Monday, June 10, 2013

Beirut Is The Next Benghazi

Sacre Blu!

Does history really, really redux itself?

Truly, who can say?

Yet certainly seems like a historical redux in the machination mon cherie.

Leb Leb Lebanon. A kinda crazy place where Hiz"B"Allah - the Posse of Allah - blood sworn "Death to America" Great Satan haters on Great Satan"s Official Enemies List hang out. Site of the death of Teufel Hunden one of America's deadliest terror attacks, the 1983 bombing of a Marine barracks that killed more than 240,when HbA first got crunk up via Mullahopolis in Iran. 

Not to mention the place is like always on Def Con something - fixing to bust out in civil and sectarian war at the drop of a grenade. 

A recent, uh, internal, uh, probe - reads like Great Satan"s State Dept is not just asking for trouble, yet begging for it
The State Department is failing to adequately protect diplomats in Beirut, leaving them without necessary counterterrorism training and serving in a decrepit, aged embassy compound that fails to meet security protocols, according to an internal investigation that raises new questions about 44"s administration's commitment to protecting Americans overseas in the aftermath of the Benghazi tragedy.

In fact, the department did not place Beirut on its latest list of high-threat diplomatic missions even though Lebanon is listed at the "critical" threat level for potential violence with its frequent rocket attacks, spillovers from the Syrian civil war and heavy presence of the terror group Hezbollah, the agency's inspector general said in a report

 “Physical security vulnerabilities at mission facilities, which include office buildings and residences, place employees at risk.”  It recommended the best solution was to build a new facility.

In the meantime,  
Diplomats face serious threats while working at the 18-acre “cramped, aged and difficult to maintain office" located on a "steep and hilly compound” located 20 minutes from downtown Beirut, the report said. And their superiors back home in Washington seem unaware of the threat level, failing to harden weak physical security or provide needed counterterrorism training, the inspector general observed.

The risks remain high as the civil war in Syria continues to threaten the stability of Lebanon due to the influx of more than 325,000 refugees, and tensions with Hezbollah remain high with frequent rocket attacks and other skirmishes.

“The Department’s threat rating for Beirut is critical for terrorism and political violence, but the embassy is not included in the Department’s recent list of high-threat missions,” the report noted.

The embassy has recently “acquired property, but Beirut is listed only as an alternate mission for 2016 in the Department of State (Department) Capital Security Construction Program,” the investigators said, questioning the department's lack of urgency.

The inspector general cited numerous security failures, noting the Beirut embassy’s mail screening facility does not comply with department regulations. The inspection also found that “the embassy has not adequately addressed the physical, environmental, and procedural security issues with the telephone switch and unclassified server room," the report said.

“Unlike staff at other critical threat posts, Embassy Beirut employees do not take the foreign affairs counterterrorism course, which provides training on emergency medical procedures, chemical biological remediation, and driving in dangerous situations,” it said. “Such training imparts important skills and awareness among employees at high-threat posts such as Beirut, but the course is expensive.”

Even thought the Bureau of Diplomatic Security has mobile training teams to “provide on-site training for all embassy employees, including local guards and bodyguards,” it was not offered in Beirut

The report stated that security requirements under the Compliance with Overseas Security Policy Board standards, “is not possible at the current location" because of its outdated facilities and unusual physical attributes.

The embassy compound’s health facility “is located on a steep hill in a prefabricated modular unit that is accessible only by climbing outside stairs, making the unit inaccessible to disabled personnel or personnel being transported by stretcher or gurney,” investigators noted.

Moreover, during heavy rain the roads become “rivers” and even failure to maintain buildings have “caused the support structure of some residential units to collapse”

Pic - "Soft Targets"