Chris Stevens, an American who risked his life to help Libyans overthrow dictator Moammar Gadhafi, was killed overnight in the former rebel capital of Benghazi -- a city he helped save, making it an especially tragic place for him to die, President Obama said Wednesday.
An Arabic speaker who loved Libya and understood it deeply, Stevens died along with three other Americans when an angry mob stormed the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. He was the first U.S. ambassador to be killed in the line of duty since 1979.
A pro-al Qaeda group responsible for a previous armed assault on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi is the chief suspect in Tuesday's attack, sources tracking militant Islamist groups in eastern Libya say.
Thompson: "Yesterday, our nation's Consulate in Benghazi, Libya was heinously attacked by a mob of armed extremists, resulting in the tragic murder of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three of his staff members. I condemn these despicable acts in the strongest possible terms.
"As Governor of Wisconsin and Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human services, I had the privilege of working extensively with, and developing a deep respect for America's diplomats serving abroad, and the Military and State Department security personnel who protect them. The murder of Ambassador Stevens and his staff is an egregious act of terrorism that will not be tolerated."
Baldwin: "I join all Americans in mourning the tragic loss of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith, and the two other victims who lost their lives in service to our country. The senseless, violent actions of an angry mob in Benghazi are an attack not only on courageous Americans, but on American values and our ongoing efforts to promote peace. I join President Obama in condemning this act of violence.
Our diplomatic corps and the Marines charged with protecting them represent the very best of our nation and its values. They and their families around the world often serve under very difficult conditions and at great personal risk. I offer my condolences to the families of Ambassador Stevens, Foreign Service Officer Smith, and the other victims, and express my deepest gratitude to them, their families, and their colleagues for their service to our country.”