Saturday, March 1, 2008

Wiretap Issue Getting Hot?

Engineers Without Borders is continuing its anti-wiretap campaign with another press release:

The family of Engineers Without Borders hostage, Matthew Simon, is shocked at the lack of action of the US government in handling the hostage situation in Afghanistan. "As a US citizen who has devoted his life to the cause of improving the welfare of individuals around the world and carrying the good name of the United States, we would have expected that there would be more action taken to preserve his life," said James Simon, Matthew's father. The Simon family has been holding constant vigil at the St. James Presbyterian Church in Jamestown, North Carolina. The family has been gathering there with other community members since early Friday afternoon. Said Simon's mother: "I can't believe our government isn't doing anything more to get my son back!"... Mrs. Simon encourages others "to press Washington to take swift and decisive action in bringing our children home."


In a related development, Democratic Presidential aspirant Barack Obama denounced illegal wiretapping early this morning at his campaign headquarters in Texas. Engineers Without Borders has called for a rally in front of the State Department this afternoon to protest the lack of vigorous diplomatic activity to free the hostages.

The Central Intelligence Agency indicated through a spokesman that any and all wiretaps are subject to FISA rules and are made under the authority of the President.

Illegal Wiretaps?

Engineers Without Borders, a non-governmental organization operating in Afghanistan, released the following this evening:

EWB is charging that the CIA and other domestic agencies are illegally tapping telephone lines and email correspondence without appropriate FISA approval. ACLU lawyers have requested an immediate injunction against this illegal invasion of privacy of an outstanding U.S. based NGO. This is yet another systematic abuse of executive authority that has been typical of this administration, and we abhor this illegal behavior.

The Central Intelligence Agency had no comment on this allegation.

Day of Quiet

Ghazni Province, Afghanistan was eerily quiet on Saturday, a day after up to twelve hostages were seized by a Taliban affiliated militant group. Afghan government officials report that the hunt continues for the group responsible for the slayings of seven US servicemen, and presumably the murder of German Army Lieutenant Maria Stadler. After an early morning shootout in Ghazni City, no violence has been reported. Sources inside ISAF indicate that the shootout was related to the search for hostages, but there has been no independent confirmation of this. The militant group, "Warriors of Hattin" has stated that they will kill another hostage at 9pm this evening Kabul time; just under four hours from now. The militant group's demands include the release of prisoners in Kandahar, the paying of a ransom, and certain changes in ISAF practice in Afghanistan.

Identity of Slain Hostage Confirmed

The United State State Department has released the following statement:
The United States Government can now confirm the identity of one, Lt. Maria Stadler, killed by her jihadist captors in the Ghazni province of Afghanistan. Her body has been recovered by US officials and will be repatriated for proper burial.

The German Foreign Ministry has called the slaying "heinous and deplorable".

Warning!

This is part of a foreign policy simulation for the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce. The events depicted are not actually happening.