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U.S. Marines defending the American embassy in Egypt were not permitted by the State Department to carry live ammunition, limiting their ability to respond to attacks like those this week on the U.S. consulate in Cairo.
Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson “did not permit U.S. Marine guards to carry live ammunition,” according to multiple reports on U.S. Marine Corps blogs spotted by Nightwatch. “She neutralized any U.S. military capability that was dedicated to preserve her life and protect the US Embassy.”
Time magazine’s Battleland blog reported Thursday that “senior U.S. officials late Wednesday declined to discuss in detail the security at either Cairo or Benghazi, so answers may be slow in coming.”
The Beirut Bombing occurred on October 23, 1983. The act was a terrorist attack against the United States Marine Headquarters during the Lebanese Civil War...
...Shiite Muslim suicide bomber, encountered unarmed marines and detonated his truck with 12,000 pounds of TNT, creating the largest non-nuclear explosion ever seen by the FBI.
Update, 2:30pmPDT: Mother Jones has obtained a memorandum from the Marine Corps' congressional liaison confirming that the Marine guards at the embassy in Egypt were in fact armed with live ammunition, contrary to the anti-Obama conspiracy theory du jour:
The Ambassador did not impose restrictions on weapons or weapons status on the Marine Corps Embassy Security Group (MCESG) detachment. The MCESG Marines in Cairo were allowed to have live ammunition in their weapons. The Ambassador and Regional Security Officer have been completely and appropriately engaged with the security situation. Reports of Marines not being able to have their weapons loaded per direction from the Ambassador are not accurate.