An interesting bit of background on the Egyptian embassy statement that Mitt Romney criticized as an apology.
One staffer at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo was responsible for the statement and tweets Tuesday that have become grist for the presidential campaign, and that staffer ignored explicit State Department instructions not to issue the statement, one U.S. official close to the issue told The Cable.The statement was issued as a press release on the Department's website.
U.S. Embassy Condemns Religious Incitement
September 11, 2012
The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others
The staffer, Larry Schwartz, cleared the statement with just one person, and ignored instructions to revise it before posting it.
Before issuing the press release, Schwartz cleared it with just one person senior to himself, Deputy Chief of Mission Marc Sievers, who was the acting charge d'affairs at the embassy on Tuesday because Ambassador Anne Patterson was in Washington at the time, the official said.This would explain why the White House distanced itself from the statement on Tuesday. Despite their distancing themselves from it, the President spoke on 60 Minutes about its origin.
Schwartz sent the statement to the State Department in Washington before publishing and the State Department directed him not to post it without changes, but Schwartz posted it anyway.
"In an effort to cool the situation down, it didn't come from me, it didn't come from Secretary Clinton. It came from people on the ground who are potentially in danger," Obama said. "And my tendency is to cut folks a little bit of slack when they're in that circumstance, rather than try to question their judgment from the comfort of a campaign office."The staffer has not been disciplined and is still at his post. Despite that fact and the President's reasoned words about the statement, this has been interpreted absurdly by Breitbart as President Obama throwing this staffer 'under the bus'.
But Obama's remarks belie the enormous frustration of top officials at the State Department and White House with the actions of the man behind the statement, Cairo senior public affairs officer Larry Schwartz, who wrote the release and oversees the embassy's Twitter feed, according to a detailed account of the Tuesday's events.
During an interview aired on "60 Minutes," President Obama attempted to deflect some of the heat off himself and onto the staff at the the U.S. embassy in Cairo. When he's not throwing scapegoats under the bus he's comparing his campaign workers to those lost in CairoAs if Romney hasn't already screwed the pooch enough on this.