Obama: Americans laid down lives 'in service to us all'
President Barack Obama speaks Friday at a ceremony in for the four Americans killed Tuesday in Benghazi.
September 14th, 2012
01:23 PM ET

Obama: Americans laid down lives 'in service to us all'

Editor's note: Several protests stemming at least in part from an anti-Islam film produced in the United States are unfolding outside U.S. embassies around the world. Friday's protests follow ones Tuesday at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, where attacks killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans.

In Tunisia, protesters have scaled a U.S. Embassy gate and set fire to cars on the property, a journalist there says. In Egypt, the influential Muslim Brotherhood canceled nationwide protests planned for Friday, but a running battle between police and protesters in Cairo continued into its fourth day.

Follow the live blog below for all of the developments around the world.

[Updated at 3:04 p.m. ET] A ceremony at Maryland's Joint Base Andrews for the returned bodies of the four Americans killed at the Benghazi consulate has ended, and the caskets are being carried to hearses. See the 2:59 and 2:51 p.m. entries for remarks by President Barack Obama, who said the four laid down their lives "in service to us all."

[Updated at 2:59 p.m. ET] President Barack Obama, at a ceremony at Maryland's Joint Base Andrews for the returned bodies of the four Americans killed at the Benghazi consulate, added:

"The United States of America will never retreat from the world. We will never stop working for the dignity and freedom that every (person) deserves. ... That’s the essence of American leadership. ... That was their work in Benghazi, and that is the work we will carry on."

At the beginning and toward the end of his remarks, Obama cited the Bible's John 15:13: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." Obama said the four killed Americans laid down their lives "in service to us all."

"Their sacrifice will never be forgotten," Obama said.

[Updated at 2:51 p.m. ET] President Barack Obama, at a ceremony for the returned bodies of the four Americans killed at the Benghazi consulate, is now eulogizing the four at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.

Ambassador Chris Stevens, Obama said, "was everything America could want in an ambassador."

"Four Americans, four patriots. They loved this country. They chose to serve it, and served it well," Obama said. "They had a mission they believed in. They knew the danger, and they accepted it. They didn't simply embrace the American ideal, they lived it; they embodied it. The courage, the hope, and yes, the idealism - that fundamental American belief that we could leave this world a little better than before."

Ex-SEALs, online gaming maven among Benghazi dead

[Updated at 2:45 p.m. ET] At a ceremony for the returned bodies of the four Americans killed at the Benghazi consulate, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said:

"Today we bring home four Americans who gave their lives for our country and our values. To the families of our fallen colleagues, I offer our most heartfelt condolences and deepest gratitude."

She saluted Sean Smith, a computer expert, as someone known as "an expert on technology by colleagues in Pretoria, Baghdad, Montreal and The Hague."

She hailed ex-Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods as someone who protected diplomatic personnel since 2010 "in dangerous posts" around the world.

"He had the hands of a healer as well as the arms of a warrior, earning distinction as a registered nurse and certified paramedic," Clinton said of Woods.

Clinton also hailed the other ex-Navy SEAL, Glen Doherty. "He, too, died as he lived, serving his country and protecting his colleagues."

Clinton said Stevens, as a diplomat, "won friends for the United States in far-flung places.” She thanked his parents, who were at the ceremony, for the "gift" that Stevens was.

The ceremony was at a hangar at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.

[Updated at 2:35 p.m. ET] The ceremony for the returned bodies of the four Americans killed at the Benghazi consulate has begun. A prayer is being offered. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will speak soon, followed by Obama.

[Updated at 2:31 p.m. ET] Marines at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland are removing from a plane the flag-draped caskets of four Americans killed in the consulate attack in Libya, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. The caskets will be placed at a hangar nearby, and President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will give remarks.

[Updated at 2:28 p.m. ET] We're awaiting a ceremony at which U.S. President Barack Obama will honor the arrival of the bodies of of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans killed in the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Penetta have entered the hangar where the ceremony will take place at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.

[Updated at 2:22 p.m. ET] Marines will take the caskets off a plane at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will give remarks. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will also be present, Pentagon spokesman George Little said.

People are seated at a facility on the base. The caskets will flank the podium from which Obama and Clinton will speak.

[Updated at 1:41 p.m. ET] Three people were killed and 28 wounded during protests outside the U.S. Embassy in Tunis on Friday, Tunisia state television reported.

[Updated at 1:23 p.m. ET] U.S. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will join Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at this afternoon's "transfer of remains ceremony" marking the return of the remains of the four Americans killed this week in Benghazi, Libya.

Obama and Clinton will deliver brief remarks at the 2:15 p.m. ET ceremony at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.

[Updated at 1:15 p.m. ET] Here is video from today's protests in Khartoum, Sudan:

[Updated at 12:23 p.m. ET] Nigerian military and police fired shots to disperse a crowd of protesters in the city of Jos, an eyewitness said.

About 2,000 people protesting the anti-Islamic film gathered at a central mosque, and security forces intervened when the crowd started moving toward the city center.

[Updated at 12:15 p.m. ET] Some protesters who scaled the gates of the U.S. Embassy in Tunis, Tunisia, reached a garden outside the building but have not breached the building itself, journalist Zeid Mhirsi reports.

Also, the thick, black smoke that we previously reported was near the Embassy is coming from burning vehicles on the Embassy grounds, Mhirsi reported.

Earlier, he reported that protesters took down a U.S. flag from a pole at the Embassy and replaced it with a black flag. Police were firing tear gas in an attempt to disperse them. (See 10:20 and 10:42 a.m. entries.) Hard-line Muslims known as Salafists were among the demonstrators, Mhirsi reported.

[Updated at 12:06 p.m. ET] Some Friday protests that hadn't yet been mentioned in this blog post:

- In Afghanistan, hundreds of demonstrators in the eastern Nangarhar province burned a U.S. flag and chanted "Death to America" and "We condemn the film." The demonstration lasted about an hour and ended peacefully, a local official said. The Afghan government has ordered an indefinite block of YouTube to prevent people there from watching the clips and staging violent protests.

- In Baghdad, Iraq, hundreds of followers of the radical Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr chanted "No to America, no to Israel."

- In Jerusalem, Palestinians marched from the al-Aqsa mosque toward the U.S. Consulate, but were prevented from reaching the mission by Israeli riot forces.

- In Syria, hundreds gathered outside the U.S. Embassy in Damascus. Protesters waved placards that condemned the film and blamed the U.S. administration for allowing the production and broadcast of it, according to the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency.

- In Iran, the Islamic Propagation Coordination Council called for nationwide rallies Friday to protest the film and what it is calling a U.S.-backed plot against Muslims, according to the state-run IRNA news agency.

[Updated at 11:57 a.m. ET] An update on Friday's protest outside the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan: Journalist Isma'il Kushkush says no protesters have been able to get inside the compound, and that police and security forces appear to have the situation under control.

Small fires are burning nearby. Kushkush said he believes protesters set tires ablaze. For more on the Khartoum protests, including one at the German Embassy there, see the 9:54 and 8:42 a.m. entries.

[Updated at 11:52 a.m. ET] Ninety-three protesters have been arrested in Egypt since Thursday night, Egyptian Interior Ministry spokesman Alaa Mahmoud said. Forty-eight officers have been injured, he added.

[Updated at 11:40 a.m. ET] Protesters in southern India have been arrested on suspicion of throwing rocks at the U.S. Consulate in Chennai, the city police commissioner said. As many as 200 protesters were demonstrating in front of the building, but the number arrested was not reported. There were no reported injuries.

[Updated at 10:57 a.m. ET] Video from Tunisia's capital shows thick, black smoke rising from an area near the U.S. Embassy. It's not clear what was on fire.

Protesters there had taken down a U.S. flag from the embassy property and replaced it with a black flag, journalist Zeid Mhirsi reported. Police fired tear gas at protesters as some of them climbed the property's walls.

[Updated at 10:42 a.m. ET] Protesters have taken down a U.S. flag from a pole at the U.S. Embassy in Tunis, Tunisia, and replaced it with a black flag, journalist Zeid Mhirsi reports.

Earlier, Mhirsi reported protesters were climbing the building's gates, and police fired tear gas in an attempt to disperse them. (See 10:20 a.m. entry.) Hard-line Muslims known as Salafists were among the demonstrators, Mhirsi reported.

[Updated at 10:25 a.m. ET] A U.S. Marine Corps security team is being sent to help protect U.S. diplomatic installations in Yemen, including the Embassy in Saana, a senior U.S. official said, according to CNN's Barbara Starr.

