U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens killed in consulate attack

U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens killed in consulate attack
September 12th, 2012  
News Manager

Topic: U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens killed in consulate attack

U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens killed in consulate attack
The death of Christopher Stevens, 52, on Tuesday came as two American State Department employees were also killed in Benghazi as an 20 gun-wielding attackers stormed the U.S. consulate, angry about an American made film that depicts Prophet Mohammad as a fraud and womanizer.

September 12th, 2012  
Capt Frogman
The Americans really can't help themselves, can they?
September 12th, 2012  
Concerning what?
U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens killed in consulate attack
September 12th, 2012  
Capt Frogman
Originally Posted by 03USMC
Concerning what?
Hardly a month goes by when some American religious nutter produces an anti-Islam video/burns a few Korans, is it?
September 12th, 2012  
And the solution is what? Suspend the 1st amendment so no one can be offended? Hardly a day goes by without a religious nutter calling for jihad on the west, what do we do about that?
September 12th, 2012  
Capt Frogman
Originally Posted by 03USMC
And the solution is what? Suspend the 1st amendment so no one can be offended? Hardly a day goes by without a religious nutter calling for jihad on the west, what do we do about that?
It's got nothing to do with being offended. It's the fact that innocent people are being killed because of these mental religious types.

Everytime Korans are burnt/an anti Islam video is made public, innocent westerners end up being killed. Every single time.

Anyone calling for jihad on the west is quite often caught up with by law enforcement eventually.
September 12th, 2012  
Then where does it end? We censor opinion and speech in order to appease a perpetually pissed off group of people, what about the next group and the next group and the next group? How far are we willing to erode a basic right in the name of not offending someone?

I in no way agree with the BS the attention whores that do this present and find it ill advised and self serving, but I also believe that if it were not this, it would be something else.
September 30th, 2012  
Peter Dow

Topic: Diplomatic security after terrorists kill US Ambassador in Benghazi, Libya

I was shocked and horrified when I heard about this and my sincere condolences to our American friends and loved ones.

This incident confirmed my concerns that diplomatic missions in "war-on-terror" countries are not being properly secured by being located in a properly secured and defended military bases.

This reminds me of the storming of a UN base in Mazar-e-Sharif when 7 UN workers were killed in April 2011. The guy responsible at the time for UN security - Gregory B. Starr, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Safety and Security, is an American who used to be employed as the person responsible for the security of US diplomatic bases.

My view is that it's not fair on diplomats to leave them vulnerable in peace-time-designed embassies and consulates when there's war on in countries which are host, however unwillingly, to armed enemy forces and it's not fair to expect them to put their lives in the hands of career State Department officials who are incompetent about security or unable and unwilling to take action to remove their juniors who are incompetent.

These reports show it was armed terrorists, not just an angry civilian mob.

CBS News video: WH declares consulate assault "a terrorist attack"

CBS News webpage: Military-style tactics seen in US Consulate siege

According to this report -

Arutz Sheva, IsraelNationalNews.com 9/16/2012,

Col. Hunt: Libya Embassy Guards had No Bullets
"The State Department just allowed our guys to get killed," says Fox News military analyst Col. David Hunt.

Colonel Hunt said Thursday that the American mission at Benghazi "was like a cardboard building, there wasn't even bullet proof glass." In addition, Hunt said the security guards inside the mission were private security guards who were not allowed to have bullets n their guns.
- shockingly, the Benghazi consulate on the night of the attack had -
  • No Marine Security Guards.
  • No bullets for the guns carried by the hired Libyan "security"
  • No fortifications.

Obama response inadequate

President Obama has ordered "heightened security" and the story so far is that means 50 more marines are on the way to Libya. That's an inadequate response in my opinion.

It's not enough to "order heightened security" if by that you mean ordering the same incompetent fools currently in charge of security to continue in post but to try to do a proper job this time despite still having no idea what to do.

50 Marine Security Guards would have helped had they been there on the night of the attack to defend Ambassador Stevens but from Colonel Hunt's description of the American consulate building at Benghazi - "was like a cardboard building, there wasn't even bullet proof glass" - it was not an appropriate strong building to choose to stand and fight against a terrorist attack with enemies using infantry weapons such as assault rifles, rocket propelled grenades and mortars.

Had Ambassador Chris Steven's possible Marine Security Guard detail been blessed with leadership from a good military officer of the quality of Colonel Hunt they ought to have been able to assess that Benghazi building as unsuitable for use as a fort against attackers and would have recommended moving to somewhere more secure.

At least with real marines with real bullets in their guns they could have provided a strong armed escort for the diplomatic team on the move.

