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Flashback: White House Questioned Newspaper's 'Judgment Behind the Decision to Publish' Muhammad Cartoons

President Barack Obama speaks during a meeting with more than 20 foreign defense ministers on the ongoing operations against the Islamic State group, Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. Obama and military chiefs in a show of strength against Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The White House in 2012 said it had "questions about the judgment of publishing" cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

On Wednesday, masked gunman stormed the newspaper's offices, killing 12 people, including 10 journalists. President Barack Obama condemned it as a "terrorist act."

From the official transcript of the Sept. 19, 2012 White House press briefing:

Question: The French government has decided to temporarily close their embassies and schools in several Muslim countries after a satirical weekly, Charlie Hebdo, that published cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad. Is the White House concerned that those cartoons might further fan the flames in the region?

Jay Carney: Well, we are aware that a French magazine published cartoons featuring a figure resembling the Prophet Muhammad, and obviously, we have questions about the judgment of publishing something like this. We know that these images will be deeply offensive to many and have the potential to be inflammatory. But we’ve spoken repeatedly about the importance of upholding the freedom of expression that is enshrined in our Constitution.

In other words, we don’t question the right of something like this to be published; we just question the judgment behind the decision to publish it. And I think that that’s our view about the video that was produced in this country and has caused so much offense in the Muslim world.

Now, it has to be said, and I’ll say it again, that no matter how offensive something like this is, it is not in any way justification for violence -- not in any way justification for violence. Now, we have been staying in close touch with the French government as well as other governments around the world, and we appreciate the statements of support by French government officials over the past week, denouncing the violence against Americans and our diplomatic missions overseas.

The statement came one week after the 2012 Benghazi attacks, which the Obama administration initially blamed on a video insulting Muhammad.

(H/T: Daily Caller)

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