Columns and Opinions
Where are we now on national security? by Chairman Ed Royce for the Orange County Register
We pause today, as we have for each of the past 12 years, to reflect on the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, when al-Qaida terrorists murdered nearly 3,000 Americans. Sadly, we also remember the lives of four other American terrorist victims.
We pause today, as we have for each of the past 12 years, to reflect on the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, when al-Qaida terrorists murdered nearly 3,000 Americans. Sadly, we also remember the lives of four other American terrorist victims. One year ago today, terrorists – armed with machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars – set fire to, attacked and overran U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya. By the end of that onslaught, four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were dead. So what have we learned?
Clearly the calculated attacks in Benghazi caught the U.S. government woefully unprepared. Given the symbolic importance of the Sept. 11 date, U.S. facilities – especially those in the Middle East, like Benghazi – should have been on the highest alert. Tragically, they were not. It seems that everyone at the State Department forgot to circle “September 11” on their calendars.The Benghazi attacks exposed a State Department bureaucracy that was indifferent to the needs of diplomats on the ground. For months, the department systematically declined to provide added manpower, despite repeated security requests from the field. And as the terrorist threat increased, the department still continued to withdraw security resources from Libya.
Read the full opinion piece at http://www.ocregister.com/articles/benghazi-525152-department-security.html