The Foreign Service Journal, July/August 2018

A Day of Terror From the FSJ Archive ideal. But on June 1 [1998], Bushnell got a written reply fromUnder Secretary for Management Bonnie Cohen. CNN reports that Cohen wrote, “In light of the current threat level and comparative recent construction of the building, a new building was ranked low in relative priority to the needs of other embassies.” —From Clippings, FSJ , October 1998. Through Terrorists’ Eyes On Friday, Aug. 7, President Clinton vowed to hunt down those responsible for the bombings of our embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. “No matter what or how long it takes,” he said. But can we Americans—and especially the relatives of those who died in the attacks—hope that this time we will respond more effectively than before? We should use our imagination. Put ourselves in the shoes of those who want to hurt and humiliate us. In Beirut and al-Khobar, the threats and dangers were visibly present. Our viewers, how- ever, were unable really to see them. So it’s not just more informa- tion that we need, but rather the ability to look at it afresh, to place our data in a new series of relationships, to undergo a transposi- tion of the mind. And I wonder: might it even be especially diffi- cult for our carefully screened diplomatic and security profession- als to apprehend, really to imagine, threats from sources so weird, so distant from their intellectual and social coordinates? —Hume Horan, retired ambassador, Washington, D.C., from his Letter to the Editor, FSJ , October 1998. USAID and Terrorism The Nairobi and Dar es Salaam attacks have taken their terrible human toll. Programs and actions are proposed by all—State Department, FBI, White House, Congress. Preventing More Needless Deaths At Washington area Metro stations, they now play an airport- style announcement asking passengers not to leave bags or parcels unattended, due to “recent international incidents.” It is another striking example of how events abroad affect the daily lives of Americans at home. In the Foreign Service, our mission is to shape and manage those events. We cannot achieve our mission unless we can work in safety. In the aftermath of the tragic embassy bombings in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, AFSA has been working to bring this message to the administration, the Congress and the American people. Our central theme is: Never Again. Many of us remember howmuch more attention we gave security issues following the 1983 embassy bombings in Beirut. Those murders taught us that you lose the struggle for peace if you can’t protect your diplomatic troops. As memories of Beirut faded, interest in security waned. So did funding. …As this issue of the Foreign Service Journal goes to press, we are awaiting the administration’s funding request. AFSA has one final message on impending security upgrades: focus on people. We need to invest in human capital also. That means providing adequate training for our employees so that they are better prepared to deal with security matters. —Dan Geisler, AFSA president, from “President’s Views,” FSJ , October 1998. Who’s Responsible for Embassy Security? In the wake of the embassy bombings in East Africa Aug. 7, many journalists have been asking why those buildings, especially the Nairobi embassy, were so vulnerable. CNN revealed Aug. 13 that U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Pru- dence Bushnell had warned the State Department in cables sent in December 1997 and April or May 1998 that embassy security in Nairobi needed to be upgraded. One of Bushnell’s cables said, “The location is problematic, always has been. It’s in one of the busiest streets in Nairobi, the intersection of two major streets.” In December [1997] Bushnell told Washington she needed a new embassy. CNN reports that a team fromDiplomatic Security visited the Nairobi embassy last year and agreed its location was far from 66 JULY-AUGUST 2018 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL September 1998 FSJ; October 1998 FSJ. ON THE 1998 EAST AFRICA EMBASSY BOMBINGS FOCUS