USIS Washington File

11 August 1998


(Will escort home the American dead of the Nairobi bombing) (2610)

Washington -- Secretary of State Albright paid tribute to the 12 US
Embassy employees killed in the August 7 bombing of the Embassy in
Nairobi, Kenya and said she will fly to Germany to escort home the 11
of the 12 bodies of Americans killed in the blast. One is being buried
in Kenya.

The Secretary said she will also visit the injured now hospitalized in
medical facilities in Germany.

Speaking August 10 to State Department employees in the Dean Acheson
Auditorium, Albright said the immediate focus of US efforts will be to
aid the survivors and their families and to comfort the families of
the dead.

But the Secretary also vowed that the "despicable cowards" responsible
for the bombings would eventually be found, and she announced a reward
of up to $2 million for information leading their arrest and
conviction. She noted that President Clinton has made it "absolutely
clear" that the United States "will not rest" until the perpetrators
are caught.

Following is the State Department transcript:

(begin transcript)


Office of the Spokesman

August 10, 1998






Dean Acheson Auditorium

Washington, D.C.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Good morning, and thank you all for joining us in
person and by television at this very painful time.

I have just spoken with Ambassador Prudence Bushnell and Charge John
Lange. I told them how much we supported all their efforts there and
how much we admired everything that they were doing. They, in turn,
both were very grateful for all the work that is going on here in
support of their efforts.

By coming together, we're reminded of something very important: though
we may be scattered geographically and varied in our fields of
specialty, in the ways that truly matter we are one family. We share
the same aims, the same risks and the same feelings of sorrow and
grief when any member of our family is lost. Today, we say farewell to
friends from every part of our family -- to Jay Bartley, to Julian
Bartley, to Jean Dalizu, to Ken Hobson, to Arlene Kirk, to Michelle
O'Connor, to Sherry Olds, to Molly Hardy, to Tom Shah, to Prabhi
Kavaler, to Sgt. Nathan Aliganga, to Louise Martin.

The victims we mourn came from the Foreign Service and the Civil
Service and the armed services. Others were dedicated Foreign Service
Nationals, without whom we couldn't possible run our missions abroad.
And of course, many were Kenyans and Tanzanians from all walks of life
who no longer walk the Earth because one day they happened to be
working or passing by an American embassy.

So once again, a senseless, cowardly act of terror has destroyed
innocent lives and tested our faith in a more peaceful future. Once
again, we come together to grieve for friends and colleagues who have
perished far from home. Once again we ask, why this; why now; why them
and not us? And once again, there are no good answers to our

The most important thing we can do is to help the survivors to honor
the friends we have lost; to add our prayers to those of the loved
ones they leave behind; and most important, to keep alive the spirit
of service and commitment that lent such meaning to their lives. For
these were honorable lives spent in service to our country and its
ideals. These were good people who understood that life without
purpose is merely existence and that the highest purpose resides not
in what we can acquire for ourselves, but in what we can achieve
through our kinship with each other. These were dedicated
professionals who knew what we all know but seldom consciously feel or
express -- that this work we do is dangerous.

We all walk past the memorial plaques in our lobby and we think about
the people whose names are inscribed there. Sometimes our eyes fall to
the empty space on the second plaque, and we know in our very soul
that as long as the world is as it is, as long as we have Americans
who love their country as we do, more names will fill that space.

As we stand there, we're reminded that foreign policy is not an
abstraction carried out by acronyms; that in the final analysis, it's
conducted not by nations, departments, or ministries, but by people --
by people who go where comforts are few and dangers are many; by
people who promote our ideals, manage our relationships, distribute
our aid and protect our citizens; by people who take pride and joy in
the challenge and adventure of representing America to the world. Such
were the people we remember and honor today.

I can't possibly give voice today to the feelings of those who knew
them well -- especially those who knew them not just as colleagues,
but as parents, as children, as husbands and wives, as brothers and
sisters. But I can say a few words about what they were doing in
Africa and why they were there. Our colleagues were working with the
people of Kenya and Tanzania to help overcome poverty, to help build
democracy, to help protect the environment and to help fight disease.
They were helping Americans and Africans create jobs by expanding
trade between our continents. They were helping American citizens in
need and in distress. They were providing support to each other to
accomplish these goals.

So we are led yet again to ask how such a terrible thing could have
happened to a group of people who were doing so much good. Perhaps
part of the answer is that they were attacked because they were doing
so much good. Perhaps they were singled out because they represent a
country that is the world's most powerful defender of freedom and
justice and law. Because as imperfect as we are, we stand for the
values of tolerance and openness and pluralism that are now ascendant
in every part of the world, because we are strong and because we use
our strength to resolve conflicts that some wish would go on forever.

So how are we to respond to this horrific crime? Obviously, our first
responsibility is to the survivors and to the families. We will
continue to clear the rubble, reach the victims, fly in the doctors
and the medicine and the blood that is needed to treat the wounded. We
will do everything in our power to comfort the families of those who
have died and to lighten the terrible burden they are feeling. To that
end I am going to fly out to Germany to visit the injured, to honor
our fallen colleagues and to bring them home.

We will work with the people and the governments of Tanzania and Kenya
to help them deal with their losses, which we must remember are even
greater than ours.

These are things we have been doing around the clock since the moment
this tragedy struck. I'm so proud of the people in our missions abroad
and here in the Department who have been mobilizing our response with
incredible competence and compassion under the most difficult of
circumstances. Once again, the worst of tragedies has brought out the
best in all of you.

I know that the coming days will be hard for many of our colleagues,
and we need to help each other get our jobs done. But we also need to
give each other space and time to breathe. President Clinton and I
will also do all we can to protect our citizens and employees abroad,
as well as the citizens of our host countries. We're working with
others in the Administration and Congress to prepare a budget request
that will allow us to rebuild and continue our presence in Kenya and
Tanzania, and that will provide essential security for posts around
the world that may have additional needs for such things as armored
vehicles, metal detectors, barricades and communication links.

For the longer term, we are also assessing additional personnel and
operations requirements needed to sustain secure operations worldwide.
We will also be consulting with representatives of the people of
Tanzania and Kenya to determine appropriate ways to support them in
this time of loss.

We must also find and punish the cowards who committed this act.
President Clinton has made it absolutely clear that we will not rest
until that happens; and it will happen. For our nation's memory is
long and our reach is far. This morning I want to announce a reward of
up to $2 million for information that leads to the arrest and
conviction of those responsible.

We have another responsibility today that is equally fundamental to
those who died, to those who lived and to all Americans. These United
States, this principled, purposeful nation will not be intimidated. We
will redouble our efforts to build peace and to fight intolerance. We
will meet our responsibility to stay engaged in the world, to keep
standing up for the values that the peace-makers cherish and for the
future that the bomb-throwers fear. For although terror can turn
buildings to rubble and laughter to tears, it can never, will never
deter America from its purpose or presence around the globe.

That is the best answer we can give to the despicable cowards who did
this. That is the best thing we can do to honor the service of the men
and women who lost their lives in this tragedy -- to choose as they
chose not to be prisoners of history, but to shape it. That is what I
pledge to you I will strive to do will every ounce of my determination
and all that I can muster with your counsel, leadership and support in
the weeks and months and years ahead.

It is said that all work worth doing is done in faith. Let us depart
this morning, each with unshatterable faith in the value of the work
we together are doing to keep our people safe to build a world that is
more secure, prosperous, healthy and free. Thank you all, and God
bless you.

Now I would be very happy to take any questions you may have. But
before I do, the Director General is going to speak with you about the
steps we are taking to help our colleagues and the Kenyans and
Tanzanians. Thank you.

DIRECTOR GENERAL GNEHM: Thank you, Madame Secretary. I wanted to just
take a very brief minute. I think the Secretary's words are profound,
and I don't really wish to try and say more on that regard. There are
in our family so many times some skepticisms about how we treat
ourselves and what we do for each other. I want to just tell you how
very proud I am of this morning to share with you things that happened
very quickly and are going to happen as we, indeed, do respond to our
people's needs.

The Medical Division of this Department acted in what I consider
incredible speed. Dr. Dumont and his team -- not only were they on the
scene upstairs within minutes, but they had three of our medical
people who were in a nearby post in Nairobi in a matter of hours,
before the sun set the day of the explosion. He had moving a Medivac
plane from South Africa with blood and supplies and other medical
support who were in Nairobi in the evening. He also coordinated as
they did the medical support from so many other branches of government
to get the people that we needed there quite rapidly. As you all know,
we received enormously important support from friends and allies --
other countries like Israel that brought in dogs and teams to work in
the rubble.

Indeed, our Kenyan and Tanzanian friends in both places, in spite of
the enormous problems that they faced, provided us support and
resources to help us deal with our problem. We had blood donations
from many people here in the country that were on those flights that
went out, along with medical supplies. Now that we have moved a bit
beyond the first day in the crisis, I can report to you that we have
over 50 American military and civilian medical personnel working in
Nairobi with Kenyans and their facilities to provide medical support
for them and their problems. We have made available all of the
supplies that we sent in, including the blood, because their needs are
so much larger than ours at this point.

I know that some of you often feel that perhaps we don't treat our own
national employees as well as we do Americans. I want to stand here in
front of you and say that that's not true; that's not true in this
case at all. When we had our casualties at both posts, we moved to
take care of them as we did our own. You would know from the press
that we medically evacuated from Nairobi five of our FSNs to Germany
along with our Americans. These were people that we assessed needed
the special intensive or specialized medical treatment that they could
not get in Kenya. We may, in fact, be evacuating seven more as we
evaluate their conditions. Also remember that many, many of our
Americans suffered terrible injuries in this, and they were treated
locally in Kenyan hospitals, as were many of our other Kenyan

I want you also to know that the (Family Liaison Office) FLO Office,
which is here on the first floor has worked, mobilized in a big way to
be in touch with all of the families, the relatives of families. They
have done a great job of touching and reaching out. We're working
toward the return of the bodies, as the Secretary spoke. We are going
to bring to Washington the families of the deceased as we have done in
more limited numbers in the past. We will be very generous in doing
that and having them participate with us here in the arrival. We will
continue to support them in any way that we can.

I want you to know that we've already established a task force in our
FSN area to deal with all of the problems that we will need to deal
with with our national employees abroad and their catastrophe. I
remind you all that we have a fund for our FSNs that you'll be hearing
more about that we will seek to put in some of our own funds. You may
wish to consider that as well.

Finally, just to say we are a family and if I ever or if you ever
doubted the kind of feelings that you and I have when we have a
problem, you would be very proud of the way people reacted over the
last few days. Everything from the brand new junior officer class
volunteering their time to work nights and still go to class in the
day to many of you and others who volunteered their time on the task
forces, who volunteered their time to work in the hotel when the
families come to Washington, to everything that needs to be done; you
can rest assured we're going to do what is right for our people.

(end transcript)