By Jim Kouri
n the aftermath of the deadly attack on a U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Tuesday, the U.S. military and law enforcement agencies are involved in beefing up diplomatic security and the investigation of the murders and assaults on U.S. embassy staff, according to a Thursday press conference.
During the news briefing, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta condemned in the strongest terms the September 11 attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Egypt and Libya.
In response to the unrest in Muslim countries, Secretary Panetta ordered the evacuation of American diplomatic personnel and casualties out of Libya and called for the remains of the four State Department personnel, including those of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, who was killed in the attack late Tuesday at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, to be brought back to the United States.
Secretary Panetta and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke with military commanders in the field throughout the region to ensure that they have the flexibility to respond to requests for assistance or orders as directed by President Barack Obama.
According to the Pentagon, the Defense Department is supporting all efforts to provide security to American personnel in Libya, Egypt and elsewhere. Little said they are working with the State Department and supporting their efforts in protecting diplomatic personnel.
Besides the military, the Federal Bureau of Investigation reports that federal law enforcement personnel have boots on the ground in Libya and they’ve have opened their own investigation into the attack on the U.S. compound and the alleged torture and murder of Ambassador Stevens, as well as investigating the deaths of three other U.S. diplomatic staff members.
According to a law enforcement official coordinating an investigation into one of the terrorist groups allegedly involved in both the Egyptian and Libyan embassy incidents, the actual U.S. diplomatic facility is a temporary consulate that the State Department acquired during the rebellion against dictator Moamar Khaddafi. There is a main building with several adjacent buildings and acres of land within the compound.
“This emergency calls for more than just political-posturing and saber rattling by President Obama and his minions who are ‘copping a plea’ that the riots and killings are not Obama’s fault but the fault of an obscure film,” said the law enforcement official.