Still Hostage

Jonathan Cote and his fellow hostages are still out there waiting for freedom, they aren’t at home preparing for the holidays as they should be. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers if you would friends.

jon-cote-photo.jpgIn an update to the Hostage a Year article earlier about the four American and one German contractors held hostage, I’ve located the Brookings institute report that the numbers came from. It turns out that the number of hostages taken stands at 305, but many have been killed, have been rescued, or have been returned. The full details are below, picked out from the footnotes of the table. I want to thank Vicki for leading me to this, I passed by this data twice and missed the footnotes in my search.

In an important update there are new indicators that these hostages are still alive, as this story from The Buffalo News reports:

The family of former Amherst resident Jonathon M. Cote, one of five Western security contractors kidnapped in Iraq last year, was being cautious Monday about comments from an employer of the security workers who said they are still alive and being actively sought by the company and the U.S. government.

Crescent Security Group managing partner Franco Picco said the company has been working with the FBI to find the men. They are alive, Picco told the Associated Press in a telephone call from Kuwait, and “we do have an idea where they are.” Company officials said they were

exerting all of their efforts to secure the release of the hostages. The search has been difficult, Picco said, but “we’ll get the guys back.”

Below is the data on all of the hostages taken since 2003:


Total through October 28, 2007 305

54 killed
147 released
4 escaped
6 rescued
89 unknown

NOTE ON FOREIGN NATIONALS KIDNAPPED IN IRAQ TABLE:*Developments: This category shows activity in the status of hostages, but does not necessarily apply to hostages kidnapped during the same month. Please see footnote for more information. According to the Baghdad Hostage Working Group at the US Embassy in Baghdad as cited in Erik Rye and Joon Mo Kang, “Hostages of War,” New York Times, May 17, 2006, 439 foreigners have been kidnapped in Baghdad since the start of the war. These include:
165 private contractors
63 (mostly truck) drivers
39 journalists
23 NGO workers
15 diplomats/gov’t employees.

An Associated Press tally shows that at least 13 Americans have been kidnapped. Four have been killed, four have escaped or been freed and five are considered taken, missing, or unknown. This list may be incomplete. “The Fate of Americans Taken Hostage in Iraq,” Associated Press, January 20, 2006.

Jonathan Cote and his fellow hostages are still out there waiting for freedom, they aren’t at home preparing for the holidays as they should be. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers if you would friends.

 Further resources:

The Brookings Institute Iraq Index 10-29 (PDF Link) – contains many good charts and stats on how the surge is going as well.)

US policy for Hostage situations (PDF Link)

A Date Which Will Live in Infamy


President Franklin D. Roosevelt:

Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of American was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The United States was at peace with that nation, and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our secretary of state a formal reply to a recent American message. While this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or armed attack.

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

Yesterday the Japanese government also launched as attack against Malaya.

Last night Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.

Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam.

Last night Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.

Last night Japanese forces attacked Wake Island.

And this morning the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.

As commander in chief of the Army and Navy I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us. . .

More on Remembering Pearl Harbor day at :

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