I thought Candy Crowley was very good, especially regarding the Benghazi interchange:
Since the Benghazi US Embassy terrorist attack, I’m wondering how the US State Department has increased the security at our embassies. There are about 270 US Embassies throughout the world. That probably includes 30 or more embassies in the Middle East and Africa where terrorists are most likely to strike. Did they add more security? If so, how many and how much does this cost to secure these places 24/7/365?
Note: It takes 61,320 man-hours (24 X 7 X 365) to add just one extra security person, around the clock per year, at just one embassy.
How many troops would you have sent in, to better secure all the embassies 24/7, if you were President? 5? 10? 20? Where would they be housed? The logistics and costs of adding even a few security personnel 24/7 are terrifically difficult and expensive.
In my opinion, it was probably a good thing they didn't have more security personnel in Libya. They may have all been killed. A better solution may be to have a plan to get the embassy personnel out of the area (or into a safe room), if they feel threatened. In Libya, it was apparent that the terrorists had too much firepower for even an increased security team. They might have all been slaughtered! And who's to say Al Qaeda wouldn't have sent in 200 terrorists with grenade launchers, if the security had been increased. This was a surprise hideous attack, just like 9/11. Even the Pentagon was not secure from that terrorist attack.
Isn't the host country supposed to provide some security for foreign embassies? I've been to DC and all the foreign embassies look very vulnerable there. I'll bet it wouldn't take long for US troops to secure a foreign embassy in DC. In my opinion, our US embassies should have a safe room that can be secured and livable for a minimum of 3-5 days against a terrorist attack. That would give the US, or host country, time to deploy troops to secure the area and rescue the embassy personnel and their security team. We can’t expect a small security team to be able to protect an embassy against a well-planned and heavily armed surprise terrorist attack like that in Benghazi.
I’m wondering how Mitt Romney would have directed the State Department to increase the security in these areas? How would he have acted as President, after the Benghazi attack? Would he have sent in military troops?
President Obama was heavily criticized for not jumping to judgment, and calling the Benghazi attack a terrorist attack, before he had a complete report from the State Department personnel including the ambassadors in the area. What was the rush for judgment? So what if it took two weeks to finally determine who instigated the attack. So what that the State department was wrong in their initial reports that the cause of the attacks was a video as was widely reported by the media. Al Qaeda tricked the media and used them to report the video as the cause of the attacks. Now that we know that this was an Al Qaeda planned attack, what do we do now? I’m wondering what Mitt Romney would do at this point? Start another war like we did in Iraq and Afghanistan? That cost thousands of lives and trillions of dollars. Or do we take the time to investigate the attacks and track down those that actually instigated and carried out the attacks, like we did with Osama Bin Laden. The terrorists disappeared throughout Libya and beyond within hours after the Benghazi attack. Numerous other attacks occurred at other embassies throughout the region that appeared to be unorganized spontaneous attacks, intentionally inflamed by Al Qaeda by blaming the video.
Let the intelligence community do their work to determine the main instigators of these attacks and bring them to justice. Those involved will usually reveal themselves by bragging to others that they were the ones who killed the Americans in Benghazi.