Rand Paul: State Spent $100K to ‘Green Up’ Vienna Embassy 4 Days After Denying Libya Embassy Access to Plane

November 2, 2012 - 3:36 PM

Ambassador William Eacho

Ambassador William Eacho demonstrates the Embassy's desision to go green by riding an electric motorcycle (Courtesy of U.S. Embassy in Vienna)

(CNSNews.com) – Four days after the security team at the U.S. embassy in Libya was denied further use of a DC-3 plane, the State Department approved $100,000 to “green up” the U.S. embassy in Vienna, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said on C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” on Sunday.

“What I’ve been pounding home is four days after that DC-3 was removed in May of 2012, they approved $100,000 to green up the embassy in Vienna, to spend some money on electrical charging stations for electric cars that cost the taxpayer $250,000 per car in subsidies,” said Paul.

Paul asked why no one was guarding U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and why the 16-person security team was removed from Libya in August when they “specifically requested to stay.”

Stevens and three other Americans were killed on Sept. 11, 2012, the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, during an attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

“I would hate to be the person who’s sitting there today who made the decision when it was requested that a security team stay in one of the most dangerous countries in the world that— would you like to be the bureaucrat in the State Department who said, ‘Oh, no. We don’t have the money. You need to come home,’” Paul asked.

“The same with the DC 3. What I’ve been pounding home is four days after that DC-3 was removed in May of 2012, they approved $100,000 to green up the embassy in Vienna, to spend some money on electrical charging station for electric cars that cost the taxpayer $250,000 per car in subsidies,” he said.

The Vienna embassy announced on its website on May 10, that it was “Celebrating the Greening of the Embassy.”

“The U.S. Embassy Vienna opened the doors to Ambassador Eacho’s ‘green’ residence with a gala dinner event, an exhibit by green-technology companies and an electric car and motorcycle show. The Embassy used the makeover to highlight U.S. government commitment to climate change solutions, and to successfully demonstrate the use of innovative clean energy technologies,” the website said.

Paul called the Vienna event “a political statement.”

“This is a political statement that we’re making at the Vienna embassy. They want to show off for the Europeans to say, ‘Hey, we’re as European as you are, but yet, we don’t have money to provide for the basic security of an embassy. That to me is inexcusable, and whoever made those decisions, and they already know that. You don’t need a congressional investigation. Whoever made those decisions ought to be fired,” he said.