I suspect that you, gentle readers, like me, are suffering from Obama overload. After the next debate on Monday, I plan to back away from that topic as much as reasonably possible. I have a new Scott case article to finish, a new Guerena case article to finish, and next week will post the latest Volt/electric vehicle update. There is a great deal going on in that world, none of it good for the Administration or General Motors. In many ways, I’m seeing better known pundits and prognosticators finally catching up to things I’ve been writing for nearly two years now, which is, in some small ways, satisfying.
I’ll be posting a visit to the Literature Corner tomorrow as sort of a palate cleanser, but for now, an interesting and infuriating look at “smart diplomacy.” From Rep. Mike Kelly (R., Penn) in The Washington Times:
In a May 3, 2012, email, the State Department denied a request by a group of Special Forces assigned to protect the U.S. embassy in Libya to continue their use of a DC- 3 airplane for security operations throughout the country.
The subject line of the email, on which slain Ambassador Chris Stevens was copied, read: ‘Termination of Tripoli DC-3 Support.’
Four days later, on May 7, the State Department authorized the U.S. embassy in Vienna to purchase a $108,000 electric vehicle charging station for the embassy motor pool’s new Chevrolet Volts. The purchase was a part of the State Department’s ‘Energy Efficiency Sweep of Europe’ initiative, which included hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on green program expenditures at various U.S. Embassies.
In fact, at a May 10 gala held at the U.S. embassy in Vienna, the ambassador showcased his new Volts and other green investments as part of the U.S. government’s commitment to “climate change solutions.”
The event posting on the embassy website read: ‘Celebrating the Greening of the Embassy.
To be absolutely fair, at recent House hearing into the Libya attack, State Department officials admitted that the lack of adequate security was not a matter of a lack of funding. They simply chose not to provide security. In fact, Charlene Lamb claimed the security was actually adequate, despite the murder of four Americans including our ambassador, Chris Stevens, and the destruction of the consolate.
After continuing serious threats and multiple attacks, what security was the oh-so-green Department of State willing to provide?
When Lt. Col. Wood and Mr. Nordstrom surveyed the Benghazi compound’s physical security in March 2012, they said the security provisions were ‘inappropriately low,’ with just one DSS agent available to supervise the 24-hour security. In addition to the DSS agent, the compound was protected by four armed members of the 17th of February Martyrs Brigade and unarmed Libyan contractors employed by the British-based Blue Mountain Group.
According to an employment contract recovered at the Benghazi compound by the Washington Post shortly after the September attacks, those unarmed Libyan contractors were making roughly $4 dollars an hour.
Nothing but the best for Americans posted in terrorist hotbeds. Rep. Kelly, like me, is not impressed:
If that was indeed the case, the State Department, using the funds provided to the U.S. embassy in Austria for an electric vehicle charger, could have provided Ambassador Stevens with three additional guards, 24 hours a day, for 365 days, with some money left over.
Yet another milestone for the Chevy Volt. As Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden like to say, General Motors is alive. While it is probably excessive to observe that had Vienna not been graced with Chevy Volts, four Americans would still be alive, this is indeed a stunning illustration of just what “smart diplomacy” really means in application—and consequences.