It’s wonderful that State is spending fortunes on Green Energy showoff programs for embassies in Europe while leaving Middle Eastern embassies unprotected. The Tunis and Cairo attacks both revealed vulnerabilities and while there may have been some excuses for that, the recent Cairo stabbing shows that security still hasn’t been upgraded.
And there is absolutely no reason why the US Embassy in Beirut should be so poorly defended. Beirut, despite its lulls, is sitting in the closest thing that the Middle East has to a permanent civil war.
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 tragedy.
In 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 Guardian.
Beirut 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.
“Physical security vulnerabilities at mission facilities, which include office buildings and residences, place employees at risk,” the inspector general concluded after inspecting the Beirut embassy compound. It recommended the best solution was to build a new facility.
“The Department’s threat rating for Beirut is critical for terrorism and political violence, but the embassy is not included in the Department’s recent list of high-threat missions,” the report noted.
If Beirut isn’t a high-threat mission, what is? Brussels?