And the attacks in Libya and elsewhere in the Arab world come in the midst of a presidential campaign. It became, in effect, a test of leadership for both the president and his Republican challenger. NPR's Ari Shapiro reports.
ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: President Obama learned Wednesday morning that Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other diplomats were killed in the Libyan city of Benghazi. When he spoke in the White House Rose Garden hours later, he didn't mention politics.
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In this hour of the program, we remember Christopher Stevens, the first sitting U.S. ambassador killed in more than 30 years. And we'll explore how the attacks in Libya and Egypt have become fodder for political debate.
We're going to hear more now about the film that was, at least in part, the catalyst for the violence in Libya, as well as protests in Egypt. Some news outlets are saying the filmmaker has gone into hiding.
As NPR's Elizabeth Blair reports, very few people have actually seen the supposed two-hour movie, if it exists at all.
It didn't take long for the attacks in Benghazi and Cairo to become part of the presidential campaign. Mitt Romney jumped in first. In a statement last night before Ambassador Stevens' death had been announced, Romney accused President Obama of sympathizing with those who waged the assault. The Obama campaign responded, saying it was shocked that Romney would launch a, quote, "political attack" at this moment. And the politics have continued today as NPR's Mara Liasson reports.