Adopting the policy of tactical genius P. X. Kelley, the Marine Corps’ Commandant at the time of the Lebanon suicide bombing in 1983, the American Ambassador in Cairo refused to let the Marines have access to ammo. General Kelley did not let the sentries carry loaded rifles, because they might accidentally shoot someone. But he did allow them to carry ammunition in their belts, so they could load up if attacked, which they did not have time to do. Ambassador Anne Patterson took it one stage beyond General Kelley.
Evidence that this was official policy is strong: senior U.S. officials have declined to comment. If it was not official policy, they would say so.
The story hit Drudge’s site. Ms. Patterson might as well get her vita up to date. She will not be in Cairo for long.
She was in Washington when the riots began. It did not occur to her to get on Skype and tell the officer in charge to let the Marines load their weapons. Busy, busy, busy.
While Marines are typically relied on to defend U.S. territory abroad, such as embassies, these reports indicate that the Obama administration was relying on Egypt’s new Muslim Brotherhood-backed government to ensure American security, a move observers are questioning as violence in Cairo continues to rage.
Marc Toner, the State Department’s deputy spokesperson, did not respond to a request for comment from the Free Beacon. White House National Security Council spokesperson Tommy Vietor also did not respond to a request for comment.
When they clam up, they know what is coming. Ms. Patterson might as well pack her bags.
A Marine spokesperson at the Pentagon denied the Free Beacon’s report in a statement to Fox News. He is a Lt. Colonel. A Lt. Colonel who deals with the press is in flank-protection mode at all times. He is protecting his flank.
Pentagon Lt. Col. Chris Hughes told the outlet: “The ambassador and RSO (Regional Security Officer) have been completely and appropriately engaged with the security situation. No restrictions on weapons or weapons status have been imposed. This information comes from the Det Commander at AMEMB (American Embassy) Cairo.”
If the story turns out to be true, Col. Hughes’ career is safe. No one will remember him, one way or the other. He did his job. He covered the Det Commander’s flank. That ended his responsibility. The Det Commander is now on his own, to deal with a Congressional hearing while under oath.
If this no-ammo story is confirmed, Ms. Patterson will be on her way to a new station, possibly in Greenland. Or maybe it is the other way around. She will resign for personal reasons, thereby confirming the story. No one in a President-appointed post survives a Drudge posting without clear-cut evidence that the outrageous rumor was not true. Not in an election year.
If Romney’s TV ad guy is not hard at work editing a 30-second spot on this, then he is asleep at the wheel.
I mean, even Sheriff Andy Taylor allowed Barney Fife one bullet, if he kept it in his shirt pocket.