US embassy closures show policy failure

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Rep. Ted Poe

Washingtonâ„¢s decision to shut down nearly all US embassies and consulates in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia shows that Å“terrorism works,” a congressman hinted.

“Terrorism works — because we’re closing all of our embassies and consulates on one day,” Rep. Ted Poe, the chairman of the House’s terrorism and nonproliferation panel, told Foreign Policyâ„¢s The Cable.

“We’d rather be safe than have somebody hurt but the long term answer is every time someone gets information, we can’t shut them all down all over the world,” he noted.

The US State Department ordered the closure of 21 diplomatic facilities on Sunday after intelligence agencies said they had picked up Å“chatter” from senior al-Qaeda leaders indicating major attacks through August.

“I do think it appears that the State Department doesn’t want to get in a situation like it did in Benghazi where the consulate was not secure despite requests for more security months in advance,” Poe said. “Part of the problem though is a public notice like this… The public knows so the bad guys know too.”

The Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, left four Americans dead, including US Ambassador Chris Stevens.

The administration of Barack Obama was sharply criticized for not doing enough to protect the consulate and the personnel inside.

Rep. Poe also cautioned against overreaction.

“Our embassies cannot operate with a bunker mentality in foreign countries,” he said. “Our embassies are there to interact with the people of that country. I hope we don’t get into this bunker mentality mode.”

AGB/HJ

Republished from: Press TV