Posts Tagged state department

Spec Ops Tracking Benghazi Suspects, Told To Leave Libya

From Fox News:

Special operators in the region tell Fox News that while Benghazi targets have been identified for months, officials in Washington could “never pull the trigger.” In fact, one source insists that much of the information on Benghazi suspects had been passed along to the White House after being vetted by the Department of Defense and the State Department — and at least one recommendation for direct action on a Benghazi suspect was given to President Obama as recently as Aug. 7.

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With Embassy Closures, the U.S. Errs on the Side of Caution

With Embassy Closures, the U.S. Errs on the Side of Caution is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

Summary

Global, nonspecific threats such as those that prompted recent U.S. embassy closures and travel warnings have rarely proved credible. These precautionary measures appear to be the result of two separate threats, one attack against an unspecified U.S. embassy and another against travel infrastructure — presumably an airliner. In response to the embassy threat, the U.S. government announced Aug. 4 that it had extended the closure of several embassies in the Middle East until Aug. 10 and that African posts would now be among the embassies closed. In response to the airline threat, Washington issued a global travel alert running from Aug. 2 to Aug. 31. The travel warning and the closures have commanded the media’s attention and have led to much speculation about the source and the credibility of the threats, but more often than not these threats fail to materialize. Read the rest of this entry »

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Plastic Gun “Cat” Is Out Of The Bag

The State Department has stopped Defense Distributed from hosting the files for a plastic gun, but those files were copied thousands of times and are now hosted on sites all over the internet. People have already begun to make the guns and improve on the designs in just a few weeks. Forbes has a good article on the phenomenon.

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Dept. of State Takes Down DEFCAD Gun Files

The Blaze reports that the Department of State has claimed ownership of the information which Defense Distributed had on its website.

A letter to Defense Distributed from the Department of State, Bureau of Political Military Affairs, Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance, Enforcement Division (DTCC/END) explains that while conducting a review of the data posted on DEFCAD it found that the licensed firearm manufacturer might have released ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations)-controlled information without authorization and would thus be in violation.

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Burying Benghazi

From: Fred Thompson

So now, apparently, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is going to appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to testify about the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya and the ensuing scandal.

Although, the murdered ambassador was working for her and she was in charge of the department responsible for the clearly inadequate protection of the diplomatic facility, she had essentially nothing to say about the matter even before her health difficulties. This follows the Obama Administration’s well-worn game plan and the failed practices of the past: the FBI cites “criminal investigations” to keep from having to discuss this terrorist attack … even with the CIA. Aided and abetted by the media, the White House ignores the matter, and even if it were forced to focus on it, would decline comment, citing the FBI’s criminal investigation. There have been no public hearings or testimony from Departments of Defense, State or the White House national security witnesses, even though it seems apparent that most of the information needed by Congress and the American people is not or should not be classified. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Benghazi Report and the Diplomatic Security Funding Cycle

The Benghazi Report and the Diplomatic Security Funding Cycle is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

By Scott Stewart
Vice President of Analysis

On Dec. 18, the U.S. State Department’s Accountability Review Board released an unclassified version of its investigation into the Sept. 12 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the attack, so the report was widely anticipated by the public and by government officials alike.

Four senior State Department officials have been reassigned to other duties since the report’s release. Among them were the assistant secretary of state for diplomatic security; two of his deputy assistant secretaries, including the director of the Diplomatic Security Service, the department’s most senior special agent; and the deputy assistant secretary responsible for Libya in the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.

The highly critical report and the subsequent personnel reassignments are not simply a low watermark for the State Department; rather, the events following the attack signify another phase in the diplomatic security funding cycle. The new phase will bring about a financial windfall for the State Department security budgets, but increased funding alone will not prevent future attacks from occurring. After all, plenty of attacks have occurred following similar State Department budgetary allocations in the past. Other important factors therefore must be addressed.  Read the rest of this entry »

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CIA Operators Were Denied Help During Attack on Lybian Consulate

From: Fox News (Exclusive)

Watch “Special Report Investigates: Benghazi — New Revelations” on Fox News at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, 3 p.m. on Sunday and 10 p.m. on Sunday.

Former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods was part of a small team who was at the CIA annex about a mile from the U.S. consulate where Ambassador Chris Stevens and his team came under attack. When he and others heard the shots fired, they informed their higher-ups at the annex to tell them what they were hearing and requested permission to go to the consulate and help out. They were told to “stand down,” according to sources familiar with the exchange. Soon after, they were again told to “stand down.”

Woods and at least two others ignored those orders and made their way to the consulate which at that point was on fire. Shots were exchanged. The rescue team from the CIA annex evacuated those who remained at the consulate and Sean Smith, who had been killed in the initial attack. They could not find the ambassador and returned to the CIA annex at about midnight.

At that point, they called again for military support and help because they were taking fire at the CIA safe house, or annex. The request was denied. There were no communications problems at the annex, according those present at the compound. The team was in constant radio contact with their headquarters. In fact, at least one member of the team was on the roof of the annex manning a heavy machine gun when mortars were fired at the CIA compound. The security officer had a laser on the target that was firing and repeatedly requested back-up support from a Spectre gunship, which is commonly used by U.S. Special Operations forces to provide support to Special Operations teams on the ground involved in intense firefights. The fighting at the CIA annex went on for more than four hours — enough time for any planes based in Sigonella Air base, just 480 miles away, to arrive. Fox News has also learned that two separate Tier One Special operations forces were told to wait, among them Delta Force operators.

