Monday, September 17, 2012

Special Report: US diplomats burning sensitive materials in reaction to...

A movie.  Even though the movie is the pretext for the murder of Christopher Stevens and others, the attack was planned well in advance, and the level of precision and tactics preclude it from being an angry mob with a few guns.  That means diddly though, as the lie of a film "insulting" Muslims gains traction.

From Politico September 17

U.S. diplomats in Beirut burning classified material

WASHINGTON (AP) — Diplomats at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut have started to destroy classified material as a security precaution amid anti-American protests in Lebanon and elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa.

A State Department status report obtained Monday by The Associated Press said the Beirut embassy had "reviewed its emergency procedures and is beginning to destroy classified holdings." It also said that local Lebanese employees were sent home early due to protests by the militant Shiite group Hezbollah over an anti-Muslim film produced in the U.S.

In Washington, a State Department official said there was no imminent threat to the heavily fortified Beirut embassy, which is about an hour away from where the nearest demonstration is planned.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss security procedures, said the decision to "reduce classified holdings" was routine and made by embassy staff.

Protestors have breached the walls or compounds of several U.S. diplomatic missions, including the consulate in Benghazi, Libya where the ambassador and three other Americans were killed, Cairo and Tunis since last Tuesday.

After Tuesday's incidents, the State Department ordered all U.S. embassies and consulates around the world to review their security postures. As a result, a number of missions decided to destroy classified material, the official said. It was not immediately clear which other missions besides the one in Beirut had taken that step.

The official stressed it was normal under circumstances such as those of last week for embassies to reduce the amount of classified material that they hold. Classified documents are also routinely culled as part of normal embassy operations.

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