Kerry: To bring light to world, U.S. must go 'where it's dark'
September 11, 2012 attack on U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya
May 20th, 2013
04:19 PM ET

Kerry: To bring light to world, U.S. must go 'where it's dark'

By Paul Courson

Secretary of State John Kerry tried to reassure diplomatic workers on Monday that security improvements are underway at American missions around the world where they are likely to be deployed.

The measures include plans for a rapid evacuation contingency if conditions turn deadly, as they did last September during a terror attack on the U.S. post in Benghazi, Libya.

In opening remarks at a "Security Overseas Seminar" at the Foreign Service Institute, Kerry said there's a balance between making contact with the local populations the United States is trying to serve, and protecting Americans working in hostile regions.

"Diplomacy and security needs do not have to be trade-offs," he said, declaring that "if we are going to bring light to the world, we have to go where it is dark."

Kerry cited hostilities in Libya last year that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, and an attack this year in Afghanistan that killed American diplomatic worker Anne Smedinghoff.

"I am acutely aware of the very real risks we take around the world. I think of them every day," Kerry said, but that in helping others embrace American ideals, no one should be "surprised that there is danger."

To address such risk, Kerry said "we're bringing on more security personnel, we're enhancing our training, we're putting more Marines at high-threat diplomatic posts, and we're making sure that their first responsibility is protecting our people, not just classified materials."

And should a threat exceed the presence of Marines and security fortifications, Kerry said upgrades include "linking our embassies with various military commands to make emergency extradition more central to our military mission."

The two-day seminar is aimed at government workers and their families preparing for assignments overseas. A schedule for Tuesday listed panels that include "Hostage Survival," "Evacuations and Contingency Planning," and "Coping in a Crisis."

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Filed under: Libya • Sec. State John Kerry • State Department • Terrorism
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. curso operador de empilhadeira

    Congratulations, Great article. 962257573

    May 6, 2021 at 5:16 pm | Reply
  2. Iris Angis

    When I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any approach you'll be able to take away me from that service? Thanks!

    February 23, 2021 at 7:39 pm | Reply
  3. Grumpy2012

    Didn't Jesus say "You are the light of the world"?

    May 22, 2013 at 10:24 pm | Reply
  4. rightospeak

    Bringing light Mr. Kerry ??? I know that you are far removed from reality in your DC la-la land. You need to realize that we bring DARKNESS-evil all over the globe and people all over the globe are getting vocal about it. With censored news owned by the oligarchs the light you are talking about can not get trough. You can b.s. some of the people some of the time, but not all the people all the time. Americans are fed up with your endless wars, with declining standard of living, with our people being killed to enrich your rich friends. Stop all wars and bring back offshored jobs and maybe some light will get through.

    May 22, 2013 at 5:57 pm | Reply
  5. Ron

    The way I see it. The muslim brotherhood said, Jump and Allah obama said, We'll be right there to save those brothers of mine in trouble.

    May 22, 2013 at 3:55 pm | Reply
  6. Andrey

    Kerry demonstrates that reality can be ignored! It is all about words! F*** the history! Mission accomplished!

    May 22, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Reply
  7. Michael A Ruzicho

    Aint that phrase the truth when half the world is still in the dark searching for freedom and life.

    May 22, 2013 at 1:45 pm | Reply
  8. Pete

    Like an imbecile from Texas once proclaimed over ten years ago MISSION ACCOMPLISHED on what I still don't know!!

    May 22, 2013 at 1:18 pm | Reply
  9. ron

    why is it allways the united states that has to use there blood to solve the problems..and the other nations just site back and do nothing????

    May 22, 2013 at 5:02 am | Reply
    • Joe M.

      That is a very good question, ron. It's nothing but stupidity at it's worst! This country needs to start minding it's own business and let the rest of the world take care of itself. Those bumblers and fumblers in Washington are just too dumb to realize that simple fact!

      May 22, 2013 at 8:57 am | Reply
  10. David in Tampa

    No we do not Mr Kerry. What we need to do, is take care of the dark places in the USA

    May 21, 2013 at 9:47 pm | Reply
  11. Quigley

    John Kerry's idea of bringing light to the world today is no different from that of Attila the Hun's back in the 5th century AD! Attila tried to "bring light" to France back in 451 AD but was defeated by the Romans and it wasn't until 1940 when Hitler succeeded in that endeavor only to have that "light" put out four years later by the U.S., Great Britain and especially Russia! "Poor France!" , according to Kerry.

    May 21, 2013 at 7:43 pm | Reply
    • Joe M.

      Yours is the most intelligent post here yet, Quigley. It's too bad that most of these nitwits here just don't get it! I wonder just how many of them ever got past the 5th grade in school. Evidently, not too many!

      May 22, 2013 at 9:01 am | Reply
  12. Jeff

    Islam is a violation of human rights.

    May 21, 2013 at 3:30 pm | Reply
  13. Solus5

    Please somebody bring some light to Washington, IRS, and the DOJ before we start sharing our "light" with the rest of the world.. Every time I look at Kerry all I can think about is this coming out of his mouth, "I want to buy me a huntin' license." It makes me laugh..

