Two days after his murder **, Chris was supposed to inaugurate the first “American Space” in Libya. That’s why he went to Benghazi. The center would offer a library, computers with free Internet access, language classes and films. In prepared remarks he never got to give, Chris was going to say, “An American Space is not part of the American Embassy. It is owned, operated, and staffed by our Libyan partners, while the United States provides materials, equipment, and speakers. An American Space is a living example of the kind of partnership between our two countries which we hope to inspire.”American diplomat Peter Van Buren, whose blog "We Meant Well" is a must-read, does mention the "American Space" in connection with the Ambassador's Benghazhi visit, giving it its more widely known appellation:
It appears that the Ambassador was in Benghazi for the ribbon-cutting for an “American Corner.” An American Corner is, in State’s own words, a “friendly, accessible space, open to the public, which provides current and reliable information about the United States through bilingual book and magazine collections, films and documentaries, poster exhibitions, and guides for research on the United States.” Ironic of course that Ambassador Stevens and his people died in what is sadly all of a propaganda gesture, a book nook Corner that says happy things about America so that Libyans will love us.The planned "American Corner" in Benghazi, however, never hit the MSM radar screen, despite its newsworthy potential of being a way to inform Libyans about America and carry out public diplomacy. And, so far as I can tell, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (or President Obama) has not emphasized this "American Space/Corner" opening as a purpose of the Ambassador's visit to Benghazi which led to his death. The reasons for this official silence are unknown to me, but perhaps the State Department could enlighten the public on this matter.
On American Corners, please see.
**Regarding the use of the word "murder" to describe the fate of Ambassador Stevens, please note the comment of Kim Andrew Elliott [his comment in italics] on an article in Digital Journal: "Digital Journal, 14 Sept 2012, Ted Lipien: 'Former U.S. Ambassador to Poland Victor Ashe criticizes the executive staff of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) for using a weak language in describing the death of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens. Public relations officials of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) -- the U.S. government agency responsible for broadcasts to the Middle East and other parts of the world -- referred to the 'passing' of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens in a statement expressing condemnation of the attacks that claimed his life and three others. Ambassador Victor H. Ashe, one of the current seven members of the bipartisan board in charge of U.S. international broadcasting, said the killings should be described as murder.' -- It was not 'weak language,' but correct use of English. The BBG mourns the passing, but condemned the attack (see the BBG statement on 12 Sept). It would seem a bit off to mourn a murder. In any case, a news organization is behooved to be restrained in its language."