The consulate had suffered three seperate failed bombing attempts just months earlier and the British packed up when their ambassador had death threats and an attempt on his life by the same group that attacked us. Additionally Red Cross packed up and left.
Originally Posted by raytri
AND in addition to that, Ambassador Stevens met with State Department people several times asking for more help!
"At around 6:20 a.m., a yellow Mercedes-Benz truck drove to Beirut International Airport, where the 1st Battalion 8th Marines under the 2nd Marine Division had set up its local headquarters. The truck was not the water truck they had been expecting, but a hijacked truck carrying explosives."
Okay. In 1983 in Beirute, the situation was unstable enough to require a large Marine detachment. Shouldn't that have been a sign that serious security was needed? Instead, the sentries were operating on highly restrictive rules of engagement (notably, no magazine or rounds in their weapons) that prevented them from effectively engaging the truck bombs.
The truck was expected and a welcomed sight, no doubt.
"The truck turned onto an access road leading to the compound and circled a parking lot. The driver then accelerated and crashed through a barbed wire fence around the parking lot, passed between two sentry posts, crashed through a gate and drove toward the lobby of the marine headquarters. The sentries at the gate were operating under rules of engagement which made it very difficult to respond quickly to the truck. Sentries were ordered to keep their weapons at condition four (no magazine inserted and no rounds in the chamber). By the time the two sentries were able to engage, the truck was already heading towards the building's entry way, armed."
The truck had to floor it to crash through a fence AND a gate AND drive between TWO seperate sentry posts. I hardly think that qualifies as "lax" security.
The sentries were, inexplicably, operating at "condition four" but this brings up three points: All Marines in embassy security positions are still at condition four, under Obama, which makes this issue a push. Two, Marine guards were able to engage the truck, albeit not immediately, and three, it's not clear they could have stopped a speeding truick filled with explosives at any rate.
You can justifiably say this single aspect indicates the security at the Marine compound was not ideal but in no way can you claim it was lax.
This is like trying to blame Bush for the 9/11 attack. We had word that terrorists might try to use airplanes as flying suicide bombers. That in no way identifies which planes (out of thousands of daily flights) to look out for.
The Marine commander on the ground said he knew some sort of attack would come after we provided naval support to the Lebanese Army, and that naval gunfire killed a sizable number of civilians.
In hind sight that "water" truck should have been stopped but hind sight is perfect while people are not.
The warning was insufficient and vague. The degree to which our troops (the sentries) were "hamstrung" was not significant and it's not clear they could have stopped a suicide attack anyway. Failure to convice.
So we had warning; we had hamstrung our own defenses; and 240 Marines died while sleeping in their barracks.
Why wasn't Reagan impeached? Why is that an absurd comparison?
Last edited by Yosh Shmenge; Nov 08 2012 at 05:51 PM.
Beware! Obama said if you like your form of government you can keep it!