Embassy closure farce ends except in Yemen.


"Eighteen of the 19 US embassies and consulates that were closed in the Middle East and Africa over fears of attack will reopen on Sunday, according to the US state department.
The embassy in Sana'a, Yemen, will remain closed. The consulate in Lahore, Pakistan, which was closed on Thursday because of what officials say was a separate credible threat, is also not scheduled to reopen.
A state department spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, did not give a reason for the decision to reopen the 18 missions but cited "ongoing concerns about a threat stream indicating the potential for terrorist attacks emanating from al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, for keeping the embassy in Sana'a closed."   The Guardian


The picture is of the "Gate of Yemen' in Sana'a.  Sana'a is a dangerous place, as is all of Yemen.  It was dangerous 30 years ago when I was the military attache there and it still is. The government's area of control never extends far outside the cities and the tribal warfare endemic to the country often comes to town.  When that situation is complicated by the presence of a small but active Sunni jihadi group (AQAP) it is understandable that the Sana'a embassy should be closed.  Perhaps they should close it permanently.  That embassy is an incident waiting to happen.

Nevertheless, the re-opening of all these facilities illustrates the hollowness of the hysterical reaction of the Obama administration in closing them.   Zawahiri sent a message to the AQAP leader exhorting him to action?  So what? 

Shakespeare has Glendower say that he could summon spirits from the vasty deep, to which Hotspur responds, "but will they come?"  The same applies to Zawahiri.  He is hiding somewhere in Pakistan.  AQAP is far from Pakistan.  This message was the basis for closing all these facilities?  I think not.  Either the  government had better information that it does not want to admit to or the whole thing was a hysterical reaction to marginal intelligence complicated by a desire to justify NSA surveillance programs.

I vote for hysterical reaction.  pl      



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11 Responses to Embassy closure farce ends except in Yemen.

  1. Omo Naija says:

    Its a CYA move. Imagine the political hay it presents if the embassies are attacked and its found out there was intelligence access to communication within AQ of such an attack. Its an absolutely no win scenario for the administration. Media hysteria will definitely kick in and dominate the media landscape for months to come.
    Is it cowardly – yes; but political reality leaves very little room to react otherwise.

  2. turcopolier says:

    Oma Naja
    It is CYA but it is also push back on the NSA matter. pl


  4. Basilisk says:

    In the world of the voracious 24-hour news cycle CYA is almost unavoidable. Who would have the stone nerves to ignore the “smoking gun-to be?” Some wise advisor probably pointed out that at least there might be some upside with a favorable portrayal of the utility of the NSA programs. It seems to me that the favorable reaction didn’t come.
    Osama Bin Laden was once quoted, “All we have to do is send two mujahedin […] to raise a small piece of cloth on which is written “al-Qaeda” in order to make the generals race there, to cause America to suffer human, economic and political losses.”
    This is a two-sided game, they pretend to threaten us, and we pretend to be afraid.

  5. The beaver says:

    BTW: Susan Rice is with Obama & family on Martha’s vineyard. That’s what she like, thus she wasn’t too happy when she had to do work @ Turtle Bay 🙂

  6. turcopolier says:

    Basilisk et al
    you buy Walrus’ point about MANPADS and IEDs? pl

  7. turcopolier says:

    So you buy the idea that this is all CYA and not about NSA. Company man! pl

  8. steve says:

    I think it is, more likely than not, orchestrated theatre for domestic consumption with the goal of NSA surveillance justification.
    As exhibited in his press conference the other day, Obama apparently believes that every political problem is a PR problem, explained away by facile lies, half-truths, and a good speech.

  9. The Twisted Genius says:

    A quite reliable source told me that Obama personally is plenty riled about Snowden and his leaks. Even more than his immediate circle of advisors. I would say his willingness to do the crazy NYPD like stop and frisk to the president of Bolivia supports that observation.
    The only reason administration officials would give details about NSA interception of a specific al Qaeda leadership communication would be to bolster NSA’s tattered reputation. That was a damaging revelation of an ongoing intelligence operation. I’m confident that particular leak was sanctioned by Obama in an effort to deflect criticism of the domestic surveillance programs.
    The hysterical shutting of all those embassies could have been an effort to hype how scary the plot that NSA surveillance uncovered just as easily as it being a frightened effort to avoid another Benghazi. I think it was a perfect storm of the two.

  10. Bill H says:

    I’m with Col. Lang on the rection being about justification for NSA. I would add that is consistent with a pattern of Obama’s fear mongering, which follows the pattern of Bush’s fear mongering, which is consistent with Orwell’s 1984 fear mongering. Distract the serfs with the boogeyman who is going to kill us all in our beds and we won’t notice that the lords are stealing our wealth.

  11. Edward Amame says:

    I’m sure Darrell Issa will get to the bottom of the Embassy closures.

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