Fifteen diplomatic posts in high-threat areas fail to meet safety standards 10 months after the attacks that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador, in Benghazi, Libya, State Department officials told Congress Tuesday. Gregory Starr, the State Department’s director of diplomatic service, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that modifying many of those buildings in their current locations is not possible. He said some of the buildings are not far enough from the street or other public areas to be adequately protected. “We cannot retrofit many of our buildings to withstand blasts or direct attacks without the ability to move to a new location . . . and build a new facility,” he said...Current concerns about diplomatic security date to the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on U.S. outposts in Benghazi. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and State Department computer expert Sean Smith died of smoke inhalation when the building they were in was set on fire, and CIA security contractors Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods were killed hours later when armed militants attacked a CIA annex nearby. A State Department internal investigation found that security at the Benghazi mission was “grossly inadequate” and filled with “relatively inexperienced” officers. Four State Department officials are still on administrative leave awaiting further action after the review. Corker said he was concerned that the inaction has led to “a lack of accountability” and that personnel issues are an important piece of the puzzle.
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.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography