By Suzanne Kelly
The Office of the Inspector General at the State Department is launching two reviews to determine whether the U.S. security posture is adequate at overseas posts prone to violence and terrorism.
In a letter provided to CNN by a source familiar with the investigation, Deputy Inspector General Harold Geisel announced the additional reviews, which are part of ongoing audits. According to the letter, the new reviews, known as “scopes of work,” will take a closer look at not only the security measures and procedure in place, but they will also focus on the role contractors play in assessing whether local security guards are up to the task of protecting U.S. embassies and missions.
A number of inspections are underway that examine how information about threats is shared within the State Department and its various missions. According to the letter, additional inspections are already being planned for the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad with more being considered at U.S. embassies in Beirut, Lebanon, and Rabat, Morocco. The scope extends to a number of missions around the world as well.
"At present, we are inspecting a number of missions, including Nigeria and the Philippines, and will assess security measures as part of those inspections," the letter stated. Missions tend not to have the same level of security that U.S. embassies are provided.
The additional reviews were requested by Sens. Joe Lieberman, I-Connecticut, and Susan Collins, R-Maine. They are the leaders of the Senate Homeland Security Committee and are also leading a bipartisan inquiry into circumstances surrounding the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.
The attack on September 11 left Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans dead. Many lawmakers have questioned the adequacy of the security at the mission.