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Elections, Politics

Why weren’t there any Marines guarding the embassy in Libya?

Posted: September 14, 2012 at 6:08 am   /   by

While the media focuses on excoriating Mitt Romney for supporting freedom, they’re missing the point about the outrage many Americans are feeling right now about the situation in Libya:  there were no Marines guarding the embassy in Libya when the attack occurred.  

From the Washington Times:

A detachment of Marines typically guards the interior of U.S. embassies and consulates, but none was at the State Department compound in the Libyan city of Benghazi on Tuesday when protesters breached the security perimeter resulting in the killing of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.

Marine security detachments teams at embassies and consulates typically include a minimum of six Marines. Pentagon Press Secretary George Little confirmed Thursday that there were Marines guarding the embassy in Libya’s capitol Tripoli. He also said there were also Marines in place at embassies in YemenTunisia and Egypt — other countries that underwent revolutions last year.

Ridiculous.  While it’s too soon to lay the blame directly at Obama’s feet, this is definitely one sign among many that the organization he is running just doesn’t have it together.

The fact that one of America’s most talented civil servants was left utterly defenseless in one of the most dangerous locales in the world is truly astonishing.  The tortured way in which his body was subsequently dragged through the street by terrorists should be far more offensive than anything Mitt Romney had to say about the incident.

Yes, it’s true:  politics should end at the water’s edge.  But policy does not, and a security policy that leaves people serving our country overseas this vulnerable is bad policy.  There is nothing wrong with criticizing the Administration for the circumstances that led to this Carter-esque crisis abroad.

Hopefully, for the sake of the men and women now tasked with salvaging the situation, President Obama can find a good way to respond to the situation.  Given the garbled initial reaction to the incident and the foothold that the Muslim Brotherhood has gained in the region, it unfortunately seems like there is little reason for optimism.

Hannah Thoreson

Hannah Thoreson is a science and technology writer based in northern Virginia. She earned a physics degree from Arizona State University in 2012 and has been causing trouble ever since.

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Why weren't there any Marines guarding the embassy in Libya?