The Foreign Service Journal - November 2017

12 NOVEMBER 2017 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL I was driving to the airport when I encoun- tered a crowd and saw Frank being attacked by two Congolese who were angry because an embassy car in which he was a passenger had hit and killed a cyclist. I hit my brakes at once, but the momen- tum of my car carried me past Carlucci, and instead of rescuing him, I picked up the U.S. Army warrant officer who had been driving the car that hit the Congo- lese. The officer had been stabbed in the chest. I drove him to the airport, where the U.S. military had set up their headquarters and where there was a medic on duty. Frank Carlucci (who was a political officer at the time, not the deputy chief of mission) was able to get on a bus and escape the crowd. He had been stabbed in the neck and required stitches. Ever since, I’ve often been credited with having rescued him. I wrote apolo- gies to him each time, until he told me not to bother; the legend was too strong to be destroyed by the truth. Regarding the kidnapping incident mentioned inMr. Sherwood’s letter, I would point out that it involved three American journalists—not Frank Car- lucci—who were detained by the Con- golese Army for having asked too many questions. I did go to talk with the soldiers involved, who had taken up a position across the street from the Ghanaian ambassador’s residence. The Ghanaian ambassador had refused to leave Congo after being declared persona non grata . I was accompanied by Canadian Con- sul General Bill Woods, who lived near the Ghanaian ambassador. We asked the sol- diers to release the journalists, but we did not get a favorable response from the Congolese Army colonel. Bill Woods and I then went to the home of Deputy Chief of Mis- sion RobMcIlvaine, who started making calls to get help for the journalists but could not reach anyone. Then we got a call from one of the journalists saying they had been released shortly after Bill and I had left. We then went to Bill’s house and soon after that heard shooting close by, which was between the Congolese soldiers and United Nations troops there to “protect” the Ghanaian residence. We sheltered in place overnight until we could make a dash for safety the next morning. Alison Palmer FSO, retired Wellfleet, Massachusetts *Editor’s Note: Mr. Sherwood tells the FSJ that he only innocently exaggerated Ms. Palmer’s heroism in the Congo in 1960. Q Share your thoughts about this month’s issue. Submit letters to the editor: