According to multiple reports, including this one in Politico
The consulate where the American ambassador to Libya was killed on Tuesday is an “interim facility” not protected by the contingent of Marines that safeguards embassies...
The Benghazi consulate had “lock-and-key” security, not the same level of defenses as a formal embassy, an intelligence source told POLITICO. That means it had no bulletproof glass, reinforced doors or other features common to embassies.
And, of course, no Marines. But don't worry, now that the Ambassador and his staff have been killed:
President Barack Obama said the United States would step up security at its diplomatic missions around the world.
Ambassador Stevens apparently did have American security guards as reports are that two of them were killed in the attack, so he wasn't just noodling around on a moped, but given reports of numerous assassinations, including of foreigners over the last few months, and a bombing of the consulate, why was security so light? One report said Ambassador Stevens sometimes had as few as four guards, and they were all Libyans.
One report, from a source with which I am not familiar
, claims that in Cairo
Ambassador Anne Patterson, the US Ambassador to Egypt,...did not permit US Marine guards to carry live ammunition, according to USMC blogs. Thus she neutralized any US military capability that was dedicated to preserve her life and protect the US Embassy.
If true, this is astonishingly complacent. US Marine guards in a hostile revolutionary country armed with really bad clubs?
Hillary should prohibit the prohibition of loaded weapons carried by embassy guards all across the world.
Or the Joint Chiefs should tell the politicians that if the Marines are going to be disarmed, the politicians shall have to explain to the public why all the Joint Chiefs just resigned.
UPDATE: Not too surprisingly, there is some debate about the accuracy of the "no ammo" assertions. The Washington Free Beacon, another source with which I am not familiar, says:
“A decision or order to set rules of engagement that you can’t carry live ammunition and can’t engage violent crowds climbing over your walls and tearing down your flag stems from direct orders from the Chief of Mission and possibly whoever the Chief of Mission reports to,” the source explained....
A Marine spokesperson at the Pentagon denied the Free Beacon’s report in a statement to Fox News.
Pentagon Lt. Col. Chris Hughes told the outlet: “The ambassador and RSO (Regional Security Officer) have been completely and appropriately engaged with the security situation. No restrictions on weapons or weapons status have been imposed. This information comes from the Det Commander at AMEMB (American Embassy) Cairo.”
Several sources familiar with foreign embassies in international hotspots...said that the U.S. government often adheres to a policy of not permitting security officers and other personnel to carry loaded weapons.
Others indicated that in some instances, embassy personnel were prohibited from carrying weapons on embassy grounds altogether.
Who knows? And why believe anything the Administrations says on the subject?
Labels: Islamists, politics, self-defense