    May 21, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Reply
  14. jonat

    More whistleblowers will emerge shortly in the escalating Benghazi scandal, according to two former U.S. diplomats who spoke with PJ Media Monday afternoon.

    These whistleblowers, colleagues of the former diplomats, are currently securing legal counsel because they work in areas not fully protected by the Whistleblower law.

    According to the diplomats, what these whistleblowers will say will be at least as explosive as what we have already learned about the scandal, including details about what really transpired in Benghazi that are potentially devastating to both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

    May 21, 2013 at 10:11 am | Reply
    • robert jay

      Are you a Rand Paul impersonator> More of never letting the facts get in the way of a good rumour right? What kind of lawyers must they be that 7 plus months AFTER bengahzi they still can't figure out what kind of BS to use to support their position? Lets give bengahzi a break – people go into war zones in third world countries can die – unfortunately that happens and did happen – lets get on with building the country back that Bushs poilicies collapsed-that is what is important!

      May 22, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Reply
  15. jonat

    Shine the light in Washington first, it's never been so dark and sinister there

    May 21, 2013 at 10:10 am | Reply
    • wjmccartan

      Well put, jonat. How true that is, too! We need to clean up that right-wing mess in Washington before jumping into other countries!

      May 21, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Reply
      • Jeff

        You might want to face reality and realize the left is in charge.

        May 21, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
      • wjmccartan

        Phunnie Boy stop using my name in your anti American rhetoric, then find a job and stop sniffing glue, you putrid specimen of a human being.

        May 21, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
      • Pete

        @Jeff,boy has the republicans got you buffaloed,what year is this again,what president,what color,race is he,just asking!!

        May 22, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
  16. Free Man in the Republic of Texas

    To bring light to world,
    U.S. must go 'where it's dark'

    Ahhh.... DETROIT

    usdebtclock . org

    May 21, 2013 at 6:58 am | Reply
  17. helenecha

    When there is no a perfect apple in my hands, what I need to guarantee must be that every bite is good enough when it is in my mouth. Will you?

    May 21, 2013 at 12:43 am | Reply
    • Just Amazing

      And that's why its so messed up

      May 21, 2013 at 8:43 am | Reply
  18. Joseph McCarthy

    Until the Muslims all over the world quit chanting "Allah Akbar" and start chanting "Allah Akbar, but Capitalism, the NATO forces and "Democracy" Akbar-er!", the right-wing thugs in Washington will not be happy! This is all right-wing idiocy at it's very worst!

    May 20, 2013 at 8:26 pm | Reply
    • wjmccartan

      Good posting, Joseph. Thank you.

      May 21, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Reply
      • wjmccartan

        Once again you waste of skin, stop using my name, you buttwad.

        May 21, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
      • Pete

        @wjmccartan,if you phunnie boy eliminated go to CNN ,send them an email as I did stating your name used by a troll and your emaill address ..It'll stop,it did for me!!Tell them you'll hold CNN accountable for his treasonistic comments,they don't like that either!!

        May 21, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
    • Jeff

      Yet the left in charge continues with nation building. What is wrong, too cowardly to condemn you side? What a joke.

      May 21, 2013 at 3:29 pm | Reply
  19. Portland tony

    Bringing "light to the World" by the U.S. military? This is the most stupid concept ever devised in the annals of mankind and probably will always be! Look at what happened in Iraq today, for example! How stupid can one get??????

    May 20, 2013 at 8:00 pm | Reply
  20. Just Amazing

    Bring light to that place. Yeh Right. No light where Light is not wanted.

    May 20, 2013 at 7:35 pm | Reply
  21. George Patton-2

    ya light up dark places with hand grenades. Now let's wait and see if punnie boy pops up and files disclaimer.

    May 20, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Reply
    • George Patton-2

      Here's that stupid Tea Partying nut job above again, trying to make me look as dumb as he is. All joking aside, if we truly want to "bring light to the world", we first need to learn to stay out of the internal affairs of other countries and quit starting all these idiotic wars of ours overseas!!!

      May 20, 2013 at 7:41 pm | Reply
      • Just Amazing

        Staying out of their business yes. They don't want our brand of light, let all of them settle their own problems.

        May 20, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
      • Just Amazing

        What worries me is what Israel is going to do in the future.So its darned if we do and darned if we don't. The rebels in Syria are now fighting each other. Turkey has leverage on the whole area by control of the head waters in an area stricken with drought. All the scenarios are grim. Here is something to check out China controls the water tower of Asia. Lake Chad is all but gone in that particular area. Refugees migrating stressing resources. Its never ending.

        May 20, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
      • George Patton-2

        George "punnie boy Patton -2, for " we first need to learn to stay out of the internal affairs ", NO SIR, if there are human rights violations, then it not just our business but the business of the entire word to step in. You can't let unarmed civilians getting slaughtered at the hands of Islamic terrorist gangs.

        May 20, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
      • Just Amazing

        No argument from me but what is needed and what will happen wont even be close Im afraid and I really would love to eat crow.

        May 21, 2013 at 7:57 am |

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