Susan Collins urges security review at US overseas facilities

Posted Sept. 14, 2012, at 6:20 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Sen. Susan Collins said Friday it was “troubling and inexplicable” that the United States’ consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi didn’t have stronger security in place, and she asked the State Department’s inspector general to review security requirements at the department’s overseas facilities.

“Surely, the State Department should not have relied on Libyan nationals to guard the consulate,” Collins said in a statement. “Rather, armed U.S. Marines should have been assigned to provide security.”

Collins’ comments followed the Tuesday night killings of the United States’ ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three other Americans in a mob attack by protesters angry over a film that ridiculed Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.

On Friday, Collins and Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., wrote to the State Department’s deputy inspector general, Harold Geisel, requesting an investigation into the department’s security requirements at its overseas facilities and recommendations for strengthening security.

Collins and Lieberman are respectively the ranking Republican and chairman of the Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

“The brave men and women who serve in dangerous foreign posts like Libya deserve equally courageous, loyal, and competent security to make them as safe as possible as they perform their missions,” Collins said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.