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U.S. Marine And Pakistani Contractor Held Hostage

Details are still sketchy, but it appears that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's al Qaeda network has upped the ante yet again.

alihassoun.jpg


BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Arab television broadcast videotape Sunday of two men taken hostage by militants, one described as a U.S. Marine lured from his base and the other a Pakistani driver for an American contractor. Insurgents threatened to behead them both.

The U.S. military confirmed that a Marine named Wassef Ali Hassoun had been missing from his unit for nearly a week. It said it was unclear if he had been taken hostage, but Hassoun's name was on a Marine "active duty" identification card shown by militants in the videotape aired by the Al-Jazeera network.

In the video, the hostage had a white blindfold covering his eyes. He wore military fatigues, and his mustache was trimmed. The U.S. military said Hassoun was of Lebanese descent, though the Al-Jazeera report said the hostage's origins were Pakistani.

The kidnappers claimed to have infiltrated a Marine outpost, lured Hassoun outside and abducted him. Al-Jazeera said the militants demanded the release of all Iraqis "in occupation jails" or the hostage would be killed.

The transfer of power will not be disrupted, and the demands of the barbaric terrorists will not be met.

Update: The military has confirmed that a Marine named Corporal Hassoun of Lebanese descent went missing on June 21. Presumably they have been looking for him ever since.

Update2: In addition to prayers for the families of both men, I think this summary of Misha's thoughts captures the mood of many of us tonight:

You don't fuck with the United States Marine Corps and live to tell the tale... Now you die, assholes. Semper Fi!
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Comments (13)

You don't fuck with the... (Below threshold)

You don't fuck with the United States Marine Corps and live to tell the tale... Now you die, assholes. Semper Fi!

Ummm...why, for some, does it take a U.S. Marine to be in this position before getting really pissed? That's a rhetorical question, of course.

The lives of Daniel Pearl, Nick Berg, Paul Johnson Jr. & Kim Sun-il should be considered just as important as Wassef Ali Hassoun.

It's us against them...I want them dead no matter WHO they decide is the victim of the day.

I can't speak for Misha, of... (Below threshold)
Boyd:

I can't speak for Misha, of course, but the comment struck me more along the lines of "Now you've pissed off the Marines, and that's a bite bigger than you can chew."

And for myself, Hassoun's kidnapping and impending murder pisses me off marginally more than the others, but that's because 1) this is the first military abduction, and as a naval retiree, it generates the typical "taking care of your own" response, and 2) my son is a Marine, scheduled to head out to Iraq later this year.

I'm sure you know I mean no... (Below threshold)

I'm sure you know I mean no offense, Boyd. Your reasons make a lot of sense on a very visceral level. I just hope this isn't the mainstream thought. I would hope that every life is just as valuable as the next, for those who don't have a personal connection.

The shit will moderatly hit... (Below threshold)
Mike:

The shit will moderatly hit the fan now, it will really hit the fan when:

1. When they snatch an American off an American city street.

Or

2.They snatch an Isreali - Then the Musad gets involved and they will hunt down and kill each one of these animals just like they did the Black September group, then they'll deliver OBL to the US doorstep, something we cannot apparently do on our own.

Linda, FWIW I buried the in... (Below threshold)
DrSteve:

Linda, FWIW I buried the inchoate rage needle with the hanged contractors, and it's stayed pinned to the right side of the meter since then. I don't value the lives of those men less than I do that of Mr. Hassoun or the Pakistani gentleman.

Hope this clarifies things for you.

No offense taken, Linda. I ... (Below threshold)
Boyd:

No offense taken, Linda. I was just trying to explain exactly what you understood me to say: there's a visceral reaction to something like this that completely bypasses the brain. The idea that every life is as valuable as the next is a civilized thought, and not everything about humans, especially those of us in the military, is (or should be) civilized.

Case in point: If I meet you on the battlefield as my enemy, my life is damn sure more valuable than yours. My comrades' lives are more valuable than yours. And so forth.

I know that last bit can come off as facetious, but it's a telling point, I believe.

PLease not to sound like i ... (Below threshold)
Eric:

PLease not to sound like i do not hope for this Marine's Death, But actually since Jan. there has been a young Keith Maupin of the U.S. Army missing in iraq, and it has been down played, Can someone please tell me why this young man was forgotten...? And no this is not the first military abduction

Correction to an earlier po... (Below threshold)
Eric:

Correction to an earlier post, i meant to say I hope this Marine's life is SPARED...

This is from a news report ... (Below threshold)
eclipsegurl:

This is from a news report that I just read:

Some of Ali Hassoun's relatives, including his father, Ali Hassoun, and a brother, Sami, are in Tripoli, Lebanon. The relatives said contacts were under way with politicians and Muslim clerics in Lebanon and Islamic groups in Iraq to secure the Marine's release.

"We are trying to send word through all channels that he is Lebanese, Arab and a Muslim," Abdullah Hassoun, another member of the extended family and the head of Al-Safira municipality in Lebanon, told The Associated Press.

The report also stated:

Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt said the military is working under the assumption that the Marine has been kidnapped -- but he indicates that hasn't been confirmed.

Kimmitt said the Marine had gone on an "unauthorized absence" around June 21 -- and that officials suspect he may have been heading to Lebanon. The general didn't give more details.

The Marine is a Muslim of Middle Eastern origin.

Let's just pray for his release. We don't need another life take by these people.