Earlier today, Yemeni police opened fire to stop protesters from reaching the U.S. Embassy in Saana, witnesses said (see 7:31 a.m. entry).

The protection team is similar to the team of 50 Marines that was sent earlier this this week to Tripoli, Libya, in the wake of the attack in Benghazi.

[Updated at 10:20 a.m. ET] Protesters are climbing the gates of the U.S. Embassy in Tunis, Tunisia, and police have fired tear gas in an attempt to disperse them, journalist Zeid Mhirsi reports.

Some protesters, who are about 20 meters outside the U.S. Embassy gates, are throwing rocks at the police, Mhirsi says. He says
that some protesters are waving black flags as they attempt to vandalize the gates.

[Updated at 10:15 a.m. ET] U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is scheduled to receive the remains of the U.S. diplomats killed in Libya at Andrews Air Force Base at 2 p.m. ET Friday.

[Updated at 10:13 a.m. ET] Add Tunisia to the list of Friday's protests. Hundreds of protesters have left Friday prayers and are heading to the U.S. Embassy in a neighborhood in Tunis, journalist Zeid Mhirsi reported. There is a strong Tunisian police presence in the area.

Hard-line Muslims known as Salafists were among the demonstrators, who were in pickup trucks and on foot.

[Updated at 9:54 a.m. ET] Ron Hawkins, a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, said that because Friday is a non-work day, most of the staff and Embassy personnel are not there as protesters gather outside the building. As far as security goes, Marines are assigned there, and local police officers were sent there earlier Friday as a precautionary measure, Hawkins said.

Earlier Friday, a fire was set at the vacated German Embassy as protesters gathered there. The protest at the U.S. building so has been peaceful, journalist Isma'il Kamal Kushkush said (see 8:42 a.m. entry).

[Updated at 9:31 a.m. ET] More information from Khartoum, Sudan: Protesters have gathered outside the U.S. Embassy there, a journalist at the scene said. The demonstration is peaceful so far.

Earlier today, protesters in Khartoum set the German Embassy on fire and also rallied outside the nearby UK Embassy (see 8:42 a.m. entry). The German Embassy was vacated before the protests.

[Updated at 9:24 a.m. ET] Lebanon has joined the list of Friday protests. One person was killed by police in Tripoli, Lebanon, after a group of armed men stormed a KFC restaurant amid protests in the city, Lebanese security forces told CNN.

About 40 armed men were spotted among 3,000 protesters, officials said.

Gen. Bassam Ayoubi, of the Lebanese internal security forces, said a group of armed men stormed the KFC and asked people to leave. Ayoubi said that the armed men then set the KFC on fire, at which time police arrived and began to fire at the armed men, killing at least one of them. Twenty-five were injured, he said, but it wasn't clear which of the injured were on which side.

[Updated at 9:09 a.m. ET] The German Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan, was vacated before the protest that reportedly has set the building on fire, the German Foreign Ministry said.

The German Foreign Ministry also said that the Sudanese ambassador to Germany has been called in to the German
Foreign Ministry in Berlin to discuss the situation in Khartoum.

Journalist Isma'il Kamal Kushkush told CNN about 30 minutes ago that the German Embassy in Khartoum was on fire after protests against the online anti-Islam video.

[Updated at 9 a.m. ET] An update on protests in Egypt, while we await more information about the burning German Embassy in Sudan:

Fifteen protesters have been injured in Egypt on Friday, according to Dr. Mohamed Sultan, a health ministry spokesman. Most of the injuries were related to inhaling tear gas or getting it into their eyes.

Two hundred twenty-four people have been injured this week in protests in Cairo, 11 of whom have been hospitalized, Sultan said.

On Friday, officers armed with shields and batons, backed by an armored personnel carrier, rushed a group of several hundred protesters shortly after dawn to quell a violent demonstration that had raged through the night in Cairo. After the rush, a smaller number of demonstrators regrouped near the U.S. Embassy across from police lines, and stones and tear-gas canisters once again crossed in the air. Police fired rubber bullets at protesters. The army began constructing a wall of concrete blocks about 10 feet high across the road leading to the embassy.

Hours later, in the afternoon, youths climbed the newly built wall and threw rocks at police, according to eyewitnesses. Security forces fired tear gas and used water cannons to hold off the rioters. But 100 to 200 hundred meters away in Tahrir Square, a few thousand protesters congregated peacefully.

