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Rubio, Risch Press Administration On Response To Threats To U.S. Personnel In Tripoli

May 7, 2014 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Jim Risch (R-ID) today expressed concern over the deteriorating security situation in Libya, pressing for answers regarding the danger U.S. personnel face in Tripoli in a letter sent to Secretary of State John Kerry.

In light of the State Department’s response to the 2012 terrorist attacks against U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya, Rubio and Risch are seeking to ensure the Administration is heeding intelligence warnings and planning for all contingencies by requesting Kerry share what the Department of State and U.S. government are doing to:

    1. secure U.S. diplomatic facilities in Libya;

    1. ensure that U.S. personnel and property are properly protected;

    1. coordinate with the Department of Defense to plan for the extraction of U.S. personnel in an emergency;

    1. enhance the capacity of the Libyan government to control their territory and fight terrorism; and

  1. mitigate the terrorist threat within Libya.

“As members of both the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, we remain concerned with the inexcusable lack of accountability at the Department of State following the September 11, 2012 terrorist attacks against U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya,” the senators wrote. “As co-sponsors of a resolution calling for the establishment of a Joint Select Committee to investigate the Benghazi terrorist attacks, there are clearly lessons to be learned from those terrible events.

“The American people deserve to know the full picture regarding the Administration’s awareness of and response to the threats faced by U.S. personnel prior to the attacks as well as how the administration responded after the attacks occurred,” they added. “For the benefit of all Americans serving in diplomatic posts overseas, we owe it to them to heed the lessons of those attacks.”

A PDF of the letter is available here.

The full text of the letter is available below:  

May 7, 2014

The Honorable John Kerry
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20220

Dear Secretary Kerry:

We are concerned that as the security situation in Libya continues to deteriorate that U.S. diplomats in Tripoli are increasingly at risk.

As members of both the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, we remain concerned with the inexcusable lack of accountability at the Department of State following the September 11, 2012 terrorist attacks against U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya. As co-sponsors of a resolution calling for the establishment of a Joint Select Committee to investigate the Benghazi terrorist attacks, there are clearly lessons to be learned from those terrible events. The American people deserve to know the full picture regarding the Administration’s awareness of and response to the threats faced by U.S. personnel prior to the attacks as well as how the administration responded after the attacks occurred. For the benefit of all Americans serving in diplomatic posts overseas, we owe it to them to heed the lessons of those attacks.

In light of recent warnings indicating the security situation continues to devolve across the country of Libya as a whole, and in the capital of Tripoli, we want to ensure the Department is heeding intelligence warnings and planning for all contingencies. Therefore, we ask that you please share with us what the Department of State and U.S. Government are doing to: (1) secure U.S. diplomatic facilities in Libya; (2) ensure that U.S. personnel and property are properly protected; (3) coordinate with the Department of Defense to plan for the extraction of U.S. personnel in an emergency; (4) enhance the capacity of the Libyan government to control their territory and fight terrorism; and (5) mitigate the terrorist threat within Libya.

We have sent a separate classified letter indicating the specific threats that initiated our concern. We appreciate your timely response to this urgent matter and assure you we remain ready to assist in any way to ensure we provide appropriate protection to U.S. personnel serving overseas at our diplomatic posts.

Sincerely,

Marco Rubio

Jim Risch