The Last U.S. Ambassadors to Die in the Line of Duty

The U.S. ambassador to Pakistan in 1988 died in a plane crash that is still the subject of conspiracy theories in Pakistan while in 1978 the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan was killed in a kidnapping attempt.


arnold raphel

Media reports about the killing of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya in Benghazi mention it's the first death of a U.S. ambassador in the line of duty in more than two decades. The last U.S. ambassador to die in the line of duty was Arnold Raphel, the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, who perished in a plane crash in 1988, along with the then president of Pakistan, Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq. As with much of politics in Pakistan, the event was surrounded by conspiracy theories. A variety of foreign powers were blamed. A 2008 Times of London article reported, however, that a U.S. investigation found that a "relatively common" mechanical problem known of the plane, a C-130 military transport aircraft, caused it to crash. It was a sensitive issue at the time because Pakistan was America's closest ally, helping America funnel weapons to the mujahedeen who were fighting Soviet invaders in Afghanistan.

adolph dubs
Arlington Cemetery

The last ambassador, then, to be killed in the line of duty was Adolph Dubs, the U.S. ambassador in Afghanistan, in 1979. He was assigned the post in 1978, shortly after a Soviet-backed coup in the country (which preceded the invasion in late 1979). Dubs was definitely killed, being shot in an exchange of gunfire during an attempted kidnapping. He was the last U.S. ambassador in Afghanistan until 2002, after the U.S. toppled the Taliban regime that emerged after the civil war that followed the end of Soviet intervention in Afghanistan in 1992. His assassination is considered by the State Department as a "Significant Terrorist Incident." As for the murder of the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, after an assault on the consulate in Benghazi, the U.S. is investigating whether the assassination was a planned act of terrorism.

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  1. the U.S. is investigating whether the assassination was a planned act of terrorism


    Um……what part of “DIE INFIDEL!!!!DEATH TO USA!!!!ALLAHU AHKBAR!!! is so hard to understand?

    1. What they mean is that the supposed film that allegedly caused incensed mobs to attack can’t be found, it coincidentally happened on, oh, nine-eleven, and that might just be a tad suspicious. These may have been planned attacks that used rioting over a film as cover.

      1. 9/11?

        Is that an important date or something?


        That’s some fine investeegatin there Epi.

        1. I’m like Magnum sans the mustache.

          I wonder how the “respect all religions” shit will be spun if this turns out to be a coordinated attack. Probably as “see, this wasn’t Islam, it was terrorists, so we were right”.

          1. Reverend Johnson: Gentlemen, gentlemen, allow not hatred to rule the day.
            [holds up his Bible]
            Reverend Johnson: As your spiritual leader, I implore you to pay heed to this good book and what it has to say!
            [Townspeople shoot the Bible, blowing it apart]
            Reverend Johnson: [to Bart] Son, you’re on your own.

          2. Magnum PI without the mustache is just another tan-legged honky toolin’ around Hawaii in a fancy car. Which if you’re keeping score, is one-half step above a functioning retard. So yes, your assessment of yourself is indeed correct.

            Speaking of retards, I have decided to take Jimbo’s advice and am in the process of purchasing a .950 JDJ. Anything less and you might as well rape yourself and save the bad guys the trouble, because without the stopping power of the .950 you’re just fucking around with kid’s toys.

            1. tan-legged honky toolin’ around Hawaii in a fancy car

              That describes me almost perfectly when I’m in Hawaii. Just add “frequently loaded” and “living on poke and laulau” and it’s perfect.

              1. *avoids Hawaii like the fucking plague*

                1. YOUR LOSS BUDDY

                  1. I’d rather castrate myself with a rusty spoon that spend a week in Hawaii. All those goddamn japanese and white people, fuck man, that shit would drive me nuts. My grandfather was alive during WWII so I can totally say that.

                  2. I’m with Epi on this one. I love me some Hawaii.

                    I went to Hawaii for the first time in my life about 8 months ago. And I’m not a young man. Took my daughter.

                    It was the first vacation I’ve ever taken where I wasn’t ready to come home when it was over.

                    We got up at the asscrack of dawn every morning, hit the beaches, ate out of ABC stores, fresh pineapple, coconut milk, fresh sushi, the works.

                    And never in my life have I been so utterly awash in beautiful, dark-skinned, dark-eyed, dark-haired beauties of god-knows-what various ethnicities in my life. My cups runnethed over.

                    I can’t wait to go back.

                    1. I’m a misanthropic sort; being around crowds generally makes me angry and annoyed. Me and the GF try to get as far away from people as possible. To me, a hammock or tent in the middle of the woods is preferable to a beach front 5* joint.

                      It took me a long time to figure this out; I used to wonder why I was so miserable whilst doing supposedly ‘fun’ things. Next summer my dream vacation would be to do some trailblazing in the cascades…

                      sounds like heaven

                    2. On Sunday, October 7th I’ll be walking in to the Stone Lions shrine in the back country of Bandelier Nat. Mom. We’ll be hiking in on a trail that I have resurrected from the eastern edge of the Santa Fe National Forest. Those who wish to join, please follow my link.

