State Dept: Shutdown Endangers Embassy Security Improvements

Friday, 04 Oct 2013 01:42 PM

By Dan Weil

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The government shutdown will make it more difficult for the State Department to introduce security upgrades at its embassies.

For example, the closing may set back training for security agents at U.S. diplomatic facilities, department spokeswoman Marie Harf told a news conference, The Hill reports.

"I want to underscore that these include some of the same enhancements recommended by the accountability review board that followed the Benghazi attack," Harf said, referring to a review of the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack at the diplomatic post in Libya's second city that killed four Americans.

"So I think for a Congress that's never missed an opportunity to talk about embassy security, this is a result of its inability to do its job," Harf said. That was seen as a dig at Republicans who have been critical of the State Department for not having better security at Benghazi.

The shutdown will also hamper the peacekeeping operation in the Sinai Peninsula and the imposition of sanctions against Iran, Harf said.

"So again, for a Congress that talks about its commitment to Israel, here's the impact of its inability to its job,” she said. "For all the talk in Congress about keeping up the sanctions pressure in Iran, Treasury's office of foreign-asset control has furloughed nearly all of its staff."

Related Stories:

House Passes Bill to Strengthen Security at U.S. Embassies
Leaks About Embassy Plot More Damaging Than Snowden

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