Guy Benson


Echoes of pre-attack Benghazi.  What could go wrong?  The Washington Guardian reports: 

The State Department is failing to adequately protect U.S. diplomats in Beirut, leaving them without necessary counterterrorism training and serving in a decrepit, aged embassy compound that fails to meet security protocols, according to an internal investigation that raises new questions about the Obama administration's commitment to protecting Americans overseas in the aftermath of the Benghazi tragedyIn fact, the department did not place Beirut on its latest list of high-threat diplomatic missions even though Lebanon is listed at the "critical" threat level for potential violence with its frequent rocket attacks, spillovers from the Syrian civil war and heavy presence of the terror group Hezbollah, the agency's inspector general said in a report reviewed by the Washington GuardianBeirut was also the site of one of America's deadliest terror attacks, the 1983 bombing of a Marine barracks that killed more than 240 servicemembers...

Diplomats face serious threats while working at the 18-acre “cramped, aged and difficult to maintain office" located on a "steep and hilly compound” located 20 minutes from downtown Beirut, the report said. And their superiors back home in Washington seem unaware of the threat level, failing to harden weak physical security or provide needed counterterrorism training, the inspector general observed. The risks remain high as the civil war in Syria continues to threaten the stability of Lebanon due to the influx of more than 325,000 refugees, and tensions with Hezbollah remain high with frequent rocket attacks and other skirmishes.


The State Department hasn't seen fit to classify its top diplomatic outpost in a Middle Eastern nation in the thrall of Hezbollah, with a brutal civil war raging next door, as "high risk."   Worse, our embassy compound there failed to meet basic security protocols.  Sound familiar?  Sec. Kerry has been on the job for four months and may have been blindsided by this IG report.  What is Sec. Clinton's excuse?  This assessment would be damning under any circumstances, but it's completely intolerable in the shadow of September's terrorist attacks that killed the US ambassador to Libya and three other Americans.  In their efforts to fend off questions and probes into the massive failures that occurred on September 11, 2012, the Obama administration has taken umbrage at any accusation of wrongdoing or negligence.  They routinely retreat to warmed-over bromides about "taking the steps necessary to ensure that something like this never happens again."  That's the only lesson they want anyone to derive from the Benghazi massacre -- yet they themselves evidently have not internalized it.  In the days following the lethal raid, the president told a Univision audience that his "number one priority is to keep our diplomats safe."  Number one, he said.  Just words.  Obama's most notable tangible action in response to Benghazi is to promote some of the central figures of the administration's cover-up.  Susan Rice ascended to the perch of National Security Adviser this week, and Victoria Nuland will reportedly be nominated as an Assistant Secretary of State.  GOP Senators vow to use her confirmation hearings as a leverage point to extract more information from this secretive administration.  Democrats are pre-emptively denouncing Republicans' truth-seeking efforts, complaining that their opponents "are wrong to keep the Benghazi scandal alive."  Sen. Diane Feinstein said it's time to put the issue "to bed."  The American people disagree, according to a NYT/CBS poll released this week:


Amid investigations into the terrorist attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, a majority of Americans - including more than three in four Republicans (77 percent) and six in 10 independents (59 percent) - think the Obama administration is mostly hiding something on the issue of Benghazi. A majority of Democrats (59 percent) think the Obama administration is mostly telling the truth.

Overall, 53 percent of Americans believe the Obama administration is "mostly" covering up the real story on Benghazi, while 34 percent say they're mostly telling the truth.  What's plain as day is that the Left desperately wants to shut down debate on this issue.  Witness MSNBC primetime anchor Lawrence O'Donnell's repulsive tweet:


So eager was O'Donnell to punish unwelcome commentary on Benghazi that he defiled the sacrifice of New York's bravest in order to level the cheapest of nonsensical shots.  Sick.

Guy Benson

Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Senior Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography