Secretary of State John Kerry took a larger detail of security agents on a trip to Arlington, Va., last week, when he went to visit—of all places—the headquarters of the department’s security bureau, than the State Department deployed to its compound in Benghazi, Libya, in the days leading up to the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attacks.
Kerry, as recorded by an official State Department publicity photograph, was “surrounded” in Arlington on Monday, Feb. 4, by at least four of the department’s Diplomatic Security (DS) agents. In the days leading up to the Benghazi attacks, the State Department deployed only three Dipomatic Security agents to the department’s mission in Benghazi.
So, when Kerry emerged from his limousine in suburban Virginia last week he had one more agent protecting him there than the State Department had protecting its compound in Benghazi last summer.
When Amb. Chris Stevens travelled from Tripoli to Benghazi on Sept. 10, he brought another two Diplomatic Security agents with him on his journey. Those two agents, who accompanied Stevens on his Tripoli-to-Benghazi trip, were half the number pictured with Kerry last week on his trip across the Potomac River.
When Amb. Stevens arrived at the State Department’s Benghazi mission, the two DS agents who had travelled with him from Tripoli boosted the number of DS agents at the State Department compound there to five.
The Bureau of Diplomatic Security is responsible for protecting U.S. diplomatic personnel, missions and communications around the world. It also protects the secretary of state, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and foreign diplomats working in the United States.
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