Former CIA Station Chief to Algeria Gets 65 Months for Sexual Assault on Embassy Property

Via USDOJ today, did not mention that the official was formerly the station chief:

Former U.S. Official Sentenced to 65 Months in Prison for Sexually Assaulting Woman on Embassy Property in Algeria

WASHINGTON – Andrew Warren, 43, a former official with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), was sentenced today to 65 months in prison on charges of abusive sexual contact and unlawful use of cocaine while possessing a firearm, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr., and Eric J. Boswell, Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security.

Warren pleaded guilty to the charges in June 2010 and was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by the U.S. District Court Judge Ellen S. Huvelle.   Judge Huvelle also sentenced Warren to 10 years of supervised release following his prison term.
During the plea hearing last year, Warren admitted that on Feb. 17, 2008, he committed abusive sexual contact while on U.S. embassy property in Algiers, Algeria, by engaging in sexual contact with a female victim after he rendered her unconscious.   Additionally, Warren admitted that on April 26, 2010, he unlawfully used cocaine while possessing a Glock, 9 millimeter semi-automatic pistol in Norfolk, Va.

This case was investigated by Diplomatic Security Service; the U.S. Marshals Service in Norfolk; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Norfolk Police Department; and the Inspector General and the General Counsel of the CIA.   The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Christine Duey of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section, Assistant U.S. Attorney Julieanne Himelstein of the District of Columbia and Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Haynie from the Eastern District of Virginia.

Mr. Warren can now add one more thing to his Wikipedia entry:

Andrew M. Warren (c. 1968–) is an author, spy, former CIA operative, and jailbird, who served as Station Chief of the CIA field office in Algiers during 07-2008.

You can read more about the Andrew Warren saga from our blog pal, The Skeptical Bureaucrat here.


Quickie: Children of diplomats displaced by strife often caught between two worlds

Via WaPo:

With each regime that teeters, each uprising that forces a U.S. embassy to be evacuated, more American diplomats, aid workers and their families seek shelter at a nondescript Falls Church apartment complex with a nondescript name: Oakwood. The only hint of its connection to international affairs is the United Nations flag flying overhead.

Most families are there to enroll their children in Northern Virginia’s smallest school district, Falls Church, and to wait for the world’s uprisings to subside before returning to their foreign postings or deploying to new ones. The surge of recent arrivals began with an exodus from Ivory Coast in January and was followed last month by a group from Egypt – 33 students and their families from Cairo alone. A wave from Libya began landing over the weekend.
The Cairo group arrived after violence in that city’s normally quiet diplomatic neighborhood had kept families in their homes for nearly a week. “It didn’t seem that bad at first. But then we started hearing gunshots. The tanks started rolling closer,” said Liam O’Dowd, a high school junior.

Families watched as police officers who protected their apartment complex disappeared, and they listened for updates on an embassy radio station until the evacuation order arrived.

More quotes: 

“Someone asked me the other day if I speak Egyptian. They ask if we ride to school on camels. I don’t think they really understand us,” said Hadley Rose, 13, who is attending George Mason High School.
“I’m just ready to go home,” said Phoebe Bredin, 17, meaning Cairo. “We lived through the beginning of a revolution, and now we’re here waiting in the suburbs. It’s weird.”
“There are a lot of rumors: We could go back next week, or next month, or it could be much longer than that,” said Arden Rose, 16. “I just wish we knew for sure.”

Read the whole thing here.

Fawda Munathema: Hearts and Minds Left Behind. In Libya

US Embassy Tripoli went on ordered departure on February 21. At that time, I surmised that one of the FSO bloggers, Fawda Munathema, a first tour officer posted in Tripoli may be expected to stay behind as he works at the consular section.  The evacuees were stuck at the port in Tripoli for days and finally made it out on February 25. That same day, all American employees were officially withdrawn from Libya. The USG then  announced the suspension of operation at the embassy.The mission’s locally employed staff of about 120 remains in Tripoli. 

Approximately three dozen American employees and their family members are now evacuees in in hotel rooms. Each carried one suitcase out of Libya.  Most if not all, will not see their household effects again.  Fawda Munathema came back to his blog yesterday with a heart-wrenching post. His is just one story. There are many more out there with sad stories replayed in their heads.  Republished in full below, just in case. Do visit his blog here and give him a hug.             

American Nomad

There’s no experience like being informed that you have three hours to go home and put your most important possessions into one suitcase. It forcefully crystallizes how replaceable most of your possessions are. Clothing can be bought again. Posters and artwork are superfluous. The knickknacks that you’ve collected over the years from your travels are dead weight in your small bag.

When I had to choose the most important possessions, I selected my passports, my financial documents, my laptop, my contact lenses, some underwear and socks, and two suits. In the rush to get out of Libya, I forgot to even consider bringing my iPod, an extra pair of shoes,  or the hard-to-replace Arabic books that I bought in Cairo. There was no room to bring the violin that I had owned and played since the seventh grade. As it started pouring rain in downtown Washington yesterday, I realized that I had left my umbrella in Libya as well.

After I had finished packing, I spent the next few days sleeping in the embassy and battling a nasty cold. The conference calls and emails and mini-crises and phone calls from panicked Americans started to blend together after a while. Despite all the “job well done” pats on the back from people in the Department, I know that there were times when I was a useless, frazzled, dud of a Foreign Service Officer. Thank God for my co-workers, who picked up my slack without comment.

People are going to want to hear from me the stories that came out of this crisis. But I’m not going to have any exciting stories, because now is not the time for stories. It is not the time for victory laps. I haven’t cried in a long time, but I couldn’t stop crying the day I left Libya, because I knew that there were American citizens who were unable to reach the airport for evacuation.

I cried over the Libyan embassy employees who had to stay behind, too. We have embassy guards who make $800 a month, and yet who continued to show up at their posts and stand watch in the middle of the night, with the sound of gunfire rattling in the streets, to help keep my colleagues and I safe. Our Libyan employees in the consular section showed up to work at personal risk and provided indispensable help in the evacuations – even though they knew that wouldn’t be going anywhere once we Americans were gone.

I cried over what happened the day before at the port, when I had to bear the looks on people’s faces as I told them that we couldn’t board any more people onto the ferry to Malta. I had to tell a family of two American citizen children and their non-American citizen parents that in accordance with U.S. policy, only one parent could go with the kids onto the ship. I had to turn away a six-year-old Japanese girl and her teary-eyed mother because they came too late and we didn’t have time to process them through immigration.

The crisis is not over. The work is not done. I dedicate my work over the coming weeks to those I could not help and to those I left behind.

Read here why he joined the diplomatic service.