Why wasn't there more security in Libya?
The Kansas City Star
There’s no question that the attack in Libya that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others will be front and center in tonight’s presidential debate.
Neither President Barack Obama nor challenger Mitt Romney fared well in last week’s debate when Romney tried to press the question of why the Obama administration has sent mixed messages over whether the attack was terrorism, as opposed to a spontaneous reaction to an incendiary video.
That is a muddy subject. This story by McClatchy’s Washington bureau does a good job of summing up the problems.
I’m not sure Romney will get any further tonight by plumbing the aftermath of the attack. To me, the run-up is much more worrisome.
It’s pretty well established now that Stevens and others had asked for more security in Libya and were rebuffed. According to this CBS story, the State Department removed as many as 34 people from Libya in the six months before the attack, even as people on the ground there were asking for more, not less.
Somebody in Washington was making decisions that turned out to be very wrong. The underlying factors could well be complex, and I’m not sure how much we’ll learn about this in tonight’s debate. But there is no valid fiscal or political motivation that justifies leaving U.S. personnel vulnerable in the line of duty overseas.