The Foreign Service Journal, June 2003

Foreign ServiceWorldwide, Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training, Association of Black American Amb- assadors, Business Council for International Understanding, Council of American Ambassadors, Una Chapman Cox Foundation, Nelson B. Delavan Foundation, Diplomatic and Consular Officers, Retired, and Public Members Association of the Foreign Service, USA. Modern Pirates The word “pirate” conjures up images of tall ships with Jolly Roger flags and swashbuckling villains. Today’s pirates are more likely to use modern conveniences like speedboats and wield Uzi submachine guns, but they are every bit as brutal as their predecessors. An International Chamber of Commerce report released in October 2002 showed that the num- ber of pirate attacks is increasing. According to the report, 271 pirate attacks occurred in the first nine months of 2002, compared with 253 for the same period in 2001. Indonesia reported the highest num- ber of attacks. The ICC’s International Marine Bureau ( imb_bureau.asp ) has a piracy report- ing center in Kuala Lumpur, funded by corporate donations. The center provides free daily broadcasts alerting shipping of piracy and armed robbery incidents. Web surfers can read the weekly piracy report. Interested in learning more about modern pirates? The Society of International Law (Singapore) hosted a 1999 piracy seminar and a detailed summary of the proceedings is avail- able online ( seminar/1999-piracy-00.htm ). The site includes an informative overview of modern piracy by Jayant Abhyankar, Deputy Director of the International Maritime Bureau. Cindy Vallar, a career librarian, has written extensively about piracy ( cle.cfm/pirates/44096 ). Clicking on the “Articles” link will take you to some 40 articles by Vallar on all aspects of piracy, both old-fashioned and modern. — Stephen E. Mather Information: A Double- Edged Sword? The Defense Department’s Total Information Awareness project, a plan to hunt terrorists by scanning the Internet and other electronic records for suspicious behavior, has come under fire from Congress and privacy advocates. Congress amended its January 2003 omnibus spending bill to limit spending on the controversial project. The amendment requires the Defense Department to report to Congress about potential privacy and civil liberty impacts and requires con- gressional approval for deployment of the program, according to a press release from the office of Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., who cosponsored the amendment with Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis. Retired Admiral John Poindexter, infamous for his involvement in the J U N E 2 0 0 3 / F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L 11 C YBERNOTES T he secretary was aston- ished that Mr. Gingrich attacked the president. … It’s clear that Mr. Gingrich is off his meds and out of therapy. — Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, when asked for Colin Powell’s reaction to the for- mer House speaker Newt Gingrich’s speech denouncing the State Department, and then for his own; , April 22, 2003. 50 Years Ago... Until we can achieve a deeper and more realistic understanding generally among the influential strata of this country, as to what is really involved in the process of international relations, I fear we will not succeed in reducing appreciably the number of bewildering and painful surprises our people derive from the unfolding of international events, or the instance of recrimination and bitterness on the domestic plane to which such surprises often give rise. — George Kennan, in “Education for Statesmanship,” FSJ , June 1953.