Name: Keith "Matt" Maupin<b... (Below threshold)
Eric:

Name: Keith "Matt" Maupin
Branch/Rank: U.S. Army Reserves / PFC
Unit: Army Reserves 724th Transportation Company, Bartonville, Ill
Date of Birth/Age: 20
Home City of Record: Batavia, OH
Date of Loss: April 9, 2004
Country of Loss: Iraq
Original Status: Duty Status Where-A-Bouts Unknown

April 19, 2004 - ARMY Changes Status to CAPTURED
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground
Other Personnel in Incident: Six other Kellogg, Brown & Root employees; Thomas Hamill (escaped 5/2/04); Sgt. Elmer C. Krause (remains recovered 4/23/04)
Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews, FOX NEWS online, MSNBC News online, CNN News online. April 2004.

Synopsis: The U.S. military said two American soldiers and seven employees of U.S. contractor Kellogg, Brown & Root were missing after their convoy was ambushed Friday, April 9, near Abu Ghraib, west of Baghdad.

Only one, Thomas Hamill, a 43-year-old truck driver from Macon, Miss., was previously known to have been abducted. His captors have threatened to kill and mutilate him unless U.S. troops ended their assault on the city of Fallujah. The deadline passed Sunday with no word on his fate.

New videotape aired on Friday on Al-Jazeera which broadcast a video which showed a young man wearing camouflage and a floppy desert hat. He was sitting on the floor. He was surrounded by five gunmen, their faces covered by scarves. The U.S. Army soldier identified himself as "Pfc. Keith Matthew Maupin."
Maupin joined the Army Reserves to help pay for college. His mother, Carolyn, headed a local support group for military moms. A brother had just completed his Marine basic training.

I am married with a 10-month-old child, said the man, who frequently looked down, as if reading words on a piece of paper. I came to liberate Iraq, but I did not come willingly because I wanted to stay with my child.

Sgt. Elmer C. Krause, 40, of Greensboro, N.C., and Pfc. Keith "Matt" Maupin, 20, of Batavia, Ohio, were previously identified and noted as DUTY STATUS WHERE-A-BOUTS UNKNOWN.

Fox News reported Maupin was known in high school for his tenacity on the football field and in the classroom, friends and family said.

CNN reported Maupin, 20, graduated three years ago from Glen Este High School in Cincinnati, Ohio. The school issued a statement calling him a "great kid" and "an excellent student" who won the Scholar Athlete Award for maintaining a 3.5 GPA while playing football.

"We're pulling for him. He's a fighter," Dan Simmons, athletic director at Glen Este High School the Fox News article said.

"Matt was a selfless kid on the football field," Simmons said. "He did whatever the coaches told him. He wasn't a starter, but he made the other kids play harder

CNN reported that the family spokesman said "We have viewed the videotape of Matt, as all of you have, I'm sure, and our family is very happy and prays for Matt's safety," spokesman Carl Cottrell said, reading a statement from Maupin's family.

"To show your belief in his safe return, we ask the community of Batavia as well as surrounding communities and across the nation to tie yellow ribbons in Matt's honor 'till he safely returns home, so that when he does return home, he'll see the support that we've seen over the course of these last five days."

The remains of Sgt. Elmer Krause of Greensboro, NC, were identified on April 23, 2004. Civilian contractor Thomas Hamill escaped his captors and found his way to a U.S. Military convoy on May 2, 2004.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As of today (May 17, 2004) there is still no word as to the fate of Private Maupin. It has been well over a month since he first appeared on a videotape aired by Aljazeera TV.

It is time for Americans to step up to the plate once more and take a swing for young Keith Maupin. He needs your help now! Write to President Bush, Vice-President Cheney, your State Representatives, your local elected officials, and the media. Lets get Private Maupin's name out in the media and let EVERYONE know that we want to know where he is...and that we want him back -- ALIVE! Tell your family, your neighbors, friends, and co-workers. Call your local radio and TV stations and write editorials for your local newspapers.

NOTHING IS WORSE THAN DOING NOTHING

On April 23rd, his Private Maupin's status was changed from Duty Status - Whereabouts Unknown (DUSTWUN) to Captured.

HE IS A PRISONER OF WAR

And

We need to bring him home NOW!

Please contact his Representative Rob Portman and demand that he do everything in his power to effect Pfc. Maupins immediate release!

Call his Washington, DC office NOW.

202-225-3164

Download Maupin Flyer
created by Rod Utech

PLEASE LET US NOT FORGET HIM AS WELL!!!!!!!!!

<a href="http://www.homelan... (Below threshold)
eclipsegurl:

http://www.homelandsecurityus.com is reporting today that Private Keith Maupin has been killed.

HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE TO DIE... (Below threshold)
Sharon:

HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE TO DIE, HOW MANY TO BE TORTURED OR BEHEADED BEFORE WE TAKE A STAND FOR OUR PEOPLE AND START KILLING ALL THESE COLD HEARTED, GUTLESS BASTARDS??????????????????????

I have been watching and do... (Below threshold)
mary:

I have been watching and downloading every video of some kind of torture and killing to these people and not just americans, i have seen pictures of american military commite grusome acts on these people, it sometimes shows that we are no better than they are, and on that note i wish nothing but the worse of demened torture to the five men that have committied these horrible deaths to all. I have said it once and i have said it a thousand times. Why can't Bush mind his own fucking business, and take care of his own people here in the U.S.A. We have starving children, homeless and so on here at home leave those people alone and let them fucking kill one another, Who gives a rats ass what they do to each other lets take care of our own.
One last thing. If any of the hostages get to read or hear about these comments always remember,there is a better life wating for you and it is a whole lot better that this grim and fucked up world we are living in now.As luise armstrong sang, "what a wonderful world" and he was not talking about this fucked one were in. so hold your head up high and scream,What goes around comes around motherfuckers.
My deepest sorrows are with all the familys of lost loved ones.




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