Rumsfeld Asserts Embassy Attacks Due To “Perceived American Weakness.” Wait, How Many Embassy Attacks Were There Under Bush?

Number of embassy attacks under Bush? Twelve, the most in history.


/Number of embassy attacks under Bush versus Obama?

Yesterday, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld tweeted that Mitt Romney was right to say the tragic attacks on U.S. embassies in Benghazi on Tuesday were the result of perceived American weakness:

Which is an excellent point. If Bush and Rumsfeld were in charge, the world would know who was boss, and these attacks never would have happened. Just look at their record!! No one dared to attack a U.S. diplomatic facility when they were running the show. Right? That’s right, isn’t it? We assume the number of embassy attacks under Bush must be zero, right?  Or at least, fewer than under Obama? Or at least not the most in American history, right?  Let’s Google it just to be sure, though…

Yeah, no. Actually, there were twelve terrorist attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities abroad during George W. Bush’s tenure — the most of any U.S. president in history — and eight of those attacks occurred under Donald Rumsfeld’s watch.

The embassy breaches on Tuesday marked the second attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities during President Obama’s tenure, including one in April 2010 in Pakistan which was in retaliation for drone attacks there (if one counts the attacks in Libya, Egypt, and Yemen separately even though they occurred at roughly the same time and arose from the same incident, the total during his presidency is four). Even after Osama bin Laden’s death, America’s diplomatic facilities did not come under fire.

The total number of deaths from attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities was 60 during the Bush administration and 13 under President Obama. The greatest number of deaths occurred during Clinton’s presidency, though all 223 of these deaths occurred on a single day in 1998, the result of in coordinated al Qaeda attacks on the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya.

Ah, but perhaps Benghazi marks the first time a U.S. diplomat was killed at one of our facilities? Maybe that’s why Rumsfeld has been so quick to point fingers?Also, no.  In 2006, a suicide bomber targeted and killed U.S. diplomat David Foy outside the U.S. Consulate in Karachi. The attack marked the third terrorist incident at that particular Consulate in under four years

But diplomat, schmiplomat. Isn’t this the first time a U.S. ambassador has been assassinated abroad? Still no. Militants have killed U.S. ambassadors on five previous occasions, including two at U.S. diplomatic facilities.

But surely this must mark the first time terrorists have actually breached a U.S. diplomatic facility, right? Again, no. In 2004, for instance, militant Islamists successfully breached the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, taking 28 people hostage and ultimately killing five consulate staff and four security guards. 


26 Responses to Rumsfeld Asserts Embassy Attacks Due To “Perceived American Weakness.” Wait, How Many Embassy Attacks Were There Under Bush?

  1. Donnie R.


    Please Ms. Dolt, these were simple "signs of discontent,

    " not actual "attacks.

    Please check your facts and blame the damn liberal media.

    They lie, lie, lie.



    • Linda (The Daily Dolt)

      Linda the Dolt


      You have a very bright future in public relations ;)

    • dectra



      These are NOT 'signs of discontent; all your smoke and mirrors whining about the media obfuscate the fact YOU are the liar:

      22 January 2002 Calcutta Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami gunmen attack Consulate, 5 DEAD

      14 June 2002 Karachi al-Qaeda truck bomb detonates outside Consulate, 12 DEAD

      12 October 2002 Denpasar Consular Office bombed by Jemaah Islamiyah as part of the Bali bombings, (Thankfully)0 DEAD

      28 February 2003 Islamabad Unknown gunmen attack Embassy 2 DEAD

      30 June 2004 Tashkent Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan suicide bomber attacks Embassy, 2 DEAD

      6 December 2004 Jeddah al-Qaeda gunmen raid diplomatic compound, 9 DEAD

      2 March 2006 Karachi Car bomb explodes outside Embassy Assailants unknown, 2 DEAD

      12 September 2006 Damascus Gunmen raid US Embassy 4 DEAD

      12 January 2007 Athens RPG Fired at Embassy by Revolutionary Struggle (again, thankfully ) 0 DEAD

      Thanks, Mr. Rumsfeld for pointing out your abject failures….or would you like to blame it on 'the army we have, as opposed to the one we want'…….

      • Donnie R.


        Oooh, no sense of humor! You ain't now fun!

        Bad homework. You only listed 9. Now I feel better. I'm not so bad after all!



      • Linda (The Daily Dolt)

        Linda the Dolt


        I think Donnie was kidding, but that's the thing about extreme rhetoric — it's often hard to tell the right-wing blowhards from the people making fun of them.


      • Keith Ellis


        The only problem with this comparison is that it is misleading. In all 12 of the attacks only one American died, and that was a result of a car bomb in a neighboring facility. In Jedda, our diplomatic compound was stormed, but quickly retaken, and no Americans died. In none of these 12 instances did requests for additional security go unheeded, nor were the responses less than swift and decisive. Finally, the American public was not misled by Rumsfeld or his boss about the actual cause of the incidents.

      • pla47


        Well, let us get this in perspective. During the Clinton administration Osama declared war on the USA. There were terrorist attacks during Clinton's Presidency. Osama had been arrested and jailed in another country. Clinton was asked to come and get him. He did not.

