Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Obituary for Kirk von Ackermann

The Albuquerque Journal
January 14, 2007

VON ACKERMANN -- Kirk von Ackermann was killed October 9, 2003 while acting as a contractor in Iraq. Kirk served his country with distinction, first as a Russian linguist in the army, then as an intelligence officer in the air force. He earned numerous awards including Army, Air Force, and joint service commendation medals. Kirk was passionate about his family and devoted to them and to his many friends. He pursued many activities, and taught his children his personal philosophy: live life, don't watch it.


Saturday, January 06, 2007

Von Ackermann in AP Article

Two brief mentions of Kirk von Ackermann in a series from the AP on the kidnapping of Roy Hallums in Iraq. The article refers to and quotes Dan Shea, formerly of the Hostage Working Group of the US Embassy in Baghdad.

Important detail: this article includes the first known mention that the Hostage Working Group was actively looking into von Ackermann's disappearance. An Editor's Note on one version (oddly enough, it's titled Missing in Iraq), states the following:

This story is based on hours of interviews with Roy Hallums, Susan Hallums and Dan O'Shea, and their recollections of Roy Hallums' kidnapping in Iraq.
Excerpts below.

Family's nightmare begins at gunpoint Part 1
By Deborah Hastings, AP, Salt Lake Tribune, December 24, 2006, 01:20:45 AM MST
Dan O'Shea had more to worry about than the abduction of Roy Hallums. There was Kirk von Ackermann, an American contractor who went missing near Tikrit on Oct. 9, 2003. There was Timothy Bell, a Halliburton employee who disappeared on April 9, 2004.

Hallums was another soul added to the list. At the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, O'Shea worked in secret. The Hostage Working Group, started by the State Department in 2004 to deal with the rash of Iraqi kidnappings, was made up of FBI and CIA agents, hostage negotiators, counterintelligence operators, military analysts and special forces.

They numbered about 30 in all, working telephones and back channels, talking with local imams, police, messaging back and forth with Washington and military intelligence officials of all types.
Kidnapped Americans in Iraq
By Deborah Hastings, AP, Salt Lake Tribune, December 24, 2006, 03:10:26 AM MST

Kirk von Ackermann, 37, of Moss Beach, Calif., vanished Oct. 9, 2003. He was driving alone between Tikrit and Kirkuk. His car was found abandoned.
Clarification for readers: As of August of 2006, Von Ackermann is no longer considered missing but is believed to have been killed on the day he disappeared.

Part 2 of the above series can be found here:

Rescuing Roy - Tip leads to rescue in Iraq Part 2
By Deborah Hastings, AP, North County Times, December 24, 2006