be doing that in fact.
Are complicating very sensitive negotiations and an American lives are at risk here.
-- -- -- eight does appear that this was all inflamed.
As we were saying Greg was reporting.
Five days and -- my homage to -- movie.
Made in the United States and eighty a man who describes himself.
As an Israeli -- based in LA now apparently in hiding he's described by the Associated Press is a real estate -- That.
There is free speech.
There is insulting religion and then there is the also to being fat that completely as politicians said -- -- unjustifiable.
Moments to a religious himself yeah twelve course obviously were at a very profound level dealing with cultural conflicted -- you know.
The idea of free speech and a lot of these countries just doesn't exist I mean if you -- you grew up -- Qaddafi Libya do you get the idea of true free speech -- just don't get that idea you don't understand.
That this movie that was quote made in America.
You know literally anyone here with a few -- -- a computer could make such a -- intended out around the world so you know part of it is literally that kind of hole total misunderstanding.
A lot of people here don't understand how.
You know and into you know who -- used to watching Comedy Central.
Don't understand how an insult to religious leader could provoke that kind of response.
For those people over there don't understand how we can be producing we could be producing films like night.
It's a -- good points good points -- but let's get to the official reaction to this today.
First -- all we have -- heard from President Obama.
Who spoke in the Rose Garden of the white.
-- this morning is the president.
Since our -- The United States -- a donation -- respects all faiths.
All efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.
But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence.
-- The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts.
Already many Libyans have joined us in doing so in this attack will not break the bonds between the United States and Libya.
We understand by the way that the president is now with -- of -- Hillary Clinton at the State Department.
Addressing State Department employees that privately the press has not been allowed in for those remarks apparently.
There is a large crowd of employees gathering.
To listen to the president he -- -- that's what we're being told was a huge applause from -- -- of that.
People continuing to flow in.
We did we apparently cannot hear me he was speaking for them for quite.
A few minutes we getting some video of it but apparently we're not close enough to get the senate that I guess this is a private discussion.
Between the president and State Department employees who obviously shot but senator Secretary Clinton was actually win him at the White House -- She too spoke about this attack like the president -- echoed his remarks that justice.
Will be done none that there is no justification whatsoever.
For these attacks his second -- -- Clinton but.
Let me be clear.
There is no justification.
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 it's true and lasting peace.
Strong words and Alexis strong enough.
I think I think that those are the strongest words and then those that you know we won't be going after their killers I think really really sets the tone that this is not there there is no tolerance at all I I also think that the that message that the president sent also about the that lack of tolerance the United States is an important one as well and I think he's in that position in unique position to be able to do you got to send a signal broad.
That we want to as honor American values we need to be honoring the tolerance.
About American stands for and that we do need to be contending that those people internally as well domestically as well as.
As well the violence abroad I mean certainly the violence comes before that but again I think it's fair and -- such a sensitive situation and it's really important that we send -- signal about traction.
Although a lot of other law that will be and there are always is -- real already is that in the it would of us and elsewhere and it will be no doubt coming from.
Some Republicans as well in fact we've heard it from others that.
This is the result of the president.
-- one of the results of the president as they put it leading from behind.
In the woods of Mitt Romney governor Romney not sending -- sending mixed signals to the rest of the world.
-- -- -- And ridiculous observer just crazy.
Do you really does anyone really believe that -- the masses of those Libyans who were involved in this.
Give too -- Whether the president is pounding his chest like a gorilla or you know on his knees begging for mercy -- -- they don't care of this YouTube.
The idea that we're gonna project this into the political race -- just seems so fundamentally absurd.
-- was not something that we had much control abound we did.
Help to help the rebel forces at some point Qaddafi.
Was deposed him but you you're left with the big mess and he's in all of these former dictator ship -- left with the joint enormous mess there is no such thing as an organized state in the way we think of it.
-- armed mobs there are factions there are crazy people.
And the idea that some politician phrases something in one way vs a slightly different way we think that's gonna make any difference on the ground over there that's not.
Nuts so this LCD -- in gone -- chat he has -- strong words actions speak louder than woods should their reactions to follow those woods Alexis.
Funny so what actions.
Well I've had to rate cuts and I am I and I don't have any military expertise and to -- but yes -- -- I would I think if they're talking about going after the killers.
And the folks have been inciting these these riots and they're connected to allocated and I then I presume there actually is actually already happening because I think McCain is our -- number one.
And -- and and -- in the fight against terrorism and so presumably the president secretary of state Clinton are.
In route thinking about thinking about what what's going on right now.
I believe me you know I want to point out a couple of things and people probably not aware first of all you know what one -- this illustrates is how.
Heroic a lot of the State Department people all are really yeah I actually not get credit.
And bored doing everything they can just as -- -- our military to advance the cause of American Indians world.
And taking incredible risks that people don't appreciate.
The second point the people that appreciate I think nearly enough this.
You know you ask the security question of the few moments ago there's a big problem with the State Department -- security you know why it's called budget.
There isn't adequate budget to adequately protect.
Our diplomats around the world and what's happened in a lot of cases is we have outsourced that the protection to private companies that are simply not as good as our military.
At providing that protection so there this this proves into into real -- some real issues we have going forward.
About how diplomacy is conducted and how are diplomats are protected and.
Some of our view is weighing in Johnny -- says canned speech I'd like to see President Obama showed him some emotion one of these days.
-- Celsius -- fighting killing over religion nothing you know any reasonable -- and history -- fought over religion.
Brian McKinley says so we got to revise the constitution to -- freedom of speech unless it insults Muslims what about bill -- and his movies.
