Iowans' Heartbreak Over Embassy Attack
DES MOINES, Iowa — Two former U.S. ambassadors living in Des Moines reacted Wednesday to the killing of Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
"My heart just sank," said Kramer, after learning of the attack on the U.S. embassy and deaths.
"It's so heartbreaking," said Quinn.
"We have got to build a new embassy and it was all about security, where we were not very secure," said Kramer.
During her time as ambassador, Kramer moved into a new fortified compound protected by Marines, but she said they can only do so much on foreign soil.
"The Marines are charged with protecting info and property. They don't have any rights outside walls of the embassy. There we rely on local law enforcement," said Kramer.
Quinn now heads the World Food Prize Foundation. He said those in the diplomatic service are well aware of the dangers that come with the job.
"The first thing I'd think of in the morning, the last thing at night: Who's going to try to kill us today, who's going to blow us up today, how can I keep all of Americans safe?" said Quinn.
Quinn said he's not surprised Stevens went to the consulate to help his staff during the assault at the Libyan embassy.
"When you had citizens in danger, you had to go to them," Quinn said. "You have to be prepared to defend yourself to protect American citizens."
They expect there will be increased security at embassies and advise Americans overseas to be vigilant.
"No matter how much you practice, how careful you are, if someone wants to do you harm, they can do you harm," said Kramer.
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