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Originally published September 12, 2012 at 5:27 PM | Page modified September 12, 2012 at 5:27 PM

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Benghazi attackers deserve swift punishment; filmmaker deserves condemnation

The tragic attack that killed four U.S. diplomats in Benghazi was a misguided attack on America.

Seattle Times Editorial

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The killing of four U.S. diplomats in Libya, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, was a deliberate attack. It was done under the cover of a demonstration against an anti-Muslim movie, but was more than a protest about a film. It was an attack by Muslim radicals with a plan. They used rocket-propelled grenades and had the discipline to follow with an attack at a second location. That it was done on Sept. 11 hints this was not an accident.

The attackers deserve swift punishment -- the specific attackers. We do not condemn Libya. Libyan troops defended the Americans and tried to help survivors, and the Libyan government denounced the attack. Muslim organizations in the United States have denounced the attack. Killing diplomats is uncivilized behavior not sanctioned by any faith.

If the trailer of this movie is any indication, it is crude, mocks Islam and purposefully aims to inflame the devout.

It was uploaded to the Internet July 2 by someone calling himself Sam Bacile, who claimed in interviews to have made the movie and to be an Israeli. The Israeli government says he isn't one of theirs. A source close to him says he is not Israeli and that Sam Bacile is not his real name.

Few Americans have seen this movie; apparently it played in only one theater, in Los Angeles, and it is not known how many seats were full.

People in the Muslim world should understand that this man's movie is him talking, and not the opinions of 300 million Americans. In the United States he is free to say what he will -- that is our culture -- and we are free to condemn him. Which we do.

His movie is trash and he is vermin for having made it. Provoking rage among the devout might be allowed under the First Amendment, but that doesn't mean people should do it.

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