Entries in Safety (2)


Amb. Stevens Cautioned Ex-Military Officer Against Libya Travel

MARWAN NAAMANI/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A short time before his death, Ambassador Chris Stevens warned a retired senior American military officer against traveling to Libya due to security concerns, the officer told ABC News.

The officer said he had planned to go on a business trip to Tripoli in early October and, in late August, had asked through official channels if it was safe.

Through a diplomatic attache, Stevens said he didn’t think it was a good idea because of the “potential of increased risk to foreigners as militias and clans jockeyed for position” as the country rebuilds itself from a civil war that deposed dictator Moammar Gadhafi and left the nation awash in weapons. Stevens’ advice was heeded and the trip was canceled.

Stevens was killed along with State Department computer expert Sean Smith and former U.S. Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods in a brazen attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on Sept. 11.

Following the attack, questions arose about the security of the diplomatic mission in such a turbulent country, and Tuesday, Republicans in the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton alleging U.S. officials in Libya had made “repeated requests” for increased security in Benghazi, only to be denied by Washington.

In a response letter, Clinton said an Accountability Review Board (ARB) had been set up to determine “whether our security systems and procedures in Benghazi were adequate, whether those systems and procedures were properly implemented, and any lessons that may be relevant to our work around the world.”

“I … would encourage you to withhold any final conclusions about the Benghazi attack until the committee can review the ARB’s findings,” she wrote.

The Obama administration has also come under fire from Republicans for initially saying the assault was the result of a protest that was “hijacked” by violent actors, rather than a full-on “terrorist attack,” as White House spokesperson Jay Carney called it a week later.

Meanwhile, the New York Times reported Tuesday that special operations forces and the CIA are in the process of gathering information on suspects believed to be involved in the attack for kill or capture missions in the event they get the order from the White House. President Obama has said repeatedly that those responsible will “brought to justice.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Risk-Loving Mom Straps on Toddler for Cliff Climb

aimevenhigher[dot]blogspot[dot]com(SWANSEA, Wales) -- Britons were shocked Wednesday morning to see the photo of rock-climbing fanatic Menna Pritchard climbing a 30-foot rock face with 2-year-old daughter Ffion strapped to her back.

Readers and commentators were especially critical of toddler Ffion’s not wearing a helmet.

Proud single mother Pritchard, 26, insisted the climb was “100percent safe” from falling rocks.

She was inundated with comments after she posted the photo online, many of them from concerned mothers who questioned the safety of taking such a young child up a sheer rock face.

Pritchard, a single parent, is an experienced climber and an enthusiastic promoter of outdoor sports that involve children.

“My real passion is just getting people outdoors with their kids, and I wouldn’t want to put anyone off,” she told the BBC. “I’ve had feedback on my blog and Twitter from people who have said they found it an inspiration, and have asked for advice on types of slings and things.”

Pritchard has been taking Ffion on outdoor treks through the hills and mountains of Wales for some time.

The photo that caused all the fuss was taken during a recent climb of the Three Cliffs Bay in Wales’s picturesque Gower peninsula. Pritchard is wearing a helmet but not her daughter.

Pritchard said no helmet was needed because both she and Ffion were attached to a rope held by a trusted colleague. “Some people would say I’m taking more risks than are necessary, but I am very conscious of safety,” she said.

The Daily Mail newspaper reported, however, that local climbers said the limestone rock face of The Three Cliffs was notorious for breaking off and falling.

A defiant Pritchard said, “The sue-and-blame culture means so many people are nervous, so afraid of getting into trouble, and taking small risks.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio