Obama nominates a replacement for slain ambassador to Libya

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
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GOP senators are eyeing another opportunity to squeeze a few more facts from the White House about the jihadi attack in Libya last September that killed four Americans.

That’s because Obama has nominated a new ambassador to Libya, to take the place of Ambassador Chris Stevens, who was killed when he briefly visited the lightly protected diplomatic compound.

The appointee is a career State Department official, Ambassador Deborah Jones.

She has worked for decades in embassies throughout the Muslim region, in Syria, Abu Dhabi, Turkey and Kuwait. She was also a top-level policy officials in Washington from 2002 to 2004, and worked in the U.S. Embassy in the Christian-majority country of Ethiopia.

Her nomination has to be approved by the Senate, allowing GOP senators to delay her confirmation until the administration decides to reveal more details about the attack, and more information about its actions — and inactions — in the months prior to the hours-long attack.

The jihadi attack was clearly successful.

It publicly killed four Americans, and forced the closure of the diplomatic site in Western Libya. Since then, jihadi groups have been able to train and organize in Western Libya, and the Muslim country’s new government have been shown as either unwilling or too weak to arrest the attackers.

The attack also highlighted the weakness of the United States in the country, despite President Barack Obama’s use of U.S. airpower to destroy the previous secular dictatorship.

The announcement was made the same day that Libya’s prime minister, Ali Zidan, is being welcomed in D.C. by Secretary of State John Kerry. He’s also slated to attend meetings in the White House, where he’ll likely meet with Obama.

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Neil Munro