Volts for Vienna, Bupkis for Benghazi
While the US consulate in Benghazi was guarded by unarmed Libyan contractors making $4 an hour, our embassy in Vienna received an expensive charging station for its new electric cars to help fight climate change.
Requests for extra security had been made by our Libyan ambassador, Christopher Stevens, and other members of our consulate in Benghazi. The requests were denied, despite 230 security incidents in Libya between June 2011 and July 2012, with 48 taking place in Benghazi, two at the U.S. diplomatic compound where Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans were murdered on Sept. 11, 2012. A date that by itself should have prompted enhanced security.
Security was left to one DSS agent, four armed members of the 17th of February Martyrs Brigade and unarmed Libyan contractors employed by the British-based Blue Mountain Group.
In a May 3, 2012, email on which Ambassador Stevens was copied, the State Department denied a request by a group of Special Forces assigned to protect the U.S. Embassy in Libya to continue their use of a DC-3 airplane for security operations throughout the country.
Four days after the use of an ancient DC-3, along with other security requests, was being denied, on May 7, 2012, the State Department authorized the U.S. Embassy in Vienna to purchase a $108,000 electric-vehicle charging station for the embassy motor pool's new Chevrolet Volts. The purchase was a part of the State Department's "Energy Efficiency Sweep of Europe" initiative, which included hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on green program expenditures at various U.S. embassies.
At a May 10 gala held at the U.S. Embassy in Vienna, the ambassador showcased his new Volts and other green investments as part of the U.S. government's commitment to "climate change solutions." The event posting on the embassy website read: "Celebrating the Greening of the Embassy."
We do not know if our consulate in Benghazi was environmentally friendly. We do know that it did not have even the minimally acceptable security features by State Department standards. Certainly solar panels on the roof or Chevy Volts parked outside would have done much to protect the consulate from an organized terrorist attack using mortars and rocket-propelled grenades.
Posted by: Pappy