        Well, GW Bush was elected President. 911 occurred within his first year. He decided to go into Afghanistan after going to Congress and getting Permission and also the UN. The 12 embassy attacks were just a part of the ongoing war.

        The difference is that Osama was killed and his organization was destroyed according to Obama. Then there had to be another reason for the attack on Benghazi, they reached out and grabbed the mob riots in Ciaro. The Obama administration did not want to admit that AL Quiada had not been destroyed.

        • Nice try pla47, not!

          Clinton sent over 80 cruise bombs to attack Osama bin Laden. He was then unmercifully criticized by the Republicans as the tail wagging the dog. I know you right winggers and t-baggers like to have it both ways, but the fact that you are parsing all of the attacks on embassies and consulates under the Bush Junta tells me very clearly you are nothing but a Karl Rove attack dog. Tell me, does Karl pay you by the word, by the response, or by the hour? Your problem and Karl's problem is that Americans are now paying attention and being honest. Something in short supply in the right wing world.

    • Gary Downing


      While it was nice to see you take the time to read this page, its actually noted you read very little things of true importance. If you had a brain you would be searching for facts, before unzipping your yap and spitting out all of what you ate on top of the words you tried to place here.

      The fact is there were 12 different attacks, with deaths. I see further down below someone actually listed them, so what you might wish to do is now research those and get the facts. Then you can come back and make AN EDUCATED STATEMENT.

      • pla47


        Were there any ambassadors killed? Were we not at war with the terrorists. As I see it, the attacks were a part of the on going war.

        • sublime23in


          We are still at war. Are you saying we are not anymore?

  2. Donnie R.


    As I suggested to the esteemed Sir. Mittensville Romneydroid Ya, gotta "spin to win"

    Watch for it soon.


  3. thomas


    I see a coordination here. Egypt, Libya and now Yemen (though the later is probably just monkeying the others). The current regimes that clawed their way to the top post revolution have a few nefarious fellows that now have some resources that were never available to them. I'm sure a few wingnuts want to create war and hostility so they find a group of fools and incited them to violence.

    I knew an argentine revolutionary (anti communist) that used to participate in riots. he would brag how he would come out of the crowd and shoot a cop to force escalation. He wanted escalation. It furthered his agenda at destabalizing the government.

    consider the above piece of fact before you all condemn and entire nation.

  4. Roger


    Also, there were 7 under Reagan, only 4 under Clinton, and 12 under Bush 2, anyone see a pattern?

  5. Doc Memory


    Wow, interesting Cause and Effect! Unless he meant perceived weakness in embassy security?

    Yup, I don't know about you, but it's when I feel like I'm winning a war when I send in the suicide attacks. Things going badly and desperate, I just keep low and hope for the best. But when things are going good, in with the Kamikazes. I mean, it's what Japan did when they were finally winning the war, right?

  6. Keira


    Who the hell does he think he is making a comment on a current situation?!! NOBODY! US Embassies were attacked 12 times on his watch & he has the audacity to say "a result of perceived American weakness." to Obama. Gotta love those bigoted assholes.

  7. Gene Martin


    American embassies have been attacked twenty-six times since 1829. No presidential administration has had as many attacks as Barack Obama. In only one term in office, he has had eight attacks. The most recent attack (as of this writing) being on September 11, 2012; the anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon – 39 dead.

    As usual, the liberal leaning media as placing the blame of these recent attacks on an anti-muslim movie called Innocence of Muslims. The ABC’s, CBS’s, NBC’s and the CNN’s of the world (as well as our current administration) will paint this as anything except exactly what it is – a terrorist attack. Al-Qaeda has indicated responsibility and said it was in revenge for a U.S. drone strike that killed Libyan Abu Yahya al-Libi, an al-Qaeda leader.

    Many have said this is a result of the perceived American weakness. Never in the history of America has an American president physically bowed to other leaders, apologized for American strength, etc.

    1979 United States Tehran, Iran Iran hostage crisis

    1979 United States Islamabad, Pakistan

    1979 U.S. Embassy Burning in Islamabad

    1979 United States Tripoli, Libya

    1979 U.S. Embassy Burning in Libya

    1983 United States Beirut, Lebanon

    1983 United States Embassy bombing

    1983 United States Kuwait City, Kuwait

    1983 Kuwait bombings

    1986 United States Jakarta, Indonesia

    (See: Japanese Red Army)

    1987 United States Rome, Italy

    (See: Japanese Red Army)

    1990 United States Tel Aviv, Israel

    1990 US Embassy attack in Tel Aviv

    1998 United States Nairobi, Kenya

    1998 United States embassy bombings

    1998 United States Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

    1998 United States embassy bombings

    1999 United States Beijing, People's Republic of China

    2002 United States Karachi, Pakistan

    2002 US consulate bombing in Karachi

    2004 United States Tashkent, Uzbekistan Tashkent embassy bombings

    2004 United States Jeddah, Saudi Arabia Jeddah consulate attack

    2006 United States Damascus, Syria Damascus terrorist attacks

    2007 United States Athens, Greece Embassy of the United States in Athens

    2008 United States Belgrade, Serbia

    2008 Serbia protests

    2008 United States Istanbul, Turkey

    2008 United States consulate in Istanbul attack

    2008 United States San‘a’, Yemen

    2008 American Embassy attack in Yemen

    2011 United States Kabul, Afghanistan

    2011 Kabul Attacks[4]

    2011 United States Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina


    2012 United States Cairo, Egypt

    2012 attack on the American Embassy in Egypt

    2012 United States Benghazi, Libya

    2012 U.S. Consulate attack in Benghazi

    2012 United States Sanaa, Yemen

    2012 attack on the American Embassy in Yemen

    • Andreas Huffmann


      What? How do you get to 8 attacks from 1/20/09 to now?

