Letter: The rest of the story on Benghazi

Published:

 

After the slaughter of Americans at the Consulate in Benghazi, we have heard many stories of the failure of security forces. Blame is easily fixed upon the Obama administration. There are facts in this debacle not always presented to Americans. The Marine security guards have two primary missions:

  1. Primary mission is to provide security of classified information and equipment vital to national security.

  2. Secondary mission is to provide security of consulate or embassy staff and American visitors.

Marine Security Guards are highly trained and motivated. They perform their duties as instructed by the mission statement and give their lives willingly.

Under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the host country also has the duty to protect the embassies. In many countries, the police or security forces operate on a different level of commitment. The U.S. typically hires contracted security forces to protect personnel. It is little known that the Republican Congress cut the 2012 budget for security of consulates and embassies by more than $300 million.

That’s the rest of the story.

Celia Louderback

Vancouver