January 29, 2013

Regarding James Jeffrey’s Jan. 27 Outlook commentary, “When should we risk the lives of our diplomats?”:

I am surprised that one development leading up to the Benghazi, Libya, attack has not gained more prominence: An urgent request by an ambassadorfor more security did not come to the attention of the secretary of state. Rather, as Mr. Jeffrey stated, “lower-level workers at the State Department blocked the request.”

This is an unacceptable arrangement that should be changed immediately. No ambassador should be placed in a position where staff members can second-guess his or her requirements, particularly regarding security.

Frank Cohn, Alexandria