Did we storm Hollywood and killed a man because of it that -- made a very good point earlier that there is just very different.
Cultural value in in both -- these and depending where you grow up as you said you don't know much about freedom of speech if you've grown up and now.
Gaddafi Libya on the personal side again as he was saying to be at the State Department employees who do so much the ambassadors.
All of the diplomats.
Made basic common produced video before he went over to.
Libya when he was appointed.
It's well look watching you can UT -- you doing that you choose to trip for Chris Stevens.
Libya ambassador and just watch and -- the hope that he went that way it.
To look he wanted to do Alexis.
-- -- kind of gives you chills to think this is a man who just won't change.
To help Libya find its new direction in the post -- world and some extremists.
Take his life it's it's it's hard to -- work.
It's it's beyond it's beyond tragic and I and I appreciate bombing -- making that -- points about the service some allies that there actually giving campaign online and I'm in the name of building democracy.
And it's it's also not just about free speech right if it's that these people who've grown up under Qaddafi is.
Libya as he suggested also don't have ways.
Having learned that the kind of freedom of expression great I mean and so you know revolt has been their method of turning out great and so the so it's going to take some time before we actually see those and see what state building actually really means on the ground -- and about allows for that kind of expression.
All right I'm we'd play did you.
Statements from -- President Obama.
I'm -- of state Hillary Clinton in this political season -- of course.
I want to be balanced and governor Romney the Republican presidential candidate also talked about this tragic incident earlier today.
He told to the fall the president.
Have spoken and when you listen to governor Romney just bear in mind that he is web when he talks -- bank statements.
He is referencing a statement -- was put out by embassy officials in Libya.
Lost night before it was clear that American lives have been lost.
In which those officials.
Appeared to try to defuse the situation by focusing all know that attacked anti Muslim movie and by putting out a statement which called full respect.
Full all forms of religion so bad that in mind now as you listen to one governor Romney said earlier today.
We haven't really campaign for presidency -- -- states that are speaking about.
The different courses we would -- each -- with regards to the challenges that the world faces the president and I Francis had different differences of opinion.
With regards to Israel and our policies there with regards to Iran.
With regards to Afghanistan.
With regards to Syria we have many places of distinction and differences.
We joined together in the condemnation of the attacks on American embassies and the loss of American life and joined in the symptoms that sympathy for these people.
But it's also important -- important for me just as it was for the White House last night by the way.
To say that the statements.
And -- in my in my view a a disgraceful.
A statement on the part of our administration.
To apologize for American values.
We should probably point out that that statement.
From the US MB if embassy officials.
Eight a net and no form that I read it and I read the thing pretty extensively.
Said the -- sorry or said the would apologize and -- if if anything.
From my reading of it it appeared to be standing up for American values rather them apologizing for them -- that it said nobody should attack anybody's.
Religion which seems to -- support for American values.
But that aside we want you to weigh in on our question of the day should the film which by the way is cold -- one of its translations.
Innocence of Muslims be banned.
You can't say yes because it's insensitive Muslims know it's a matter of free speech or -- not shore I'm gonna take a quick look at the results here.
And as I see them now.
Of you are saying no it's a matter of free speech.
Be interesting to -- look at that to see those figures.
If it wasn't -- right attack on that christianity I want to have that would change but.
We gonna get into politics -- evolved and this is gonna become a political issue because it does.
In the eyes of some Republicans give them a chance.
To attack the president on leadership when we also have now.
The developing issue of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying.
We need a red line on Iran if you come -- this red lines on Iran you cannot give us a red light.
I think did the idea that this should shifted to a foreign policy debate is a big disaster for the Republicans number one I think that you what you're seeing from -- Romney wasn't intemperate and silly remark that he will -- I am sure.
He is already regretting using those words that -- borrow his base just falling but that is not going to win this election.
And what he he is showing frankly naive -- K.
Jumping the gun a lack of executive.
-- -- not understand the facts into -- open to react to quickly into partially when he didn't really know what was going on.
I think it shows him in a very poor -- -- Alexis this will become political should it.
-- -- I think it's revealing this man is not ready to be president I think that -- rhythm where that actual president came out.
And and talked about that -- to American values are afraid I don't know ever.
Remember intolerance being gay and -- -- value out.
You know he would eat -- I think people support free speech I would not like to see this this movie -- even though I disagree wholeheartedly with its premise and I think American value free speech.
Over any type censorship and so.
So the idea that that Mitt Romney would come out and and and focus on that as opposed to the very sensitive nature of negotiations and things that that would be happening at this time we just -- to me that he's just not yeah.
And they are using the word disgraceful in particular in that little quote from Romney I I find appalling I mean.
You know I'm generally speaking from that side of the -- but on this -- -- really drives me crazy hits and no idea what's really going on and you talk about putting American lives at risk.
The idea that you would be.
But you know -- -- Militaristic.
In this and challenge people and threaten them and try to stir up the pot is opposed to try to cool down the pot is exactly the wrong thing to do and.
All right got to wrap it up that -- you're gonna stick around Alexis that -- Johnson executive director.
The American values and Steve good to have you here -- just as we before we take a break here.
It's worth emphasizing again again as I think you both would.
We all -- free speech.
There is no justification.
-- -- In the minds of -- American for the violence that follows the exercising of free speech and that is as antithetical to our values or passing.
As limiting free speech there is no -- as Hillary Clinton a -- state.
Said I'm the president nothing justifies what was done in Libya or indeed -- of course -- it's beyond -- OK Alexis.