I must take issue with your Sept. 14 editorial, “Wrong tack by Romney,” in which you criticized Mitt Romney for making a statement that was critical of the American embassy in Cairo over its condemnation of a controversial film denigrating Mohammed and Islam in general. Romney was absolutely correct in his statement. The statement issued by the embassy, while it did not formally apologize for the film, was very apologetic in tone. The statement condemned the film but failed to condemn (or even mention) the attacks on the embassies in Egypt and Libya or the murder of four Americans. The issue of freedom of speech was given in a weak and backhanded matter and, in fact, suggests that freedom of speech is not extended to criticism of religion.
Now, let’s look at Romney’s statement, which consisted of two sentences. In the first sentence he expressed outrage on the attacks on the embassies and the murder of four Americans including the ambassador to Libya. In the second sentence he stated that it was disgraceful for the administration’s first response not to condemn the attacks, but sympathize with the attackers.
While the embassy statement cannot be directly attributed to the president, the embassy and its consulates are part of the executive branch and the president is ultimately responsible for what they say and do. Additionally, the statement (which is considered the official position of the American government) remained on the embassy’s website for several hours, and President Barack Obama never bothered to order it removed until the criticisms started pouring in.
What is surprising in all this is that the outrage by the media at Romney’s statement far surpasses its outrage at the attacks on our embassies and the deaths of four Americans. Even Kirstin Powers, a liberal Democratic strategist and journalist, has described the outrage over Romney’s statement as “insane” and completely overshadowing the outrage over the attacks and the deaths of the four Americans. Powers went on to state that if all this had occurred during the Bush administration, the response by the press would have been “completely, radically different” with questions as to how this happened and what could have been done to prevent it — questions that are not being asked today.
retired state employee/Department of Corrections