Romney and The Sun are wrong about Libya attack

September 14, 2012

The Sun blunders in its prim lecture to the president ("Romney has a point," Sept. 13). Embassy officials sitting on a powder keg and in mortal danger should not be admonished for making a statement fully consistent with American principles and an elementary sense of decency that was intended to defuse a volatile situation insofar as possible. An American president pursuing his duty to protect American officials and citizens who makes a statement, again consistent with American values and principles, calculated to appeal to common cultural values most likely to influence those who endanger our citizens, is to be commended.

The near absolute exaltation of principles of free speech and expression to the near exclusion of other values is a glorious feature of our Constitution and law to which the United States and her citizens often themselves have trouble adhering. Most of the world does not share those principles in equal measure. There are times, places, and circumstances to try to spread them. But smug, prim, and self-righteous lectures on the virtues of exceptional American values have no place in the midst of trying to quell the passions of unruly mobs within countries with weak governments struggling to gain legitimacy among their own people. The Sun's schoolmarmish editorial was deplorable. Mitt Romney's outrageous accusations were despicable.

Ken Allen, Towson

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