AirTalk

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Are embassy closures a proper response to Al Qaeda chatter?

by AirTalk

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US Department of State Spokesperson Jen Psaki said the closures are not because of a new threat, but for extra caution. Getty Images

The State Department has extended the closure of a number of embassies in the Middle East and North Africa until August 10. An intercepted message between senior Al Qaeda leaders on a possible attack has allegedly brought about the closures.

While many Republicans and security experts applauded the move, not everyone is happy. “Terrorism works — because we’re closing all of our embassies and consulates on one day,” Rep. Ted Poe, the chairman of the House’s terrorism and nonproliferation panel, told Foreign Policy magazine. “We’d rather be safe than have somebody hurt but the long term answer is every time someone gets information, we can’t shut them all down all over the world,” he said.

Is closing these embassies the right thing for the Obama administration to do? Is it an overreaction?

Guest:

Ronald E. Neumann, President, American Academy of Diplomacy; Neumann served three times as Ambassador; to Algeria, Bahrain and Afghanistan from July 2005 to April 2007. 

Mark Jacobson, Senior Transatlantic Fellow, The German Marshall Fund of the United States. 

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