Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Kirk's Car

In my last post, I asked a relatively simple question, albeit one that's kept me awake on occasion: Where did Kirk von Ackermann get his car? The answer, it turns out, is far from simple.

According to the CID, Kirk bought that car in Iraq. Further than that I do not know. They also told me that the car he bought was supposedly the type that Iraqis think CIA agents drive (or that CIA agents actually do drive - can't tell which from my notes). This sounds odd to me as A. if it were true Kirk would know this and would not purchase the car and B. why on earth would the CIA drive consistent types of cars?
That doesn't make sense on so many levels, it's mind boggling. Kirk von Ackermann was a former Air Force Captain with extensive experience in counter-terrorism which required and demanded thinking like a terrorist. Why would he want a car that might be mistaken as belonging to the CIA?

Remember, von Ackermann was traveling for work in the Tikrit region. In the fall of 2003, Tikrit was awash with Americans looking for Saddam Hussein who was from nearby Ouja. It's a very safe assumption CIA personnel were in the area at that time. It simply defies logic that von Ackermann willingly bought a car with even a hint that an American might be inside let alone one that would identify him as CIA.

My second question is, for me, the dog that didn't bark. It's the one detail that has bothered me since the very first time I read Colin Freeman's first article: Why did von Ackermann leave his satellite phone in his car?

Why didn't von Ackermann take a more defensive position, take the satellite phone -- probably similar to a Thuraya with GPS -- and wait a safe distance a way from the car? That response would have been more consistent with his background and training as described in the blog entry: No One Left Behind.

From von Ackermann's family:
I can go one further - why did Kirk not drive on the flat tire to the checkpoint? Yes, the rim would be ruined and he wouldn't make great time but he would not be sitting stranded on an area of road he had himself identified as particularly dangerous.
To better understand the environment these decisions were made in, it would be helpful to reconstruct day to day life in Iraq in 2003.

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