What Happened in Libya?: What You Need to Know

libyan flagsIf you're confused about the protests and attacks in Libya and Yemen, which claimed the life of a US Ambassador and somehow all got started with an incredibly lame anti-Islam video on YouTube, you're not alone. Every twist and turn in this tragic story seems more unlikely than the last -- and the latest news is perhaps the most bizarre of all, exposing the "ghost" behind Muslim Innocence as a convicted fraud with a phony identity and odd affiliations (including an organization called "Media for Christ").

This is tough stuff to follow, no doubt. But it's so important to stay informed. In an attempt to make this task a little bit simpler, we've broken the whole big mess down for you, starting at the very beginning.


1. A U.S.-produced anti-Islam film on YouTube depicting the Prophet Muhammad as a crazy, womanizing pedophile sparks outraged anti-U.S.A. protests in Libya. U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens is killed in a rocket attack on the embassy.

2. Mitt Romney releases a statement slamming the Obama administration for "sympathizing" with the attackers instead of condemning the attacks -- when in fact, neither a statement from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo nor a statement from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton expressed sympathy for the attackers.

3. Clinton releases a statement which reads: "I condemn in the strongest terms the attack on our mission in Benghazi today. As we work to secure our personnel and facilities, we have confirmed that one of our State Department officers was killed. We are heartbroken by this terrible loss."

4. Romney continues to criticize Obama's foreign policy, claiming the president sends "mixed messages" and that America seems to be "at the mercy of events, instead of shaping events."

5. The mysterious filmmaker behind the anti-Islam video is allegedly identified as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, an Egyptian Coptic Christian and convicted fraud living in California who directed and wrote the movie under the pseudonym Sam Bacile.

6. Hillary Clinton speaks out against the film, saying: "To us, to me personally, this video is disgusting and reprehensible. It appears to have a deeply cynical purpose: to denigrate a great religion and to provoke rage. But as I said yesterday, there is no justification, none at all, for responding to this video with violence. We condemn the violence that has resulted in the strongest terms, and we greatly appreciate that many Muslims in the United States and around the world have spoken out on this issue."

7. Eastern Libya's deputy interior minister Wanis al-Sharif says the attacks Tuesday night "were suspected to have been timed to mark the 9/11 anniversary and that the militants used civilians protesting an anti-Islam film as cover for their action."

Still pretty confusing, but at least you're up to date -- for now. Stay tuned!

What's your opinion of the situation in Libya?


Image via Ben Sutherland/Flickr

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