Tuesday, December 21, 2010

December 21, 1988

It was twenty-two years ago today that a U.S. airliner was destroyed in an act of state-sponsored terrorism, resulting in the deaths of 270 people.

Among the victims were: Matthew Gannon, an officer assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Beirut (and the brother of now-retired DS Agent Dick Gannon, a survivor of the 1983 Beirut Embassy bombing); DS Special Agent Daniel Emmett O'Connor, a security officer assigned to U.S. Embassy Beirut; and DS Special Agent Ronald Albert Lariviere, a security officer assigned to U.S. Embassy Nicosia.

Maybe I just missed it, but I didn't see any mention of this anniversary in any U.S. news media today, or in any DOS press release or official blog posting. Not so much as a tweet.


Update at 7:50 PM - There is now a State Department tweet:

Today is 22nd anniversary of #PanAm flight 103, destroyed by a bomb over Lockerbie, Scotland killing 259 on board, 11 on ground. #StateBrief


The Snake's Mommy said...

No, you didn't miss them. They aren't there. I just did a search on my RSS feeds of the last week. Not a peep. I skim around 350 feed stories a day -- world and regional news, military, security, science, space. Not a word about Lockerbie till you mentioned it.

Thanks for reminding us.

TSB said...

Thanks. That confirms what I thought.

Twenty-two isn't a nice round anniversary number, I know, but I thought there would be some notice this year, if only because of the WikiLeaks buzz about commercial interests lobbying for the compassionate release of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi from prison.

I always note the date because I was on the same Flight 103 from London to Dulles the day before Thanksgiving of that year. Pan Am used to reserve the upper deck (about 16 or so seats) for State Department travelers, and I can easily imagine what the scene was like for my fellow feds who were seated there.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for recognizing the sacrifice of DS Special Agents O'Connor and Lariviere. I was just over at our training facility yesterday and was staring at their photographs, as well as those of DS SAs Seitz (Iraq - Rocket Attack) and Sullivan (Iraq - Car Bomb).

I didn't even put two and two together.


TSB said...


You probably know that Matthew Gannon, one of the other victims, had originally been a DS Special Agent (and was the brother of another one) before he joined another agency, so in effect there were three DS losses. Gannon has now been recognized with a star on the CIA Memorial Wall.