- Marco Rubio: U.S. at social, moral crossroads
- ‘We’re coming for you, Barack Obama’: Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL
- White flags baffle NYPD: ‘We’re lucky it wasn’t a bomb’
- N.Y. Gov. Cuomo’s office interfered with, pressured corruption commission: report
- Brit lawmaker: I would fire on Israel if I lived in Gaza
- VA apologizes to forgotten Marine veteran locked in Fla. clinic, forced to call 911
- U.S. social and economic trends on worrisome track, survey finds
- McDonald nomination unanimously referred to full Senate
- Chuck Norris honorary chairman of NRA voter registration campaign
- GOP outraged Obamacare investigators able to get coverage with fake IDs
Official: No Marines in Libya at time of Benghazi attack
U.S. ambassador and three others killed by militants
Question of the Day
No U.S. Marines were in Libya when protesters stormed a diplomatic mission in the eastern city of Benghazi and killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans late Tuesday, a senior Obama administration official said Saturday.
The official’s comments were intended to correct previous statements by administration officials who said a small contingent of Marines was stationed at State Department facilities in the North African nation.
The U.S. diplomatic compound breached Tuesday by Libyan protesters in Benghazi had a relatively light security posture compared to diplomatic facilities in other conflict zones.
Marines are guarding diplomatic facilities in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen, Defense Press Secretary George Little told reporters Thursday.
“The State Department has the lead for embassy security around the world. Naturally, if they ask for our advice in given situations, we’ll offer it up, no question about it,” Mr. Little said in response to a question about who plans security at embassies and diplomatic facilities.
Part of the reason Marines were not stationed at the Benghazi compound is that it is not an embassy or consulate, but a “diplomatic mission,” officials said.
In some conflict zones, State Department officials work in buildings other than embassies or consulates in order to conduct “expeditionary diplomacy” — establishing an initial presence and building a relationship with locals, as in post-revolution Libya, officials said.
Senior administration officials described the facility in Benghazi as an “interim” one that the State Department had acquired before the fall of dictator Moammar Gadhafi, consisting of a main building and several ancillary buildings, as well as an annex farther away.
The Pentagon has deployed a 50-man Marine platoon to the Libyan capital of Tripoli to protect U.S. citizens and the embassy.
“If called upon, we would obviously provide support to our State Department colleagues to provide additional security at embassies,” Mr. Little said.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Kristina Wong is a national security reporter for The Washington Times, covering defense, foreign policy and intelligence affairs. She can be reached at email@example.com.
- Despite Pentagon cuts and eye on Pacific, Air Force implored to save the 'Warthog'
- Pentagon welcomes budget deal but says more defense spending needed
- Rep. Hunter to Pentagon: Don't lower combat standards for women
- Scientists raise alarm over plan to destroy Syria's chemical weapons at sea
- Hagel renews Qatar defense pact despite differences over Iran, Syria
TWT Video Picks
The subsidies are a hit with patients who don't exist
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of mixing politics and business
- Democratic Sen. John Walsh plagiarized War College master's thesis: report
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- Netanyahu's Wikipedia page replaced with giant Palestinian flag
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- DEACE: How to go from civil rights icon to bigot in one quote
- Beretta moving to Tennessee over Maryland gun laws
- Two Ukrainian fighter jets shot down
- Latest Obama claim: I don't learn anything from the news
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq