Deaths of American Personnel in Benghazi, Libya

Susan E. Rice
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
September 12, 2012

I am profoundly saddened by the tragic and senseless deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, including Ambassador Chris Stevens and Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith. In their tireless service and courage, they represented the very best of America. My thoughts and prayers are with their families and friends and all whose lives were enriched and touched by these exceptional individuals.

The United States has lost four brave individuals who, in President Obama’s words, exemplified America’s commitment to freedom, justice and international partnership. In Ambassador Stevens, the Libyan people also lost a close friend—one who stood by them in their revolution and its aftermath, one who understood and shared in their aspirations, their culture and their traditions. I had the privilege of working closely with Ambassador Stevens. He was passionate about his work to bring about a better future in Libya, and he cared deeply for the Libyan people. He and the rest of his team risked their lives daily to support the Libyan people's democratic aspirations, including during the height of the revolution, when he represented the United States in Benghazi. Our hearts are heavy today.

I join President Obama and Secretary Clinton in condemning in the strongest terms this vicious and violent attack. On this day of profound grief, we honor, as ever, the service and sacrifice of our American diplomatic personnel around the world.