The Obama administration is mourning the deaths of four U.S. officials in Libya, killed amid protests over an anti-Islamic movie. Their deaths are sparking questions about the U.S. mission in the North African nation, the after effects of the Arab Spring and President Obama's leadership amid attacks from his Republican rival. Josh Robin has the story.
LIBYA -- Flags in Washington are at half-mast. President Obama speaks to the nation, then comforts a shaken State Department.
Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens is among four killed Tuesday as they tried to protect the consulate in Benghazi from a mob.
"We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act and make no mistake justice will be done. But we also know that the lives these Americans led stand in stark contrast to the live sof their attackers," Obama said.
It's not clear exactly what happened in Libya's second largest city, which NATO helped in Libya's revolution last year. There are reports the killings were planned, with the protests perhaps a pretext.
Also unknown, exactly who is the man behind the amateurish film. The movie trailer is unleashing outrage across the Arab world. The filmmaker called himself an Israeli-American, but that's now in doubt.
At home, there's a political angle. Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney is charging the Obama administration apologized for the movie before condemning the rioters.
That refers to a statement the American Embassy in Egypt released before the deaths in Libya. It was an apparent attempt to tamp down protests outside its gates by appearing to condemn the movie as insensitive to Islam.
"I think it's a terrible course for America to stand in apology for our values," Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney said.
The White House distanced itself from the Cairo statement.
Obama said, "We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence."
Obama is sending 50 Marines to Libya and boosting security at other embassies.