However, we need to be honest with ourselves folks and admit that really good military officers are a rare breed these days. Just sending in the soldiers to defend against an enemy does no good if the soldiers you send are not well led, properly deployed, able to do the job.

In the worst cases of military incompetence, more soldiers, even more brave US Marines, setting up in a poorly defended building can just mean more targets for the enemy to attack and to kill.

We need to remember the very painful lesson of -

Wikipedia: 1983 Beirut barracks bombing

The Beirut Barracks Bombing (October 23, 1983 in Beirut, Lebanon) occurred during the Lebanese Civil War, when two truck bombs struck separate buildings housing United States and French military forces—members of the Multinational Force in Lebanon—killing 299 American and French servicemen.
So I think we ought to be more demanding than just welcoming any US president sending in some marines. We ought to demand a plan that will deploy the marines well so that they can defend themselves and the embassy or consulate and the ambassador very well indeed.

The US and allied western countries ought to
  • Close the most vulnerable diplomatic embassies and consulates in host countries with a war-on-terror connection, with an armed jihadi terrorist groups threat. So that would be not only Libya, but it could be any country from a list of 10 or more dangerous countries, such as Egypt, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen - anywhere US embassies have come under fire from jihadi terrorists before could be considered for closure.
  • If the host country does not agree to an embassy within a military base then consider withdrawing our ambassadors from the country altogether and do the best we can to offer diplomatic services from outside the country. Diplomacy can be done and some embassy services offered over the internet and telephone, at sea in anchored ships acting as floating embassies / consulates, in a neighbouring country, from the USA or Europe, until such time as the host country is ready to say "yes" to the fortress embassy military base plan.

What to do about the US Embassy in Libya now?

As for Libya, the embassy building the US is using now in Tripoli is not up to the usual standards - it is a temporary facility being used because the embassy proper was wrecked by Gaddafi's thugs in May 2011.

So it is not just the Benghazi consulate that was not up to security standards. The US Marines guarding the US Embassy in Tripoli will help a lot but something like a terrorist truck bomb could maybe still kill a lot of people so I am concerned that it is not safe to continue operating out of that building.

Embassy Ship / Ship Embassy

For Libya with the major cities on the coast the embassy ship -anchoring a suitable US Navy vessel offshore and designating it an "embassy" - could be a good workable secure solution which could be up and running very quickly.

For Libya it would be possible to have two ships - a larger "embassy ship" anchoring 12 plus miles offshore off of Tripoli and a second smaller "consulate ship" anchored 12 miles plus offshore off of Benghazi.

I think for Libya the ship embassies solution is a good idea to try out and get some experience of how practical and useful operating a remote embassy some distance from the capital city might be. This experience could be invaluable to inform the design requirements of a remote fortress embassies base on land.

So long as the ship embassy wasn't anchored too close to land within missile, mortar or artillery range of the shore I would think it would be fairly safe. I assume it would be a US Navy ship with guns, missiles and marines of course.

Better still is over the horizon 12 miles plus offshore so that helicopters flying from ship to shore can initially fly parallel to the shore but unseen from the shore for an unpredictable distance before turning and heading inland.

If as I have read there are indeed a large number of ground-to-air missiles in the hands of terrorists in Libya then we need to bear in mind that travelling by helicopter can be vulnerable to those missiles or even machine gun fire so it is best security procedure to do things like change the route so that terrorists never know where to lie in wait, have an attack helicopter escort, equip the helicopters used with anti-missile devices etc.

Also even if a diplomat achieves surprise by arriving unexpectedly at a public event in Tripoli or Benghazi, remember that very quickly the word will get out and terrorists with ground-to-air missiles will be on their way to follow the diplomat leaving and to try to shoot down the helicopter when it departs. So don't wait around visiting for too long and lose the advantage of surprise. A quick landing, speech, wave, photo for the cameras, drive away, take off, back to ship - all before the terrorists have organised a response.

But yes the more I think about it, the ship embassy concept looks good to go!

Then negotiations between the US and Libya can proceed in a more relaxed way thinking, planning and building a secure US embassy on land, perhaps a fortress embassy in a military base situated in the Libyan desert?
October 10th, 2012  
If the US ambassador would have been killed by Gaddafi fans because they wanted to repay the US support of Libya rebels, what is your opinion then? That movie could give them a good opportunity and excuse .
Just remember how did the rebels kill Gaddafi and who was the rebels main supporter. If west hadn't supported the rebels, Gaddafi wouldn't have defeated and it is logical Gaddafi fans hate west. So they killed the US ambassador. It is a supposition.

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