Adam Serwer urges some perspective on Ryan's contention that the attacks occurred because "we project weakness abroad":
It's currently unclear to what degree mismanagement, security lapses, or intelligence failures meant the United States failed to anticipate the attack on the consulate in Benghazi. But no matter which party is in office, no matter who is president, terrorism and violence are always going to be a potential risk for foreign-service officers serving in troubled areas. The important thing, [former Ambassador to Pakistan Wendy] Chamberlain says, is to stay engaged.
"Every ambassador and [foreign-service officer] understands the risks we take in being abroad," Chamberlain says. "I don't know any ambassador who hides in his embassy. Getting out with the public and speaking is our job, it's why we're there. If you don't want to do that you shouldn't go."