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A timeline of events surrounding attacks on US facilities in Mideast

TUESDAY, SEPT. 11

6:17 a.m. Embassy in Cairo releases a statement that read in part: “The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. . . . Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”

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1:41 p.m. Associated Press alert: “Egyptian Islamist protesters angry over film scale US Embassy wall in Cairo and tear down flag.”

7:43 p.m. Associated Press alert: “Libyan security official says 1 American shot dead, another wounded in attack on US consulate.”

10:09 p.m. Mitt Romney’s campaign releases a statement from Romney, embargoed until midnight in an apparent effort to avoid criticizing President Obama on the Sept. 11 anniversary. “I’m outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American consulate worker in Benghazi. It’s disgraceful that the Obama Administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.”

10:23 p.m. Associated Press alert: “Clinton says State Department officer killed in attack on US consulate in Libya.”

10:24 p.m. Romney campaign lifts the embargo.

11:04 p.m. ABC News posts an article that says “An administration official tells ABC News that ‘no one in Washington approved that statement before it was released and it doesn’t reflect the views of the US government.”

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 12

12:01 a.m. Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, tweets, “Obama sympathizes with attackers in Egypt. Sad and pathetic.”

12:09 a.m. Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt responds to Romney’s statement: “We are shocked that, at a time when the United States of America is confronting the tragic death of one of our diplomatic officers in Libya, Governor Romney would choose to launch a political attack.”

6:03 a.m. AP news alert: “Libyan officials: US ambassador and 3 other Americans killed in attack on Benghazi consulate.”

7:21 a.m. White House issues statement from Obama, which read in part: “I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Right now, the American people have the families of those we lost in our thoughts and prayers.”

10:17 a.m. Romney issues comments on camera before an event in Jacksonville, Fla. “It’s a terrible course for America to stand in apology for our values,” Romney said. “Apology for America’s values is never the right course.”

10:43 a.m. Obama goes to the Rose Garden to issue a statement. He takes no questions, and doesn’t mention Romney.

Afternoon In interview with CBS, Obama said, “There’s a broader lesson to be learned here: Governor Romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later. And as president, one of the things I’ve learned is you can’t do that — it’s important for you to make sure that the statements that you make are backed up by the facts and that you’ve thought through the ramifications before you make them.”

MATT VISER

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