      You list:



      2011 United States Kabul, Afghanistan

      2011 Kabul Attacks[4]

      What? You list attacks in Afghanistan? Wow… then you forgot all other attacks that ever happened against the US in a war-country. I mean you count attacks in residential districts here if you count it as 4 attacks.

      2011 United States Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina


      All right, that's an attack. Only a guy shooting at a wall, but still point for you. thedailydolt should at least have mentioned this if they do not count it


      2012 United States Cairo, Egypt

      2012 attack on the American Embassy in Egypt

      2012 United States Benghazi, Libya

      2012 U.S. Consulate attack in Benghazi

      2012 United States Sanaa, Yemen

      2012 attack on the American Embassy in Yemen

      That's the three recent attacks if you count them individually.

      Count=4 attacks / (2 if counting "events" which you do in your other listings)

      Plus the Pakistan attack you have 5 / 3 attacks, so exactly one more than this article.

      Maybe you are counting your three 2008 attacks but Obama wasn't in office then.

      Or you are counting the Kabul attack four times if that is the way this "[4]" you posted is supposed to be read. The Taliban in fact attacked the US embassy and the NATO Headquarters once(September 13 2011). But this is really no different then all the other attacks the Taliban made against the NATO. Counting it is a stretch especially considering the embassy was a secondary target at most.

      2010 Pakistan

      2011 Afghanistan (really?)

      2011 Bosnia and Herzegovina

      and now makes it a stretch to get to 6 and really should count as only 3 as I can't count attacks in war-countries and count this event now as one.

      Even with 6 attacks Obama averages out as good as Bush (better than Rumsfeld).

      8 attacks is an outright lie.

    • Cyd


      Actual FACTS regarding attacks under Bush (the most under any President)

      22 January 2002- 12 January 2007 36 dead from attacks on American facilities abroad. And the TRUTH is Obama NEVER apologized, it was right wing rhetoric. look it up on snopes.com, a non partisan link.

      • Waste of breath mate, Republicans have accused snopes of being biased towards the Democrats a lot that I've seen this year. Although they have the audacity to call it a bias towards liberals… Dems maybe more liberal than the GOP but they're still on the right of the political spectrum. Still certified facts and Republican supporters make strange bedfellows.

  8. Doug Burr


    It is simply not fair to inject facts or truth into arguments with Republicans. Facts, truth, and math are all non-starters with this crowd. They still think they won the 2012 election and that George W. Bush saved the world for democracy. How can one expect reality from these dolts?

  9. pla47


    There is a lot of name calling on this post. It is definitely liberal. I would like to say that under President GW Bush there was a war on terror. The embassies attacked were a part of the ongoing war. Whereas President Obama has killed Osama Bin Laden and destroyed Al Quiada. So the Benghazi attack was not a terrorist attack. It just could not be. It had to be that darn movie trailer that did it.

    The truth was in real time that was seen by the state department. It was not a mob reaction. It was an organized attack with weapons not a yelling mob with signs. When in he first day it was linked to Al Quiada.

    We need to stop pointing fingers. We need to stop the self hatred. We are not the bad guys.

    • Linda (The Daily Dolt)

      Linda the Dolt


      I see you're new to The Daily Dolt, pla47. Name-calling is pretty much all we do around here! It's all in good fun, though.

      On a more serious note, here are three points to consider (two liberal, one neutral/conservative-ish):

      1.) To paraphrase my 6 year old nieces and nephews, "No fair — Rumsfeld started it!!! He called names first!!!"

      2.) The reason America was at war under Bush is because Bush allowed 3,000 people to be murdered in the largest terrorist attack in history.

      3.) With regard to Benghazi, apply Hanlan's Razor: "Never attribute to ill-intent that which is adequately explained by incompetence." I don't think the administration was trying to cover up what happened there or mislead the public. They had inadequate security and they were confused as to what was going on at first, which was clearly an intelligence failure. In short, they fucked up. The GOP is right to demand an investigation so this doesn't happen again, but they are most certainly wrong to be attributing this to "perceived American weakness" as Rumsfeld does or saying this is a failure that could not have just as easily happened under any other administration.

      • Linda (The Daily Dolt)

        Linda the Dolt


        4.) Also, there's still a war on terror going on under Obama.

  10. Bonnie


    It's all on Clinton. If he had done something in 1994, when the Twin Towers were attacked in the underground garage when a truck with a bomb in it blew up, 2001 would not have happened. Bush is not to blame for that one. Like him or not.