For the second time in as many weeks, the State Department has contradicted President Barack Obama, as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton re-affirmed the apologetic stance disavowed earlier this evening by the White House in reacting to the storming of the U.S. embassy in Cairo by a mob of radical Egyptian Al Qaeda sympathizers on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
Clinton’s statements on the day’s events, released through the State Department’s website and Twitter feed, condemn “in the strongest possible terms” an attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya in Benghazi that left one American dead, but offer no condemnation of the attack on the U.S. embassy in Cairo.
Instead, Clinton reiterates an apology issued earlier today by the U.S. Embassy in Cairo–now deleted–which said: “We condemn the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.”
“The U.S. deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others,” Clinton said. “Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation,” she added.
However, the White House has distanced itself from such apologies, according to Politico, saying that they were not “cleared by Washington.”
Evidently, there is some discord in Washington.
Last week, the State Department contradicted the President when it reiterated its position that the U.S. does not consider Jerusalem the capital of Israel.
President Obama was reported to have intervened with the Democratic Party leadership during the Democratic National Convention to re-insert language supporting Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
However, Politico reported–and then quietly scrubbed–the fact that President Obama had likely insisted on the change, after a controversy on his administration’s evolving Jerusalem policy.
Regardless, at the end of the week the State Department and the White House found themselves at odds–just as they do today over the apology to Egypt for the attack on the U.S. embassy on 9/11.