Skip to comments.Sensitive security vetting at U.S. Embassy in Iraq is turned over to troubled State Department
Posted on 06/17/2013 6:39:18 AM PDT by george76
Battered by scandals surrounding security failures in Benghazi and allegations of criminal activity by diplomats, the State Department is taking over the sensitive process by which background checks are given to locals hired to work at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, the largest and most expensive diplomatic post in the world.
The process is presently handled by a private security company contracted to the Pentagon. But a recently circulated contract solicitation indicates that the firm conducting the vetting and the budget for the process is being shifted to the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security.
Despite more than 10 years in Iraq, the report says, U.S. officials lack firsthand knowledge of local conditions and the best places to recruit potential candidates, in part because American diplomats rarely venture beyond the international zone surrounding the embassy...
suicide bombings and sectarian conflict between Sunni and Shiite Muslims continue to rage.
But shifting the responsibility for security to the State Department raises its own questions. Elsewhere in the region, the departments track record on security in postwar environments has been mixed.
The department suffered a particularly unfortunate blow last year when armed militants stormed a makeshift diplomatic post and CIA house in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, killing U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
In Benghazi, the State Department worked with a British company that hired local guards to protect the diplomatic post. A report by Reuters in October noted that the company Blue Mountain Group hired about 20 Libyan men including some who said they had minimal training to screen visitors and help patrol the makeshift post.
Some sustained injuries and said they were ill-prepared to protect themselves or others when armed militants stormed the facility.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
Gosh, what could go wrong?
Alright, then. Is the staff at the Baghdad embassy ready to be abandoned, murdered and sexually mutilated?
I’m still waiting for the presidential candidates from 2008 to be vetted.