Ruppersberger: Fatal Attacks Against Americans In Middle East ‘Very Disheartening’
WASHINGTON (WJZ)—In Washington, the House and Senate intelligence committees are getting regular briefings as investigators gather details of the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya.
Political reporter Pat Warren spoke to Maryland Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger, the ranking member of the House committee.
The Tuesday night violence at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya was reportedly a two-part operation carried out by heavily armed militants, who killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans at the consulate and a safe house.
“I was contacted by our intelligence community very early in the morning,” Ruppersberger said.
It was shortly after 6 a.m. Maryland Congressman Ruppersberger was preparing for an early morning meeting on Capitol Hill when he got a phone call and his first briefing.
“I have been to a lot of these hot spots,” he said. “I’ve been to Libya. I’ve been to Egypt. I’ve been to Yemen. When you see these individuals who work for the state department, these men and women are out there and they put their lives on the line and this occurs, it’s very disheartening,” Ruppersberger said.
Muslim protesters set fires near the U.S. embassy in Cairo. Protesters climbed the gates of the embassy in Yemen. The violence was reportedly triggered by an anti-Muslim video that went viral on YouTube.
“I think Hillary Clinton has said this clearly, we denounce the film. The film is wrong. But we have First Amendment rights in this country. No matter what is in the film, that is no excuse for violence, violence in killing Americans or anybody,” Ruppersberger said.
“I want to assure you we will bring their killers to justice,” said President Barack Obama.
President Obama has ordered increased security at U.S. sites worldwide.
“We are getting briefed almost every hour to make sure this violence against America is going to stop,” Ruppersberger said.
The FBI has opened a full investigation of the deaths of the four Americans killed in the embassy attack in Libya.