“The United States suspended operations at its embassy in Libya Saturday and evacuated its diplomats to neighboring Tunisia under U.S. military escort amid a significant deterioration in security in Tripoli as fighting intensified between rival militias, the State Department said,” according to a Fox News report:
“Due to the ongoing violence resulting from clashes between Libyan militias in the immediate vicinity of the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, we have temporarily relocated all of our personnel out of Libya,” spokeswoman Marie Harf said.
The withdrawal underscored the Obama administration’s concern about the heightened risk to American diplomats abroad, particularly in Libya where memories of the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. mission in the eastern city of Benghazi are still vivid and the political uproar over it remain fresh ahead of a new congressional investigation into the incident. A senior military official told Fox News the Pentagon has been advising the State Department leave the post for weeks.
“Securing our facilities and ensuring the safety of our personnel are top department priorities, and we did not make this decision lightly,” Harf said. “Security has to come first. Regrettably, we had to take this step because the location of our embassy is in very close proximity to intense fighting and ongoing violence between armed Libyan factions.”
American personnel at the Tripoli embassy, which had already been operating with limited staffing, left the capital around dawn and traveled by road to neighboring Tunisia, according to Harf. Roughly 70 embassy staffers were driven out of the city in a caravan by 80 Marines, Fox News has learned.
Former President Obama is on the case, though.
Nahh, just kidding. He’s on the links, of course:
Pres Obama’s foursome includes ESPN co-hosts Kornheiser and Wilbon. Also WH aide Marvin Nicholson, his most frequent golf partner.
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) July 26, 2014
As Twitchy notes, “Ouch! World in turmoil, President Voting Present golfs; Newt Gingrich brutally nutshells:”
comforting that as US embassy in Libya evacuated President Obama golfed with ESPN hosts. Wouldn’t want President bothered by reality.
— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) July 27, 2014
Mark Steyn brutally nutshells as well:
Dinesh D’Souza has a new movie out called America: Imagine A World Without Her – but we don’t really have to “imagine”, it’s happening before our eyes. Nothing difficult and complicated about it: in this decline and fall, the Emperor simply went fundraising.
At any rate, Jamie Weinstein sat in for Hugh Hewitt this week, and took me on a brisk trot round current topics:
MARK STEYN: Well, what’s going on in the world is of very little interest to President Fundraiser. He’s got other priorities, and the rest of the planet, as I believe it’s marked on the State Department maps, can go take a hike… There’s a vacuum of American power. And John Kerry is the physical presence of American absence. Nobody wants to see him. Nobody wants to do the handshake. Nobody wants to pose for photographs.
Finally, at the Belmont Club, Richard Fernandez contrasts additional news of fresh global disaster and concludes, “This is Obama Tranquility Base bidding you goodnight.”