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Accountability for terrorist attacks against Americans overseas

Published: November 2, 2012

In 1996, terrorists killed 19 U.S. servicemen at Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia. Brig. Gen. Terryl Schwalier, who conducted a thorough security review before the bombing, corrected 33 of 36 vulnerabilities. He requested funding to correct the other three but was denied funds by Secretary of Defense William Cohen. Correction of those three vulnerabilities would have saved our servicemen.

In 1998, U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed. Embassy staffs had asked for funds to improve security against terrorist attacks. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright denied them. After Americans were killed, the State Department offered $2 million for the capture of the bombers. No one in the State Department ever was disciplined for failure to support better security.

On Sept. 11, 2012, four Americans were killed in a terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. More funds for protection had been denied our staff in Libya. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has taken responsibility, but no one has been held accountable.

Steven D. Kahne, Edmond


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