September 12, 2012
Washington, D.C. – This morning Congressman Jeff Fortenberry condemned the killings of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya and three other U.S. diplomats.
"Last year, an intense debate was underway in Congress as to how to respond to the turmoil in Libya. The imminent slaughter of the people of Benghazi by former dictator Gaddafi led the United States to sustain a NATO-led coalition to stop the bloodshed. Now our Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, is dead – killed by the very people we went there to save.
"Americans can tolerate ingratitude; Americans can tolerate insult; but Americans cannot tolerate the senseless killing of the official representative of our country and three other diplomatic personnel. The governing structures of Libya must respond in the strongest way. They should publicly state their condemnation and their commitment to restoring order.
"Democracy is not an election – it is the understanding of the protection of the inherent dignity and rights of each person, supported by the structures that bring about the just rule of law. We honor Ambassador Stevens, Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith, and two others whose name I do not yet have, for their heroic service. May they rest in peace."
Stevens is the first U.S. ambassador to be killed by hostile forces since 1979, when U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Adolph Dubs was kidnapped and later killed by gunfire.
Fortenberry is the Vice-Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights.