The US Needs to Remember Those Who Help Us

Sep 23, 2013

Over the past ten years the United States Government, our military, and our intelligence services have relied on local natives to be interpreters, guides, and sources of information as we have engaged the enemies of freedom around the world.

Untold numbers of our service men and women have returned from combat zones to the safety of the United States. Yet, the local inhabitants who took the same risks to work side by side with our soldiers remain behind. They and their families often rely on their American friends to offer safety if necessary. The same is true for individuals who volunteered information to our intelligence operatives. Many were led to believe that they and their families would be protected by the United States if they cooperated. This has happened in Iraq, Afghanistan, and is now happening in Syria.

I am personally aware of a case where American intelligence officers recruited a person inside Syria, gained valuable information, and then left him and his family stranded in a difficult situation. He was led to believe that he would be given help to come to the U.S. after his mission was done.

Deplorably, our government proved to be untrustworthy and did not come through for him. If we do not stand by our friends and foreigners who give us very substantial information, how long before our credibility is destroyed? Who will want to help the United States once it is known that we lie and won’t come through on our promises?  And who will have the courage to work with us after seeing our adversaries make horrible examples out of past friends, subjecting them and their loved ones to imprisonment, torture, and death.    

I fear America’s credibility is already damaged, and I strongly encourage the executive branch to take corrective actions now to help those who risk everything to help us.