Fox suggests U.S. embassy closure in Yemen “a sign of weakness,” ignores 2002 closing of same embassy by Bush

On the January 3 edition of Fox News Sunday, Bill Kristol called the closing of the U.S. embassy in Yemen “a sign of weakness” and “a victory for Al Qaeda” ; Fox News' website, the Fox Nation, echoed Kristol's point the next day using the headline: “Is Closing U.S. Embassy in Yemen a Sign of Weakness?” Neither noted that the U.S. embassy in Yemen was previously closed during the Bush administration; additionally, on January 3 and 4, several other countries also closed their embassies in Yemen.

Kristol, Fox Nation suggested that closing U.S. embassy in Yemen is “a sign of weakness”

Kristol: “That's a victory for Al Qaeda.” On the January 3 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday, Kristol, who is a Weekly Standard editor and a Fox News contributor, stated: “Closing the embassy in Yemen last night -- I mean, I don't -- you know, no one wants State Department officials being put at risk and all that, but that is a sign of weakness. Closing the embassy? We can't protect our own embassy in Yemen, a place we have special operations forces. A place we say we're working with the government on the front lines of the war on terror? And there's a terror threat, and we close the embassy? That's a victory for Al Qaeda. This last week has been a victory for Al Qaeda in that region, I'm afraid.”

Fox Nation: “Is Closing the U.S. Embassy in Yemen a Sign of Weakness?” On January 4, the Fox Nation suggested that closing the U.S. embassy in Yemen was a sign of weakness, linking to a January 3 Associated Press article on the embassy closing using the following graphic:

Screen capture of Fox Nation headline

U.S. embassy in Yemen was also closed during Bush administration

The Washington Post reported that U.S. consular office in Yemen was closed in 2002. In a January 23, 2002, article (accessed via the Nexis database), The Washington Post's Walter Pincus wrote:

A senior al Qaeda leader held by U.S. forces in Afghanistan provided information about an alleged plot to blow up the U.S. Embassy in Yemen with a truck bomb, leading to last week's decisions to close the embassy consular office and tighten security around the facility, Bush administration officials said yesterday.


Officials said that although they were not certain about the information's accuracy, U.S. authorities took it seriously enough to issue a “credible threat” warning and order the consular office closed. The Yemeni government also has increased police security around the embassy, officials said.

Other nations' embassies in Yemen also closed

AP: “US, UK close Yemen embassies over al-Qaida threats.” While the Fox Nation's headline mentioned only the United States, the AP article to which it linked reported that "[s]ecurity reasons led Britain to act, too," in closing its embassy in Yemen.

Fox Nation ignored additional embassies' closures on Monday. The New York Times reported on January 4 that the U.S. and U.K. embassies “remained closed on Monday for a second day, and the French, German and Japanese embassies largely or entirely closed their embassies to the public.”