- By Loretta S. Greene
Our hearts go out to the families of the fallen U.S. State Department staff members who put their lives on the line for democracy for the Libya people.
As we analyze this terrible tragedy, some interesting information is coming to light on the history of fallen U.S. Ambassadors.
The last time an Ambassador was killed was in the Carter Administration–an Administration that many have claimed was not strong on foreign policy. Ambassador Adolph “Spike” Dubs, was killed on February 14, 1979 in Kabul, Afghanistan, during a failed kidnapping attempt following the Soviet invasion. This has been substantiated by the State Department and labeled a “Significant Terrorist Incident.” Since then, the United States has had 33 years of of safe passage for Ambassadors, and this will surely be a terrible strain for the Libya people to carry for many years as they endeavor to create a democratic society.
As with the Carter Administration, this is a terrible legacy for the Obama Administration. Will Obama be accused of practicing soft foreign policy stances as pursued by the Carter Administration?
From the U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian:
Five U.S. Ambassadors have been killed by terrorists:
- John Gordon Mein, in Guatemala, on August 28, 1968 – President Lyndon B. Johnson
- Cleo A. Noel, Jr., in Sudan, on March 1, 1973 – President Richard Nixon
- Rodger P. Davies, in Cyprus, on August 19, 1974 – President Gerald Ford
- Francis E. Meloy, Jr., in Lebanon, on June 16, 1976 – President Gerald Ford
- Adolph Dubs, Afghanistan, on February 14, 1979 – President Jimmy Carter
Two U.S. Ambassadors have died in accidents:
- Laurence A. Steinhardt, Ambassador to Canada, was killed in a plane crash near Ramseyville, Ontario on March 28, 1950
- Arnold L. Raphel, Ambassador to Pakistan, was killed in a plane crash near Bahawalpur on August 17, 1988
For more updates on this story, continue here.