I'm puzzled how everyone here is an expert on the video in question, as the reporting this afternoon by both the BBC and NPR has been that they haven't been able to identify who the maker of the film actually is -- the name and bio attached to it appears to not be anyone who they can verify exists, implying at least one level of identity obfuscation -- and that the offensive portions that have so incensed the Arab world appear to be bad overdubs on a pre-existing film.
IMO, it's quite possible that the video itself is a terrorist act designed to incite ant-American sentiment amongst volatile religious populations. We very much do live in a world where crappy YouTube videos can be manufactured for political purposes, and internet accessibility can be exploited for nefarious purpose.
Let's find out who made the video and what their purpose in doing so was before we start leaping to conclusions about their unimpeachability.
I was horrified today to receive a message from someone with the header, "Blood-Crazed Muslims Drag Body of US Ambassador Stevens Through Streets of Libya". A web search reveals that a large number of questionable webpages are promulgating this version of events and claiming that the news media's reporting that good-intentioned Libyans tried to rush his body to the hospital through the streets is a cover-up.
From this remove, I can't say which story is true, though I've a tendency to believe the BBC and NPR over nowtheendbegins.com and lunaticoutpost.com. Either these fringe sites are the height of bold resistance bringing the truth of matters to light, or they're despicably crass for promulgating blatant falsehoods for political purpose. I'm not certain how they purport to know the hidden truth without themselves being in-country, but they certainly present their viewpoint with the appearance of every confidence.
I have my own bias about which version of events is accurate, and am curious what others might think.
Personally, if the fringe sites are indeed crassly lying and distorting events to fit their political agenda, I think that's exactly the sort of speech that should be both unprotected and prosecuted.
From the reports I heard, the Ambassador was well-loved by the Libyan people, and a Deputy Ambassador of Libya to England said in recorded interview that the security forces in Libya have been infiltrated and compromised by religious extremists. Hopefully this tragedy assists Libya in developing internal security that is less politicized and the Western world is able to witness and believe that the majority of Libyans are as horrified by this development as we are.