Monday, June 30, 2014

Tip of the Day: A Warning to All US Federal Employees, Contractors & Military Personnel

As a result of the controversial and recent prisoner exchange for US Army soldier Bowe Bergdahl, 28, who deserted his post in 2009 and sought out the Taliban in Afghanistan, the below links demonstrates that the US Government definitely got the "short-straw" in a five-for-one (five four-star level Taliban leaders at Guantanamo Bay for one US deserter), a prisoner-exchange deal touted by the Obama Administration that was so urgent that the US Congress simply couldn't be notified.

What is completely unknown to is whether the Obama Administration ever attempted to negotiate with the Taliban or whether they simply "caved-in" as to whatever the terrorists demanded, which appears to one of the worst prisoner exchanges in American history.

Yet, when President Obama was inaugurated in 2009, he went to great lengths to emphasize numerous times that his Administration would be "the "most transparent executive branch of government in US history," yet somehow such an assertion has never been established as fact.

Before explaining this further, it is essential that all of our readers understand that USAID public safety advisor Dan A. Mitrione, who was assigned to the US Embassy in Montevideo in 1970, and later kidnapped and executed in Uruguay by the Tupamaros, was the foundation case for clarifying that the US Government henceforth would never aid and abet terrorists and kidnappers in any form, leaving negotiations of all US hostages in the hands of host governments abroad:

COMMENT: The lead-off paragraph in this posting could not be clearer.

Now that President Obama has reversed 44 years of federal contemporary counter-terrorism policy, which was proven to be incredibly successful for so many years, my greatest fear is that any terror group that craves notoriety will intentionally abduct or kidnap US government hostages, knowing that the President's action may have "opened the flood-gates."

Unfortunately, all federal agencies will NOW potentially have to embark on a very costly training program to instruct all federally-employed personnel sent into "Harm's Way" OUTSIDE of the US, depending upon their prevailing rules of engagement.

Prior to May 2014, such training was moot as all potential US government hostages were fully cognizant that their government would NOT negotiate for their release.

After Dan Mitrione's burial ceremony in 1970, and 44 years after the fact, President Barack Obama became the first US President to abolish a successful, effective and enlightened counter-terrorism policy that refused to aid and abet all US Government hostages be they direct-hire or contractors or US military personnel.

It was a "given" that particularly in cases where US governmental hostages were abroad that "no rock" would remain unturned in their rescue or recovery.

After Dan Mitrione's kidnapping and execution in 1970, the US Government was prohibited from facilitating any and all actions designed to rescue and/or recover US hostages abroad, regardless of the causation.

Specifically, the US Government prohibited negotiating directly or indirectly with criminals and terrorists who kidnap US citizens outside of the US, including family members, to include the following: paying ransom, releasing prisoners, providing weapons or facilitating the escape of hostage takers.

Another key ingredient in the policy was that the US Government leave the negotiation to the host nation in the country when the abduction of the governmental US hostage took place.

Now, for the sticky part: Considering that the US Government has no control over the policies and conduct of private sector organizations, corporations and international organizations that assign US citizens abroad.

Consequently, the federal government has little to no influence over non-US governmental organizations who choose to afford their employees operating in high-risk nations with what is known as "kidnap, ransom and extortion" insurance which often can result in ransom payments of six and seven figures.

Ironically, this inconsistency has worked for organizations that refuse to pay ransom. In looking back on the three decades in which Colombia had led the world in ransom kidnappings, only one US government official has been abducted, compared to 99 kidnappings of Americans without government association.

It should be noted that the US policy regarding the abduction of US Government abroad occurred during the administration of President Richard Nixon when Uruguayan Tupamaros kidnapped USAID officer Dan Mitrione in July 1970, while he was working as a police advisor in Montevideo. 

At the time, the USAID Office of Public Safety program had drawn criticism for not promoting democratic police tactics in Latin America, which, was facing an upsurge in leftist terrorism. The terrorist group demanded that the Uruguayan and US governments release 150 Tupamaros prisoners. 

When the United States urged the Uruguayan government not to give in to the demand, the Tupamaros executed Mitrione and dumped his body in the back of an abandoned car. 

The Mitrione case subsequently led to the formulation of the “no negotiations, no concessions” policy regarding the hostage-taking of US Government personnel abroad, which sadly no longer exists.