U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens was killed late Tuesday -- September 11 -- along with three other embassy staff after armed militants stormed the U.S. consulate in Benghazi in retaliation for a California businessman's low-budget anti-Muslim film, Innocence of Muslims, that attacks Islam's prophet Muhammad.
President Obama condemned the attacks, which also occurred at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, and said that they will "not break the bonds" between the U.S. and Libya:
We will not waiver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done.
There was no threat of military action or economic sanctions -- the U.S. considers Libya a friendly state.
Mitt Romney called Obama's response to the attacks "disgraceful," while Republican Party Chair Reince Preibus dragged some disgusting politics into the tragedy: "Obama sympathizes with attackers in Egypt. Sad and pathetic."
Stevens, who was 52, served as envoy to the Libyan rebels in 2011 when NATO aircraft helped rebels overthrow the 40-year-old regime and eventually capture and kill Gaddafi.
In a video introduction released by the State Department shortly after he was appointed ambassador in May, Stevens said he "was thrilled to watch the Libyan people stand up and demand their rights."