Moving quickly to make a political point following yesterday's attacks on the US diplomatic missions in Egypt and Libya, Mitt Romney called an early US statement "disgraceful" for "sympathizing" with protesters. A statement released in Cairo shortly after angry demonstrators began to gather at the embassies referred to an anti-Muslim film posted online that triggered the protests, and said that the US condemns "the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims." The statement was posted hours before an American State Department officer was shot to death as suspected members of the radical Islamist group Ansar al-Sharia torched and looted the US consulate 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," said Romney.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in a statement released about the same time as Romney's, condemned the attack in Libya "in the strongest terms." Some have "sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet," Clinton said. "The US deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind." The White House condemned Romney for launching a political attack in the wake of tragedy. Americans worldwide are being warned by the State Department to take extra precautions in the wake of the violence, reports CNN. The filmmaker of the controversial anti-Islam movie, 56-year-old Israeli Sam Bacile, is in hiding, AP reports. The film reportedly depicts the Prophet Mohammed as a child molester, womanizer, and killer.