[Updated at 8:42 a.m. ET] The German Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan was on fire Friday after protests against the online anti-Islam video, a journalist on the scene, Isma'il Kamal Kushkush, said. No embassy personnel were believed to be inside.

The UK Foreign Office also says protesters were demonstrating Friday outside its embassy, next to the German Embassy, in Khartoum.

[Updated at 8:35 a.m. ET] U.S. embassies aren't the only Western diplomatic posts facing protests on Friday. Protests have been reported outside the UK and German embassies in Khartoum, Sudan.

UK Foreign Office Spokesperson Mandy Heffield confirmed there is an ongoing demonstration outside the British Embassy in Khartoum. Sudanese police are on the scene, Heffield said.

Earlier, a journalist on the scene said thousands of protesters had marched on the German Embassy in Khartoum, and that a few protesters jumped onto the embassy grounds and pulled down the German flag. Riot police fired tear gas, causing the protesters to pull back, the journalist said.

[Updated at 8:30 a.m. ET] Thousands of protesters marched on the German Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan, on Friday, as protests against a short online film mocking the Prophet Mohammed swept across the Muslim world, a journalist on the scene said.

A few demonstrators were able to jump into the embassy grounds and pull down the German flag, Isma'il Kamal Kushkush said. Riot police fired tear gas, causing the protesters to pull back. The German Embassy is next to the British Embassy, which did not seem to be the focus of the demonstration.

[Updated at 7:40 a.m. ET] Afghanistan saw its first anti-American protest over the film Friday, as hundreds of demonstrators burned a U.S. flag and chanted "Death to America" and "We condemn the film."

The demonstration in Nangarhar province lasted about an hour and ended peacefully, said Zia Abdulzai, a spokesman for the governor of the eastern province.

[Posted 7:31 a.m. ET] Yemeni police opened fire Friday to stop protesters from reaching the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa, witnesses told CNN.

Meanwhile, Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood canceled nationwide demonstrations Friday, except for one in Cairo's Tahrir Square against the controversial film about the Prophet Mohammed, the group said in a Twitter message.

Post by: ,
Filed under: Egypt • Lebanon • Libya • Sudan • Tunisia
soundoff (3,687 Responses)
  1. Alex

    Just a matter of time before they set something on fire here... Honestly, living in NYC I am afraid of my ride home in the subway after work.

    September 14, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • timinfla

      you're probably right. love the city though, wishi was there now

      September 14, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  2. American citizens

    The existing administration has ZERO foreign polices. Embassies are USA territory. They will just turn a blind eye like they do on any other issues inside and outside the US.

    September 14, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. civic

    Real Jihad for a Msuslim is fight with your demons. It is very hard to be compassionate and knd in this world, but this is real juhad, when you try to train your heart. Those people who call hate and murder as Jihad are not muslims, they go to hell.....

    September 14, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • timinfla

      just figured that out eh??

      September 14, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • johnd

      I really can not believe that all of this is happening just because of a stupid movie....... these people are really intolerant...and this movie director is just an ignorant....

      September 14, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  4. krehator

    In the United States and Christianity we do not tolerate this violent behavior based on religion. Our govt and our people demand action to quell violence.

    Why is this so common and tolerated in Islam? Hmmmmmmmmm Maybe because many Muslims support it by simply turning a blind eye?

    September 14, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • timinfla

      islaaam is a canser- a relgion of violence and hate

      September 14, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Quest

      Quite interesting. Love your monolithic way of calling us vs. them. Self righteousness at its height. The world is not that black and white. With all due respect to Christianity, how would you explain why some of the major weapon producers in the world happen to be Christian majorities? and why all major colonial powers of last century and most neo-colonial powers of today happen to be christian majority countries.

      September 14, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ring of Fire Dude

    What it all boils down to is the U.S. Governments support for Israel . Add to that all the Jewish politicians in the Senate , Congress and the White House who would rather support Israel than their own country . It's no wonder all the Muslims in the world want to destroy the United States of Israel .

    September 14, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • jorge washinsen

      Go back to 1948 and lay the blame where it lies,Harry Truman stopped one war and started another perpetual one that we are in now.Did not start under Bush as many young sprouts don't know anything but what liberal news wants you to know.History is there if you get off your duff and read it.Try to go back to 1946 and the bombing of the King David Hotel and read history so we do not repeat it again. Make up your own mind as whether decisions made then were the right ones.

