House members call for swift US response to Libya deaths

"In Libya, al Qaeda cousins, as I call them, the Ansar al-Shari'ah, claims responsibility for the murder of our U.S. ambassador," he said. "It's no coincidence that these two attacks occurred nearly at the same time, and they both occurred on the anniversary of 9/11."

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Rep. David Dreier (R-Calif.), who leads the House Democracy Partnership, agreed that the United States needs to respond to the attacks, but also stressed that the nation needs to keep working with Libya, which recently ended decades of dictatorial rule.

"We need to ensure that those who are responsible for this tragic death are brought to justice, and we need to do everything that we can to continue to encourage the development of the rule of law, self-determination, political pluralism, and … the development of democratic institutions around the world," Dreier said.

Dreier added that both he and Rep. David Price (D-N.C.), another member of the House Democracy Partnership, are determined to ensure that the promise they see in Libya's ability to make democratic reforms "will not be shattered by the tragic death of Ambassador Stevens."

President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton both said Tuesday that the United States would work with Libya to find those responsible for the attack in Libya. Clinton said the United States believes that those responsible were a small group of people who did not represent the Libyan government.

There were reports that the attacks were prompted by a U.S.-financed movie that some see as an attack on Islam and the Prophet Muhammad. But Clinton said the United States supports religious freedom and that there was no justification for the attacks, a point that House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) also made.

“Let us be clear: There is no justification for the murder of our diplomats and attacks of our embassies," she said. "We have nothing for which we should apologize. We must ensure that the perpetrators of this recent round of 9/11 attacks are held accountable."