For the second time in about 18 hours, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has condemned a Florida pastor's plan to burn copies of the Quran on the anniversary of 9/11. Clinton also expressed her hope that the media will not cover the event on Saturday "as an act of patriotism."
"It's regrettable that a pastor in Gainesville, FL, with a church of no more than 50 people can make this outrageous and distressful, disgraceful plan, and get the world's attention," she told a group at the Council on Foreign Relations this morning.
"It doesn't in any way represent America, or Americans, or the American government, or American religious or political leadership," she said, adding that the planned act "will have potentially great harm for our troops."
*** UPDATE *** A Pentagon spokesperson said on Wednesday that Defense Secretary Robert Gates "strongly endorses" General Petraeus' statements on the Florida pastor's plan to burn the Quran. Petraeus warned earlier this week that such an action could endanger the lives of American forces serving in Afghanistan, and harm the overall effort in that country.