But Secretary of State Hillary Clinton echoed the embassy message to "deplore" free speech. Clinton said: "Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind."
Actually, the nation's founding commitment is to religious "liberty." It's important to realize that Clinton supports an anti-liberty, U.N. anti-blasphemy resolution designed to curb criticism of Islam, advocating the circumvention of the First Amendment through what she calls "plain old-fashioned peer pressure and shaming." Assaults on sovereign territory, it would seem, simply go too far.
Then came details of the assault in Libya. Addressing Libya only, President Obama also inserted the government into free speech, while criticizing the violence (and taking no media questions). "While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others," he said, "we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants."
Afghan President Hamid Karzai weighed in, denouncing the "heinous act" -- the Muhammad movie! -- and calling for "efforts to prevent" its release and other restrictions on the lawful activities of its producer and pastor Terry Jones, who endorsed the movie. Karzai ignored both attacks on the United States.
Similarly, Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood president of Egypt (who denies that al-Qaida attacked the U.S. on 9/11, by the way), directed the Egyptian Embassy in Washington to "take legal action" against the movie's producers. Morsi doesn't seem to understand First Amendment protections; of course, neither does the Obama administration. (Maybe they will discuss a "solution" to free speech when Obama hosts Morsi at the White House this month.)
Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil asked for similar action "within the framework of international charters that criminalize acts that stir strife on the basis of race, color or religion." This is a direct appeal to hold Americans accountable to the U.N. blasphemy resolution that Hillary Clinton, along with the Islamic bloc, has championed, despite its repressive controls on free speech.
The administration response gets worse. Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey telephoned Jones to implore him to withdraw his endorsement of the Muhammad movie to "prevent" violence in Afghanistan. Apparently, Dempsey and the administration he serves believe a movie blurb is a self-firing assault weapon, and Islamic law nullifies the First Amendment.
In a Wednesday press conference, Mitt Romney stated: "America will not tolerate attacks against our citizens and against our embassies. We'll defend also our constitutional rights of speech and assembly and religion .... We stand for the principles our Constitution protects. We encourage other nations to understand and respect the principles of our Constitution, because we recognize that these principles are the ultimate source of freedom for individuals around the world."
At least one American leader is willing to defend our country and Constitution.