Consulate Attack Hearing: Cooper Says Even in Peacetime, Americans Die

Rep. Jim Cooper says Americans in diplomatic posts sometimes die, even in peacetime. PIctured here in 2011, courtesy Flickr

As Congressional Republicans grilled State Department officials Wednesday over the consulate attack in Libya, Democrats on the House Oversight Committee used a much softer touch, including Nashville’s Jim Cooper.

Rep. Cooper didn’t exactly defend the Obama Administration’s response, which initially blamed a YouTube video for causing a spontaneous revolt. But Cooper did try to put the four American deaths into perspective. He spent five minutes listing – by name – 56 military personnel killed in terrorist attacks in the 1980’s.

“These men – in some cases women – died as victims of terrorists. It was in a different time when we had a great president – Ronald Reagan – who was particularly known for his strength on national defense.”

A Republican on the committee pushed back, saying that the Reagan Administration never tried to “excuse a murderous attack” as somehow spontaneous.

Tennessee Congressman Scott DesJarlais is also a member of the Oversight Committee, but did not speak at the hearing.

Please keep your community civil. Comments will be moderated prior to posting, and Nashville Public Radio reserves the right to approve them at its discretion. Comments containing links promoting goods, services - even noble organizations - will not be published. Your comments may include external links, but all comments with links will be delayed as they are reviewed. Comments containing profanity will be rejected.