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A Warrior’s Farewell to Glen Doherty

Glen A. Doherty, a security contractor and former member of the Navy SEALs, was killed in Libya on Sept. 12, 2012, while defending the American Mission in Benghazi, Libya.

NY Times

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Korean War Garands Finally Return to USA

From Guns.com:

The importation of as many as 87,000 M1 Garands gathering dust in South Korean storage may soon get the green light for importation to the US. Special thanks is due to Montana Senator John Tester and Representative Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming who introduced legislation to prevent the US government from interfering with the importation of US-made guns that were previously exported to other countries. In the face of this pressure, the State Department will no longer prohibit the exportation of these M1 Garands back to the US.

These American made rifles will finally be returned and available for purchase.

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Why U.S. Bounties on Terrorists Often Fail

Republished from STRATFOR:

By Scott Stewart

U.S. Deputy Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman announced April 3 that the U.S. government’s “Rewards for Justice” (RFJ) program was offering a $10 million reward for information leading to the capture and conviction of Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). In other Rewards for Justice cases involving Pakistan, suspects such as Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Abdel Basit and Mir Amal Kansi have hidden in Pakistan and maintained relatively low profiles. In this case, Saeed is a very public figure in Pakistan. He even held a news conference April 4 in Rawalpindi announcing his location and taunting the United States by saying he was willing to share his schedule with U.S. officials.

While the Saeed case is clearly a political matter rather than a pure law enforcement or intelligence issue, the case has focused a great deal of attention on Rewards for Justice, and it seems an opportune time to examine the history and mechanics of the program. Read the rest of this entry »

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Importation of Korean War Garands More Likely

The State Department is reconsidering its ban on the importation of U.S. made Korean War era M1 Garands from South Korea.

From Guns and Patriots:

“The Department will consider a new request from the Republic of Korea (ROK) to transfer its inventory of approximately 87,000 M-1 Garand rifles into the United States for sale on the commercial market,” a spokesperson at the U. S. Department of State said to Guns&Patriots on Dec. 2. “We have not yet received that request.”

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State Dept Travel Caution

Worldwide Caution

This information is current as of today, Fri Feb 18 2011 14:09:32 GMT-0600 (Central Standard Time).

January 31, 2011

The Department of State has issued this Worldwide Caution to update information on the continuing threat of terrorist actions and violence against U.S. citizens and interests throughout the world.  U.S. citizens are reminded to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness. This replaces the Worldwide Caution dated August 12, 2010, to provide updated information on security threats and terrorist activities worldwide.

The Department of State remains concerned about the continued threat of terrorist attacks, demonstrations, and other violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests overseas.  U.S. citizens are reminded that demonstrations and rioting can occur with little or no warning.  Current information suggests that Al-Qaida and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks against U.S. interests in multiple regions, including Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.  These attacks may employ a wide variety of tactics including suicide operations, assassinations, kidnappings, hijackings, and bombings.

Extremists may elect to use conventional or non-conventional weapons, and target both official and private interests.  Examples of such targets include high-profile sporting events, residential areas, business offices, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, public areas, and locales where U.S. citizens gather in large numbers, including during holidays. Read the rest of this entry »

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State Department Issues Travel Warning For Mexico

Finally the government has recognized there is a problem:

Mexico

August 27, 2010

The Department of State has issued this Travel Warning to inform U.S. citizens traveling to and living in Mexico about the security situation in Mexico.  The authorized departure of family members of U.S. government personnel from U.S. Consulates in the northern Mexico border cities of Tijuana, Nogales, Ciudad Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, Monterrey and Matamoros remains in place.  However, based upon a security review in Monterrey following the August 20, 2010 shooting in front of the American Foundation School in Monterrey and the high incidence of kidnappings in the Monterrey area, U.S. government personnel from the Consulate General in Monterrey have been advised that the immediate, practical and reliable way to reduce the security risks for children of U.S. Government personnel is to remove them from the city.  Beginning September 10, 2010, the Consulate General in Monterrey will become a partially unaccompanied post with no minor dependents of U.S. government employees. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning for Mexico dated July 16, 2010 to note the changing security situation in Monterrey.

Millions of U.S. citizens safely visit Mexico each year.  This includes tens of thousands who cross the border every day for study, tourism or business and at least one million U.S. citizens who live in Mexico.  The Mexican government makes a considerable effort to protect U.S. citizens and other visitors to major tourist destinations.   Resort areas and tourist destinations in Mexico do not see the levels of drug-related violence and crime reported in the border region and in areas along major drug trafficking routes.  Nevertheless, crime and violence are serious problems.  While most victims of violence are Mexican citizens associated with criminal activity, the security situation poses serious risks for U.S. citizens as well.

It is imperative that U.S. citizens understand the risks involved in travel to Mexico, how best to avoid dangerous situations, and who to contact if one becomes a victim of crime or violence.  Common-sense precautions such as visiting only legitimate business and tourist areas during daylight hours, and avoiding areas where criminal activity might occur, can help ensure that travel to Mexico is safe and enjoyable.  U.S. citizen victims of crime in Mexico are urged to contact the consular section of the nearest U.S. Consulate or Embassy for advice and assistance. Contact information is provided at the end of this message. Read the rest of this entry »

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