State Department Chain of Command: The Buck Stops

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    Yesterday Hillary Clinton set the record straight again and gave a lesson in how the government works.  (Joe Biden set the record straight the first time.) Except for unusual circumstances, the White House doesn’t handle embassy security requests. The State Dept does.

    Requests for more assistance go up the chain of command to the Secretary of State. But, as I’ll discuss in a moment, the Secretary cannot provide what she doesn’t have money for. Security is handled by both the US military, usually the USMC and private security. Indeed, some of the more infamous private security firms, who are big Republican donors, btw, got the contracts for doing so.

    Additionally, as most people know (or at least the hope is…), Paul Ryan led the charge to cut the Dept of State Security for embassies. Paul Ryan did this. Now, I am not directly blaming Paul Ryan for the deaths. The perpetrators did that. But he is surely more responsible for what happened than either Hillary Clinton or President Obama.  It is more than absurd for Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney and the hordes of PAC funders to pretend that the President is to blame.The GOP has a track record for slashing support and then blaming resulting inefficiency’s and problems on the very people they have punked.  

    • Teddy Goodson

      from an embassy, which is considered to be actually American soil in diplomacy-speak, is it not? It is in a sense an American business outpost, providing assistance to American business abroad, and back-up services to Americans travelling abroad often, the American consul in a small foreign port turns out to be a foreign national, hired for the job).

      The American ambassador, who himself insisted on personally meeting with and helping the Libyan rebels, put himself at risk knowingly by even being in Benghazi at this risky time, because he wanted to see for himself what was going on.

      Then, too, the cheese-paring ways of the Republicans in the House, always anxious to privatize goverment functions so their campaign contributors in Big Business can reap more profits, have always sought to de-fund those wimy, limp-wristed functionaries of the Department of State (which, after all, is headed by a female), in contrast to their solicitous over-funding of the macho Defense Department. Now, they are digging up supposed “whistle blowers” who claim they asked for more security support at the consulate. You can find such disgruntled or scared individuals just about anywhere there is instability. Have they tried Kyrgistan or Timbuctu? We suffered, as I recall, actual bombings of embassies under Bush, and Reagan lost an entire Marine barracks in Lebanon.    

    • KatyinBlacksburg wrote:

      ” But, as I’ll discuss in a moment, the Secretary cannot provide what she doesn’t have money for.

      […]

      Paul Ryan led the charge to cut the Dept of State Security for embassies. Paul Ryan did this.”

      Then, can you explain why the State dept has $2 billion in an account of unused funds for security?

      http://www.politico.com/blogs/

    • Considering that Hillary is taking the blame on this one, it contrasts with what then Senator Clinton said in 2008:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?f

      Leaves one to wonder, considering how much the Obama’s and the Clinton’s dislike each other, what was Hillary Clinton promised to do this?

    • brianrw00

      For a cabinet-level official, taking responsibility for a failure as serious as this one means offering up your resignation.  Even Don Rumsfeld was decent enough to make  that offer after Abu Ghraib.

    • This administration can’t even get the blame game right.

      http://washingtonexaminer.com/

      Ambassador Stevens family deserves better. We all deserve better.