      September 14, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • davecu

      What the outside world is seeing is NOT the religion of peace but instead the religion of death,kiIIing and intimidation!
      Also, we're seeing how little those in their government care about those caught in the cross fire.

      Allah must be soo proud of His people!

      September 14, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. imagonner

    I guess this means our president is on vacation again

    September 14, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • timinfla

      that d bag hasnt even been to work

      September 14, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Joseph

    I AM SO FREAKING SICK of the LIBERAL MEDIA! This has nothing to do with that stupid film that like no one even saw or heard of.

    It has to do with American hate abroad and this all started because they wanted to celebrate the anniversery of Sept 11th, 2001 with killing more americans and insiting more violence against us while were still weak (because of our lame duck of a commander and chief.) The real story is that the islamic world wants to do whatever they can to insite violence against the American people, and September 11th was an excuse to do it.

    What do you think?

    September 14, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • imagonner

      damn straight !!

      September 14, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • PJ

      I agree with you Joseph up until the point of calling our POTUS a lame duck. I don't believe for a second that Obama is "sitting by" while these people conduct themselves like animals. There are many things that go on behind the scene in trying to keep Americans safe that we will never know.

      September 14, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      I agree with you on the fact that it is definitely not because of the film (the media is trying to portray the extremist Muslims as irrational with this falsity). But why do you believe they would to this against America? What did America do to inspire such hatred? Must have been something dreadful...

      September 14, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • prgmr6

      yes, you are right, it's about the media, but wrong media. these ppl are told who to hate, when to hate and why to hate, by their leaders/elders. If their leaders told them that Barney was the created to make fun of islam, they would burn a purple dinosaur in effigy nightly in the streets.

      September 14, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      Make no mistake. Their aggenda is to take over. They are here and they are multiplying faster than we are.
      Someone was wrong by letting them in years ago.

      September 14, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Deb

      Agree. Now the ignorant and uneducated are out in masses

      September 14, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  8. runabout

    If only this was really about the anti-Islam film. This is clearly about much more.

    September 14, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jorge washinsen

    Visit our Southern border.If our great one is elected again it will no longer be a place on the map. Maybe they will take California and make it a beautiful state that drew so many good people years ago.

    September 14, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Buckdaddy

    The U.S. censor more things than you ever would imagine. You don't see real gruesome photos on the news but you can get gruesome at the movies all day. The media have real gruesome footage but they don't show it to the general public. The real pictures and videos of war aren't shown, CENSORED! So there is no such thing as true freedom, that's why we have laws. We have liberties, remember that!

    September 14, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • jorge washinsen

      They did not do a very good job of handling one pipsqueak from down under.

      September 14, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Sarah

    So what your saying is.... they don't want money from our government? Pull everyone out. Let them fend for themselves and survive on their faith. Our country didn't say this to them, some idiot on YOUTUBE did! Let them dig their own grave!!!! Don't call on us when you have a natural disaster or insane politician again!!! This shouldn't be a hard decision.....

    September 14, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  12. George

    Ths just proves that islam is a religion of peace πŸ˜‰

    September 14, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Think again

      Yes, this piece, that piece, the other piece πŸ™‚

      September 14, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Shawn

    The uneducated are so easily lead and these scenes of so many just speaks to how many in the Muslim community are uneducated. They are incited by few who wish to have control over them and they use GOD as a motivating tool. Muhammad was a man, nothing more nothing less. Holding Mohammad to the same regard as GOD is an insult before GOD.

    September 14, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Bill

    We are at WAR. Deport ALL Muslim students now. Close our embassies in ANY state
    that attacks our embassies, close their embassies in America, send their
    diplomats packing, stop ALL foreign aid, and stop doing business there. Tell all
    American citizens to come home, except for dual citizen American and Arab
    country citizens. They need to make a choice before being allowed to return.
    IMPEACH OBAMA NOW!!

    September 14, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Look Out!

      You so funny.

      September 14, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  15. americaneagle

    what is kinda funny, is that a lot of these protestors are wearing american based clothing, why don't they burn their nike clothing....

    September 14, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Think again

      So that's where we send the Super Bowl t-shirts of the losing team. No wonder they hate us. Always misinformation lies lies lies. πŸ™‚

      September 14, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140