U.S. Senator Susan Collins today released this statement with regard to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya.
"During the past two days, I have participated in classified briefings by the National Counterterrorism Center and the Department of Defense on the attacks on our consulate in Benghazi during which four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, were killed.
"The lack of security provided to the Ambassador and other American personnel in Benghazi is deeply troubling and inexplicable given the dangerous threat environment in that city. Earlier attempts in June to reportedly attack the British ambassador and to plant a bomb outside of our consulate clearly demonstrated how dangerous and unsettled Benghazi is. Surely, the State Department should not have relied on Libyan nationals to guard the consulate. Rather, armed U.S. Marines should have been assigned to provide security.
"The kind of weapons used by the attackers also strongly suggests to me that this attack was planned and not the result of a spontaneous protest.
"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."
Senator Collins, who is Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, also today sent a letter, along with Chairman Joe Lieberman, asking the Deputy Inspector General of the U.S. State Department to conduct a thorough investigation of the Department's security requirements at overseas facilities. In the wake of unrest at U.S. embassies in the Middle East and the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya, the Senators wrote to Deputy IG Harold Geisel and asked for a review of security protocol and recommendations for improvements.