Instead, the State Department outsourced security for the Benghazi consulate to Blue Mountain, a Welsh firm that hires ex-British and -Commonwealth special forces, among the toughest hombres on the planet. The company’s very name comes from the poem “The Golden Journey to Samarkand,” whose words famously adorn the regimental headquarters of Britain’s Special Air Service in Hereford. Unfortunately, the one-year contract for consulate security was only $387,413 — or less than the cost of deploying a single U.S. soldier overseas. On that budget, you can’t really afford to fly in a lot of crack SAS killing machines, and have to make do with the neighborhood talent pool. So who’s available? Blue Mountain hired five members of the Benghazi branch of the February 17 Martyrs’ Brigade and equipped them with handcuffs and batons. A baton is very useful when someone is firing an RPG at you, at least if you play a little baseball. There were supposed to be four men heavily armed with handcuffs on duty that night, but, the date of September 11 having no particular significance in the Muslim world, only two guards were actually on shift.
Let’s pause right there, and “politicize” a little more. Liberals are always going on about the evils of “outsourcing” and “offshoring” — selfish vulture capitalists like Mitt shipping jobs to cheap labor overseas just to save a few bucks. How unpatriotic can you get! So now the United States government is outsourcing embassy security to cheap Welshmen who in turn outsource it to cheaper Libyans. Diplomatic facilities are U.S. sovereign territory — no different de jure from Fifth Avenue or Mount Rushmore. So defending them is one of the core responsibilities of the state. But that’s the funny thing about Big Government: The bigger it gets, the more of life it swallows up, the worse it gets at those very few things it’s supposed to be doing. So, on the first anniversary of 9/11 in a post-revolutionary city in which Western diplomats had been steadily targeted over the previous six months, the government of the supposedly most powerful nation on earth entrusted its security to Abdulaziz Majbari, 29, and his pal, who report to some bloke back in Carmarthen, Wales.
In the days before the attack Joe Biden had been peddling his Obama campaign slogan that “bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive.” The first successful terrorist attack on U.S. sovereign territory since 9/11, and on the very anniversary and by al-Qaeda-linked killers, was not helpful to the Obama team. And so the nature of the event had to be “politicized”: Look, over there — an Islamophobic movie! “Greater love hath no man than this,” quoth the president at Chris Stevens’ coffin, “that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Smaller love hath no man than Obama’s, than to lay down his “friend” for a couple of points in Ohio.
— Mark Steyn, a National Review columnist, is the author of After America: Get Ready for Armageddon. © 2012 Mark Steyn