Jay Carney on Unrest in Middle East: ‘This Is Not a Case of Protests Directed at the United States’
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Friday insisted that the protests in the Middle East are not “directed at the United States” but are instead the direct result of an anti-Muslim YouTube clip.
“This is a fairly volatile situation, and it is in response not to United States policy, obviously not to the administration, not to the American people. It is in response to a video, a film, that we have judged to be reprehensible and disgusting — that in no way justifies any violent reaction to it.”
Carney went on to repeat this point at least two more times during his daily press briefing with reporters.
“But this is not a case of protests directed at the United States writ large or at U.S. policy, but it is in response to video that is offensive to Muslims,” said Carney.
“The unrest we’ve seen is in reaction to a film in which the United States government had no involvement,”he added.
Watch some of Carney’s remarks here:
Carney explained that for other countries it can be “difficult to understand” why the United States allows such offensive speech as that displayed in the anti-Muhammad flick “Innocence of Muslims.” He reiterated that the Obama administration would not seek to limit freedom of speech, even speech it finds offensive.
However, today’s events — in addition to the anti-American protests throughout the week — seemingly contradict Carney’s assertion. In country’s like Tunisia, Lebanon, Malaysia, Indonesia, India and even Israel, protesters burned American flags and chanted phrases like “death to America,” Fox News reported.
Earlier this week, U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three staffers were killed after a group of armed radical Islamists stormed the American embassy complex in Benghazi.
Additionally, anti-American protesters in Morocco Wednesday reportedly chanted “Death to Obama” outside the U.S. consulate in Casablanca.
Despite numerous news reports that indicate the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Libya was planned ahead of time to occur on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Carney also said there was no evidence to suggest that was the case.
Watch more of Carney’s presser via the Washington Free Beacon:
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