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View Diary: BREAKING: Libyan Govt. Makes First Embassy Killing Arrests (89 comments)

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  •  Can anyone explain why this place was not guarded? (1+ / 0-)
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    By Marines?  Good to see the usual suspects being rounded up though.  I'm hope they aren't some poor patsies.

    •  I'm guessing that's because it (4+ / 0-)
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      kyril, Lawrence, wu ming, Smoh

      was a consulate, not the embassy (which is in Tripoli). And presumably when the ambassador goes from city to city he doesn't take a detachment of Marines with him, for obvious PR reasons.  In a country with a revolution as fresh as Libya's, should there have been higher security? Probably.

      •  Is that standard procedure to not be guarded in (1+ / 0-)
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        consulates in war torn regions?  If it is, it is a mistake.

        •  yeah, because nothing makes people feel freer (2+ / 0-)
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          Lawrence, Smoh

          to speak their minds then surrounding your guy with 20 armed marines

          Our ambassador did his job...maybe we should grow up and realize how much our diplomats and consulate people do and respect reasom we liberated Libya without troops on the ground was just this type of behavior,....staff that actually KNEW the country in question

          •  The President now agrees with me. (0+ / 0-)

            WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama has ordered a security review for U.S. diplomatic facilities worldwide following a deadly attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya, White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Friday.


            •  Ummm, no (1+ / 0-)
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              Not yet, though perhaps he will. But first, the President wants to assess the situation, a concep to which some people seem to be allergic.

              Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

              by Nowhere Man on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 11:25:22 AM PDT

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              •  How about now? (0+ / 0-)

                Sending marines to Sudan now to retake the embassy.

                •  Your position, like Romney's, keeps changing (1+ / 0-)
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                  to be whatever you think proves you right.

                  Neither this President, nor any other in my lifetime, has left embassies totally defenseless. That would be absurd. On the other hand, it's not possible nor desirable to maintain an entire Army division at an embassy. So sometimes risks must be taken. Sometimes action is delayed. That doesn't mean action was not going to be taken.

                  Remember too that our Ambassadors are fully aware of the risks that they must take. Hold them in respect for it.

                  Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

                  by Nowhere Man on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 07:49:04 PM PDT

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                  •  This particular consulate was hit by an IED (0+ / 0-)

                    not too long ago.  Still think it should have been undefended?   "desirable to maintain an entire Army division at an embassy"  is a strawman and I never said anything similar to that.  Marines will do thank you.

                    •  You're not listening. (0+ / 0-)

                      Look: It's not like the embassies are undefended. That is a strawman.

                      The problem is that defending the embassies even against all realistic threats is problematic at best, and can lead to more problems than it solves. The facts are that the United States is not the sovereign power in those countries (obviously!) We cannot simply start shooting, even in self-defense, except at threats within the embassy grounds -- and by then it's often too late. We cannot build fortress-like compounds (well, except maybe in Baghdad, and that doesn't prevent it from being attacked either.) Keep in mind that the embassies are there to improve our relations with the foreign power and its people; if we make ours a fortress or prison, what does that say to them? Would you feel OK with Russia or Pakistan (for example) building such a compound in D.C.?

                      During George W. Bush's second term, our embassy in Yemen was attacked twice. There were also attacks on embassies and consulates in Pakistan, Greece, and Turkey. (Go back to his first term, and there were even more.) Did these attacks mean that we weren't projecting enough strength in the world? Did they indicate that then-President Bush was leaving our embassies undefended? Did Democratic leaders try to make a major political issue over our country's defense of our embassies?

                      I'll answer that last question for you: No.

                      Maybe because Democrats understand that this is not a cut-and-dry issue, and that the world is going to continue to be a dangerous place; or maybe because Democrats are more inclined to stand behind a president of the opposition party during times of crisis. But no, you never heard a major Democratic figure claim that Bush sympathized with terrorists; not even when he made bind-moggling decisions such as to allow 9 billion dollars to be sent to Iraq in cash to pay for "reconstruction" efforts; not even when the Bush Administration's response to rioting and looting in Iraq in 2003 was to shrug and say that "stuff happens" and "democracy is messy."

                      I don't agree with all of the criticisms that have been made against President Obama this week, though I acknowledge that some of them make valid points. But  how about acknowledging that decisions regarding security of embassies and consulates are not the sort of thing that Monday-morning quarterbacks such as yourself are necessarily qualified to make? How about recognizing that no President, be it Bush, Reagan, Obama, or any other, is going to take security lightly? How about recognizing that wrapping our foreign service staff in an impenetrable security bubble can ultimately do more harm than good, and it's not necessarily even possible to find the right balance?

                      Once again, there were major attacks on foreign embassies and consulates under Bush. Go find me anything from a major Democratic figure claiming that Bush had left those consulates undefended, or that he dropped the ball on embassy security. Then we'll talk.

                      Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

                      by Nowhere Man on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 07:22:33 AM PDT

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                      •  This consulate was lightly defended by (0+ / 0-)

                        local forces and this is after recent attacks.

                        "There was, according to witnesses, little defence put up by the 30 or more local guards meant to protect the staff. Ali Fetori, a 59-year-old accountant who lives near by, said: "The security people just all ran away and the people in charge were the young men with guns and bombs."


                        Here is even a video posted online about the 6/6/12 attack at this very U.S. consulate.  Skip to 2:25 for the actual attack.


                        Given the significance of the 9-11 anniversary and in light of recent attacks, it is sheer incompetence that this consulate was not better defended.

                        Bringing Bush's fuck ups into this is hardly an excuse.  Does Obama oversee this type of stuff?  Of course not, but the buck has to stop somewhere.  At this point, I'd say it's on Hillary's desk.

                        •  The point is that it's far too early (1+ / 0-)
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                          to be making judgments about whether or not this was a "fuck-up". We don't know all the facts about what happened. We do know -- to some degree of confidence, at least -- that the attackers in Benghazi used RPGs and other weapons that can be used from a distance. To a large extent -- how much, neither you nor I are able to judge -- our embassies must rely on the host country to provide security against attacks of that sort. We do not know that the Obama administration did nothing with the warnings that they received (if indeed they did receive them.) As one specific example, we do not know whether the Obama administration contacted the Libyan government in the 48 hours before the attacks to try to get more security in place. That sort of information may or may not come out in the weeks to come.

                          There will always be risks involved in staffing embassies and consulates in unstable countries. We cannot eliminate those risks without damaging the purposes for which we have those offices in the first place. Now is not the time to rush to judgment about whether the risks were poorly managed in this case. (And yes, I would have said the same thing were a Republican in the White House, which is why I brought Bush into the discussion.)

                          Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

                          by Nowhere Man on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 10:25:28 AM PDT

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                  •  here is link (0+ / 0-)

                    Diplomatic, western posts targeted repeatedly in Benghazi in run-up to deadly assault

                    Read more:

                    "This (the U.S. Consulate) was a place that was targeted months before with an IED (improvised explosive device)," Congressman Mike Rogers, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, who has been briefed on the attack and investigation, told Fox News. "It's clearly a target that they wanted to hit and they wanted to cause casualties."

        •  He had two ex-SEALS with him, (2+ / 0-)
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          Lawrence, Smoh

          providing security.  They also died in the attack.

          "It's not enough to bash in heads; you've got to bash in minds!"

          by Twilight Jack on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 09:31:27 AM PDT

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