Is the U.S. Unable to Protect Officials Overseas?
It is now being reported that two of the dead in the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya were not U.S. Marines, but instead, Consul staffers. Questions are surfacing as to the Obama administration’s security provisions for the Embassy as the protests grew.
Security at the consulate was apparently provided by Libyan nationals hired by the United States.
Numerous incidents of “green-on-blue” attacks in Afghanistan showed that foreign muslim-led governments are unable to adequately protect U.S. personnel. If the State Department had indeed relied on Libyan security personnel to protect its staff, why?
Obama has been criticized lately for attending just slightly more than one-third of his daily national security briefings. Opting instead to read the text of the briefing, the President may have taken too hands-off an approach to understanding the current status of intelligence and security issues. Now a report by Breitbart.com states that in the week leading up to the attack, there is no record that Obama attended a single one of those briefings.
According to the White House calendar, there is no public record of President Barack Obama attending his daily intelligence briefing–known as the Presidential Daily Brief (PDB)–in the week leading up to the attacks on the U.S. embassy in Cairo and the murder of U.S. Libyan Ambassador Chris Stevens and three American members of his staff
After the attack on the Consul staff, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is now upgrading security at other U.S. diplomatic facilities around the world. In a “leading from behind” style prevalent in the current administration, the solution comes after the problem has escalated.
Taking a weak-hand approach to relations to nations involved in the Arab Spring has put American citizens in danger and may well have resulted in the deaths of an ambassodor and staff. In his statement this morning, the President provided a weaker-than-expected condemnation of the attack by saying “While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants.”
The Administration has been highly-critical of Romney’s foreign policy experience in recent days – criticism that may be better served turned inwards. All eyes will be on the President as he reacts both in words and deeds to the deaths of so many Americans after his administration’s failure to protect them.
**post updated 10:35a – new reports indicate that no marines were killed at the embassy