Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Saturday, June 23, 2018

The debate over Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s bungled attack against President Barack Obama hinges on the timeline of the attacks in Egypt and Libya. What follows is a list of the key events, ordered chronologically:

1. Tuesday, around noon EDT. As protesters gather in Cairo in response to an offensive YouTube trailer depicting the Prophet Mohammed, the US embassy issues a statement condemning the video, presumably hoping to quell the protests:

“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. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. 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.”

At nighttime, protesters breach the compound walls and take down the United States flag with a black flag bearing the words “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet.”

Tuesday, 7:51 p.m (EST). Reuters reports that “An American staff member of the U.S. consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi has died following fierce clashes at the compound.”