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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

April 4, 2013 - 6:19 pm

Lawmakers urged Secretary of State John Kerry to step in and fight for an American contractor detained and beaten by Afghan authorities reportedly in connection with a contract dispute.

Reps. Scott Rigell (R-Va.), Frank Wolf (R-Va.), and Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) sent a letter to Kerry today requesting his help in expediting the release of David Gordon, a Virginia Beach resident and employee of project management firm Tamerlane Global Services, Inc.

Gordon, a father of two with a third on the way, was arrested Wednesday without charge in Qomandani Amanya, Kabul, Afghanistan.

The Afghan Attorney General’s office said Gordon’s detention was related to an ongoing commercial contract dispute and is asking for $2.4 million to release him.

In addition to what sounds like the Afghan government demanding ransom for an illegal detention, the story gets worse.

“We were deeply concerned to learn that Mr. Gordon was beaten during the night of April 3, sustaining several injuries, and was not sent to the infirmary until April 4, 2013,” the congressmen wrote. “The threats that he is receiving and the demonstrated lack of protection during his confinement give us serious concern about his welfare.”

“We request that the Department of State intervene and expedite the release of this illegally detained American.”

At today’s State Department press briefing, spokeswoman Victoria Nuland wouldn’t say whether Kerry’s department was doing anything to secure Gordon’s release.

“We can confirm that a U.S. citizen was arrested in Kabul. We are providing appropriate consular assistance, but because of privacy considerations, I can’t give you any further details,” she said.

Judging by the description given by Gordon’s company, indications are that he was doing work to help rebuild the country.

“We specialize in serving the needs of companies, NGOs, and government entities seeking to either enter or work within emerging or frontier marketplaces. Sometimes these are countries with high growth potential yet limited infrastructure. Sometimes these are regions embroiled in conflict. Where others see these areas as pure risk, we see enormous reward.”

Projects listed in the company’s March 2013 report include developing shipping lanes within Afghanistan and helping U.S. forces move freight.

Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
It's long passed time that we left that country. Afghanistan never should have been more than a punitive raid designed to get Bin Laden and as many of his followers as possible and do significant damage to the Taliban as possible within a few months to a year's time and then got out. But no, we fooled around up front and let them get away and we stayed for far too long giving money to corrupt locals and losing troops and prestige for no good cause.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Reason number 1,009,326 we should depart that howling craphole and take everything we ever built there with us.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (12)
All Comments   (12)
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"Cap and Trade". . . it may suck as an energy/environmental idea, but I think it's the right approach to the current leadership in Afghanistan.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
We can expect little to no actual effort on the part of our govt in securing this man's release. He will pay a dear price for this lack of action. What will our govt gain? Nothing. Tribal people will only act when it is their own interest to do so. Our pathetic administration does not have the backbone to make Hamid Karzei an offer he can't refuse.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I seem to remember a story about a Barbary pirate named Al-Raisuli who kidnapped an American School Teacher and her son and was demanding a ransom to release them. The President at that time, Teddy Roosevelt, gave his response to the demand. "I want the Americans releaseed, or Al-Raisuli dead!". He then send a gun boat and a contingent of Marines to Tripoli and they took the ruling sultan prisoner until the Americans were released. The Sultan had been allowing the pirate to do things like this for a while. Its obvious the Karzai is not being helpful and thereby is assisting in this travesty. And we already have the Marines there.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Any sumb*tch takes a shot at me, I'm not only gonna kill him, but I'm gonna kill his wife, all his friends, and burn his damn house down." ~ Wiliam Munny, Unforgiven

That statement is the only philosophy the Afghani will understand and respect. They see our generosity as foolishness and weakness. They ally with us out of convienence against neighboring "Taliban" tribes until they get what they want.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
An interpreter pointed out to my son that they got ambushed in the same spot every time they took a particular trail, and that everyone knew the attackers lived in the nearby village.

"When you Americans leave, we will kill every man woman and child in that village because these mountain tribes will never change and we will never have a nation because of them."

Nuff said, let us depart.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This nugget of wisdom is the key to our understanding all of West Asia and Central Asia now under Muslim control:

" ......because these mountain tribes will never change and we will never have a nation because of them."....and, they don't have to be mountain tribes.....just any groups of Muslims are trouble.

Ever since the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916 created these artificial entities now called "nations" with their borders straddling ancient divisions of every imaginable kind, and ever since the duplicity of the Balfour Agreement, we've been faced with these troublesome Muslims on a "national" basis.

This is a classic statement of hubris and duplicity:

"His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of the object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious' rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country".

The sad reality is that today the French remain remarkably coy and passive, [cf: modern Syria, their creation] and the British, while they still maintain a sizable military force as our ally in Central Asia, are basically now powerless as influential forces in West/Central Asia except perhaps sub rosa.

So, here we are:
Having expended thousands of young American lives countless billions of Dollars......we still put up with the likes of Karzai and Maliki.

We Americans have successfully defended Kuwait from Saddam, among other starkly un-appreciated accomplishments.....and still have.....Karzai and Maliki with sucking straws into our Treasury.

This is why that term "Orwellian" is so over-used today......it's totally appropriate.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's long passed time that we left that country. Afghanistan never should have been more than a punitive raid designed to get Bin Laden and as many of his followers as possible and do significant damage to the Taliban as possible within a few months to a year's time and then got out. But no, we fooled around up front and let them get away and we stayed for far too long giving money to corrupt locals and losing troops and prestige for no good cause.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yeah, let's pack up and leave asap. It's not like the Taliban can or will claim victory when we leave, and they'll never follow us back here and attack us at home...will they?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
China bought the mineral rights to the place - let them take over security.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Thats the 'future' for any americans remaining in country when the drawdown is finalized -- or before the drawdown.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Give COIN just a few more centuries of time
And the Afghan Muslims love for justice and freedom will surely grow
Give COIN just a few more centuries of time
And the Afghan Muslim's love for justice and freedom will surely grow
Ever leaving Afghanistan would be a big mistake
Let’s think of how wonderful Islam can be and hesitate
Almost broke and the troops as tired as they may be
But there’s no need for America to act in it's own interest intelligently

If we ever part Afghanistan, General Petraeus and John McCain won’t forget it
Years from now they’ll surely make us all regret it
You don’t understand how wonderful Islam could be and you’re in a hurry
They’re not eager to reject Sharia but don’t you worry
COIN will win their hearts and minds and then they’ll want the American way of life
But these things don’t come overnight
Don’t give up ‘cos Afghan progress has been oh sooooooo00oo sloooooow
We’re surly gonna win their Hearts and Minds if we just even more with bowing and scraping go
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Reason number 1,009,326 we should depart that howling craphole and take everything we ever built there with us.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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