State Department: Secretary Responsible for Security Failures

Today, speaking about the despicable and stomach-wrenching attacks by Islamists on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and our embassy in Cairo, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asked: “How could this happen in a country we helped liberate, in a city we helped save from destruction?”

That single line is the most damning indictment of Hillary Clinton’s State Department that could ever be penned. It demonstrates her complete lack of knowledge about the region, her failure to anticipate security threats, and worst of all, her willful ignorance about the Islamists that she and President Obama trusted to take over Libya and Egypt.

“How could this happen?”

Clinton, as Secretary of State, should know the answer to that question. That she didn’t anticipate even the remote possibility of the murder of our ambassador to Libya by her erstwhile friends led to his death. The Secretary of State is responsible for ensuring the security of our embassies and consulates and staff, as the State Department website plainly acknowledges:

The Secretary of State, and by extension, the Chief of Mission (COM), are responsible for developing and implementing security policies and programs that provide for the protection of all U.S. Government personnel (including accompanying dependents) on official duty abroad. This mission is executed through the Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS). Personal and facility protection are the most critical elements of the DS mission abroad as they directly impact upon the Department’s ability to carry out its foreign policy. With terrorist organizations and coalitions operating across international borders, the threat of terrorism against U.S. interests remains great. Therefore, any U.S. mission overseas can be a target even if identified as being in a low-threat environment.

Even the State Department website acknowledges that the threat in places like Libya and Egypt “remains great,” even if targets are in a “low-threat environment,” which Benghazi and Cairo are certainly not.

Yet the evidence shows that despite ample evidence that Libyan Islamist terrorists were about to take action against US interests – including a taped message from Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri released the day before the attacks, as well as a recent history of multiple attacks on diplomats in Benghazi -- Hillary Clinton did nothing.

Actually, it’s worse than that: the consulate where Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed was an “interim facility” with zero Marines. None. Instead, it was staffed by Libyan security officers, who according to CBS News, told Ambassador Stevens to hide in a second building, then promptly directed the Islamist mob to him. He was murdered and dragged through the streets.

And what about Egypt? The Cairo Embassy is under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of State. The Cairo Embassy, of course, was busily tweeting just before it was attacked, condemning “the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.” After the Embassy was breached, they doubled down on the tweet, stating, “This morning’s condemnation still stands.” Then Clinton herself released a statement on the consulate attacks in Libya, in which she stated, “The US deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.”

Hillary Clinton is the Secretary of State. She is responsible for the security of State Department officials abroad, and she is responsible too for their public actions. When it comes to the security threats and the Cairo apologies, the question isn't "How could this happen?" It's the same question she asked of President George W. Bush in 2002, politicizing the September 11 attacks: What did Hillary Clinton know, and when did she know it?



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