November 9, 2012

Loath as I am to contribute to the continued pollution surrounding the Benghazi, Libya, attack, Bernhard Saxe’s Nov. 3 Free for All letter [“A failure of journalistic responsibility”] prompted me to try to set the record straight. Referring to reporting on the events in Benghazi, the letter states: “It is just one more piece of evidence that the White House failed to provide adequate protection for its diplomats and then tried to cover up the failure of the president’s policy in the Middle East.”

The truth is that any one of the U.S. embassies and consulates in the Middle East is vulnerable to the kind of attack that took place in Benghazi. It is not the role of the CIA to provide armed protection to an embassy, while the role of a Marine Security Guard unit is to protect classified information. To provide adequate military protection to every post, even assuming that the host countries would agree to the stationing of foreign troops on their soil, would require a gargantuan increase in the budget for diplomatic security — a budget that the Republican-controlled House voted to decrease by $300 million.

Frank Huffman, Washington