Read the story here. Advertise at Before It's News here.
Profile image
By Dear Dirty America
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views
Last hour:
Last 24 hours:

A Walde-wide Game of Keep-away

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.


When a regular fellow does it, it’s called hit and run. But when an American embassy official does, it’s called diplomatic immunity.

Stunned to read today the misadventure of Joshua Walde, formerly an information management officer at the American embassy in Nairobi. Whilst speeding along in his SUV Friday, Walde crossed over into the opposite lane of traffic, colliding head-on with a minibus filled with passengers, killing one and seriously wounding eight others.

For those who may not be familiar with the term, the minibus is an ubiquitous fixture on African road surfaces, typically overladen and unsafely spartan craft packed past the brim with riders.

But I digress. The man killed, Haji Lukindo, leaves behind two children and a now-widow, Latifah Naiman Mariki, who is pregnant with a third. Once the sole source of income, Lukindo’s family is now left destitute and facing the possibility of eviction.

From Al Jazeera’s coverage:

“It is difficult for me to handle this matter because my kids need to go to school. They need everything, basic needs,” Mariki said. “And we have no place to stay because we have to pay the rent. We have no money. Even if my kids are sick I have no money to take them to hospital.”
Hilary Renner, a State Department spokeswoman in Washington, said the embassy extended its deepest condolences to Mariki’s family and wished those injured a speedy recovery.

Where’s Walde in all this? He’s apparently scarpered, extricated from the country by the embassy, neither to be bothered with the details nor otherwise held accountable for his actions. He was in sound enough a state to update his credentials, however:

Shortly after the crash, Walde updated his work history on the networking site LinkedIn to put his time in Nairobi in the past tense, from July 2012 to July 2013.
A Facebook group set up after the crash noticed Walde’s updated CV and pointed to that as evidence that Walde would not return to face charges or help victims. The LinkedIn account was then deleted, though a cached version is still available on the internet.
Walde’s wife circulated an email to sell a family vehicle and try to find new work locations for the family’s nanny and gardener after the crash.

So what do information management officers do, that puts them above the laws of others? The State Department describes the post as that which provides customer support, knowledge management, application support,
and which manages a world-wide telecommunications network, computer networks,
telephone systems, radio networks, and the Diplomatic Pouch and Mail
program. At embassies and consulates abroad, IMS are expected to
perform other duties, such as supporting visits of high-level officials,
including the President of the United States, in support of U.S.
foreign policy.

This isn’t Henry Kissenger we’re talking about here. But then, this isn’t the first or worst time the State Department has cited immunity in defence of an employee. In January 2011, a man named Raymond Davis attached to the American consulate in Lahore, Pakistan, gunned down two men in its city streets and was promptly arrested. A vehicle with four occupants coming to his aid ran down a third Pakistani in the process.

The Americans claimed diplomatic immunity for Davis, who himself claimed to have killed the men in self-defence. Islamabad was in an uproar, however, demanding the four men that hit and killed the third Pakistani be turned over. Much like Walde, the demand was refused and the unnamed men were withdrawn from the country.

The whole incident was a frustrating diplomatic wrangle, especially when it came to light that Davis was the acting director of CIA activities in the country. After much fuss and no trial, it ended with Davis paying a sum of money to the victims’ families before leaving the country, never to be heard from again. The only silver lining to the affair was the temporary cessation of drone strikes as the US pressed for Davis’ release.

The United States isn’t alone in its perseverence to the sanctity of diplomatic shenanigans, as a humourous selection of anecdotes from and Mental Floss might illustrate. And diplomatic immunity is a tremendous linchpin to the global diplomatic process, to be sure. But leave us be reasonable; there’s a time and a place for everything, and it hardly seems either diplomatic or judicious to put criminals above the law.

*     *     *     *     *

Dan Rudy’s got a bit of a cough at present. But between moist gasps and shuttering expulsions, he does his duty by way of writing, here and abroad.


Before It’s News® is a community of individuals who report on what’s going on around them, from all around the world.

Anyone can join.
Anyone can contribute.
Anyone can become informed about their world.

"United We Stand" Click Here To Create Your Personal Citizen Journalist Account Today, Be Sure To Invite Your Friends.

Please Help Support BeforeitsNews by trying our Natural Health Products below!

Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 866-388-7003 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 866-388-7003 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Humic & Fulvic Trace Minerals Complex - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!

HNEX HydroNano EXtracellular Water - Improve immune system health and reduce inflammation.

Ultimate Clinical Potency Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.

MitoCopper - Bioavailable Copper destroys pathogens and gives you more energy. (See Blood Video)

Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser!  Cleans out toxic buildup with oxygen!

Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.

Smart Meter Cover -  Reduces Smart Meter radiation by 96%! (See Video).

Report abuse


    Your Comments
    Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

    Load more ...




    Email this story
    Email this story

    If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

    If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.