The attacks are “a response to a video, a film, that we have judged to be reprehensible and disgusting — that in no way justified any violent reaction to it — but this is not a case of protests against the United States writ large or [against] U.S. policy,” he claimed.
When asked if the sophisticated Libya assault that killed the four officials was also a reaction to the video, Carney responded carefully, saying, “we have no information to suggest that it was a pre-planned attack.”
The administration’s focus on the video was heightened by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the arrival of the four bodies from Egypt.
The attacks came amid “rage over an awful Internet video, that we had nothing to do with… it is senseless and it is totally unacceptable,” she said.
Amid the repeated denunciations of the video, Carney did mention the Constitution’s protection of free speech. “We cannot and will not squelch freedom of expression in this country — it is a foundational principle,” he said.
But he then repeated his demand that questioning reporters and skeptical Americans rally behind the president.
“I’ll just go back to what I said, that this is a time that it is in the best interest of the country to focus on the four personnel, the four Americans that we lost in Libya,” he said, “and on the measures we need to take as nation.”