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We can put a man on the moon, but we can’t secure our Embassies

After the Benghazi debacle, obviously no Regional Security Officers (RSOs) at the State Dept were ever boy scouts, otherwise, they would have practiced the famous motto, “be prepared.”   From Hurriyet Daily News via  Commentary magazine comes the report that the Embassy’s security cameras weren’t working because of a power outage in the neighborhood.  What!

US Embassy entrance in Ankara after suicide bombing (AP)

Security cameras were not recording at the moment of the blast due to a power outage in the area, according to claims.

It is surprising–and a significant vulnerability–that security cameras would be dependent upon the local power supply, rather than an independent source. Benghazi revealed serious flaws which had developed in embassy and consulate security during the past four years and perhaps before.  It seems, however, that Benghazi exposed only some of the complacency which has developed.

How many Americans and businesses across the US own that novel piece of equipment known as a power generator, or have other forms of backup power supply in case of power outages.  Yet, our US Embassy in Turkey, a country sharing a border with one of the unstable hotspots of the world, Syria, relies on the local power supply, rather than have its own self-contained security system.  The suicide bomber, it was reported, was on his way through security when the bomb was detonated.  One can imagine the potential loss of life and damage if the bomber had gotten into the actual Embassy compound.

State Department spokesperson, Victoria Nuland, was quick to point out that Congress is to blame for lack of funding, yet the budget numbers prove quite the opposite.

Budget numbers, though, show the overall diplomatic security budget has ballooned over the past decade. While there were modest decreases in funding in recent years — and Congress has approved less than was requested — the overall security budget has more than doubled since fiscal 2004.

For that year, the budget was $640 million.  It steadily climbed to $1.6 billion in fiscal 2010. It dipped to $1.5 billion the following year and roughly $1.35 billion in fiscal 2012.

Slightly more has been requested for fiscal 2013.

With regard to the US consulate attack in Benghazi, budget was also not at fault.

Still, then-Deputy Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security Charlene Lamb testified in October that the size of the attack — and not the money — was the issue.

Asked if there was any budget consideration that led her not to increase the security force, she said: “No.”

The eighth attack on a US Embassy in the last four years (h/t Gateway Pundit.)  When, not if, another attack occurs, will the MSM and the American people be less forgiving with newly appointed Secretary of State, John Kerry.  We’ll know soon enough.  Already there are warnings akin to Benghazi arising out of Kabul.

Cross-posted at www.political-woman.com

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