White House and State Department officials continue to take severe criticism for overestimating compound security at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya – with one email exchange between a reporter and a State Department aide deteriorating into expletives after the reporter continued to poke holes in the administration's story.
Even after administration officials were forced to change their story about the origin of the outbreak in Libya from one of happenstance to admitting the attacks were planned, some reporters continued to press the issue of how secure the U.S. embassy in Benghazi was, or if there was any at all.
One Sunday morning email conversation between BuzzFeed correspondent Michael Hastings and Philippe Reines, a longtime personal aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may have brought the tension on this issue between the media and Obama administration to head. more >>
In a speech at the United Nations Tuesday, President Barack Obama addressed the killing of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and riots in the Middle East. After suggesting that the riots were caused by a film offensive to Islam, Obama said that the United States respects the values of religious freedom and free speech, which are universal values codified in the U.S. Constitution.
Obama began an ended his speech praising the life and service of Stevens.
Stevens "embodied the best of America," Obama said, because of the principles he stood for -- "a belief that individuals should be free to determine their own destiny, and live with liberty, dignity, justice, and opportunity." more >>
Former President Bill Clinton commented on the current unrest in the Middle East in a recent interview, suggesting that religious extremists living in shame-based cultures are unlikely to survive the 21st century.
"If you live in a shame-based society where you think nothing good's gonna happen, the temptation is to wait for somebody to say something you'd find offensive and you can lash out against it. But free people absorb destructive things and refuse to be destroyed," Clinton said in an interview with "CBS This Morning" co-hosts Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell.
"You cannot live in a shame-based world. You won't make it in the 21st century," he added. more >>
A group of soldiers on patrol in Afghanistan discovered a baby wrapped in a towel and left abandoned near a military base, according to a Defense Ministry spokesman. The two-day-old child was named Pola by the unit of Polish soldiers who found her.
The unit of Polish soldiers were reportedly doing a safety check of a route near the Waghez military base when the baby was discovered on a side road, according to The Associated Press, which cited Defense Ministry spokesman Janusz Walczak in its report.
The troops, who were reportedly patrolling the area for improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, were at first cautious when they discovered Baby Pola wrapped in a towel. more >>
Controversial Christian minister Terry Jones and seven Copts living in the U.S. have been charged by Egypt's prosecutor general with insulting the prophet Muhammad and inciting sectarian strife due to their alleged involvement with an anti-Islam film produced in the U.S. and cited as the cause of violent protests in several Middle East and North African nations.
The prosecutor general has reportedly requested that all eight individuals be arrested by Interpol and brought to Egypt to face those charges, which also include threatening the country's independence and peace.
Jones, based in Florida, was named along with Morris Sadek, Morkos Aziz Khalil, Fekry Abdelmessieh, Nabil Adib Bassida, Nahed Metwally, Nader Farid Nicola and Elia Bassily, according to Egyptian and U.S. media. more >>
Conservative critics are still pressuring the Obama administration's foreign policy in the wake of continued Arab unrest in the Middle East, arguing that the protests are more an indication of weakened U.S. resolve than a reaction to a You Tube video.
After taking office, President Obama went to Egypt with a message that under his administration there would be a "mutual" respect between the U.S. and its Arab allies. But since the killings of four American diplomats in Libya and unrest throughout most of the Middle East, those who see no dividend to a U.S. investment are challenging Obama.
"What we are seeing on the screen is the meltdown, collapse of the Obama policy on the Muslim world," columnist Charles Krauthammer said on the panel segment of Fox News' "Special Report" Monday night. more >>