                      … Hobbit

            2. Wowsers. You’re REALLY happy to see Epi.

              /.950 JDJ

    2. “a planned act of terrorism”

      As opposed to an unplanned act of pure Musselmen cussedness.

  2. The last ambassador, then, to be killed in the line of duty was Adolph Dubs, the U.S. ambassador in Afghanistan, in 1979.

    I was not familiar with this anecdote from history.

    And the world avoided being destroyed in nuclear fire how, exactly?

    Looks around self.

    Dafuq? We’re all here and we really shouldn’t be.

    1. I keep telling myself that. It’s the only way to keep from eating a bullet.

    2. We had a Congressman* killed by an avowed Marxist in a commune, and it wasn’t even really considered a political event.

      *The only congress person to be killed in the line of duty.


  3. How many foreign service officers have been killed in the line of duty since 1979?

    1. Not enough. Them furriners is the root of all international trouble.

  4. assault on the consulate in Benghazi, the U.S. is investigating whether the assassination was a planned act of terrorism

    My understanding, based upon remarks made by Mr. Obama heard on NPR this morning, is that it was a planned act of terrorism. An act of terrorism perpetrated by some filmmakers who made a film critical of Islam.

    I’m sure swift punishment will follow.

    1. On the other hand, if the filmmakers turn out to be Muslims provos (like the shitstain who allegedly framed the retarded kid for burning a Koran), then it won’t really matter either way.

  5. MSNBC Instapundits call for the imprisonment of filmmakers. Via Volokh:…..qus_thread

    1. What the fuck? Gawd, despite my adherence to the broadest reading of the first, those commentators should be dragged out into the streets and shot like the fucking dogs that they are.

      If some goat fucking troglodyte 10,000 miles away want so kill Americans because of the stoopid shit we’re sometimes known to say he can come over here and file a grievance with the department of give us your goddamn oil and shut your shit smelling 6th century mouth you son of a whore. It’s in DeeCee somewhere, asshole.

      I’m all fuzzed up now. Fuckers.

  6. You know, forgive me (no one’s reading anyway)

    But this whole Obama apology thing has got me so fucking worked up, I’m literally pacing around my living room, trying to cool off.

    And he’s pissed me off for two primary reasons:

    1. He has brought me to the place where I might now completely toss out any fleeting sense of pride and principles and actually cast a vote for Romney in November. And I can’t stand Romney.

    2. This may be the turning point in the entire campaign, meaning that this could cause me to lose my ongoing bet that Obama is a lock for 2012. This could actually cause enough people to shift decisively in Romney’s favor, tipping the election away from an Obama victory.

    While #2 doesn’t piss me off in the sense that Obama will lose, it pisses me off that my prediction is wrong. And it’s all about me, really.

    But seriously. Obama and his professorial asshats, apologizing for and demanding the jailing of these so-called filmmakers has got me so worked up, I’m on the edge of fucking volunteering for the Romney campaign… that’s how much Not Obama this thing has made me feel.

    1. Bad economy? Probably wouldn’t have gotten much better under Romney.
      Grim slide towards nationalized healthcare? Romney invented the concept.
      Mealy mouthed principles and weak-tea civil rights? Ditto Romney.
      Naked executive power grabs? Romney wouldn’t put a dent.

      But if there’s one thing that seems to collectively piss off Americans, it’s when butt-hurt Muslims break American shit and kill American people. And Obama apologizing to the fucking killers for our freedom of speech has got me so hot I’m about to write an apology letter to Gary Johnson and vote full frontal Romney.

    2. Dang, you’re fuzzed up too man. This shit is a fucking shame.

      You go on the fucking teevee and tell the world that if they don’t like the freedom of our citizens we’ll pull our diplomats out and they can burn their own cities up to their heart’s content. I’m a goddamn pacifist and am starting to think that perhaps maybe we should fuck some shit up over this.

      Fucking apologizing to barbaric murderers only shows weakness you inept asshole. He won’t apologize to the cancer patients he throws in jail over weed, but he’ll get on his knees and pucker up to fucking cruel savages. What a fucking fuck.

      1. Fuzzed up. That’s a new one on me. But consider who I am. I’m personally more in the vein of “really really pissed off”.

        So the alternative is Bush who’d go bomb them to smithereens. Except oh shit, they already did that….

        It seems that I have found a completely sanity-free planet.

    3. You’re angry over something that never happened.

      And threatening to vote for Romney.

      Mission accomplished!

      1. No, Tony, it did happen. I heard the President’s remarks, first hand. Your level of apologetic delusion remains rock-bottomed and copper-sheathed.

  7. This whole thing keeps getting weirder weirder:…..vie/56804/

    The “producer” can’t be found. Nobody named “Sam Bacile” anywhere in Hollywood…and nobody’s seen the whole movie. If it exists at all beyond thrown together random clips.

  8. I guess apologizing to the Muslim world isn’t working.

    The American flag is burned as the embassy is stormed by a mob in Yemen.

    I’m noting a distinct lack of shot protesters in Yemen.

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