Sunday, January 23, 2011

Bob Hamza - missing

Who is Bob Hamza?

In the sidebar of a recent Associated Press article, the deputy director for the Personnel Recovery Division, USAF Maj. Jimmy Smith, is shown holding a flyer of 3 missing Americans. The first sentence of the caption reads:

In this Jan. 7, 2011 photo, U.S. Air Force Maj. Jimmy Smith holds a flyer with the photos of missing persons Bob Hamza, left, Abbas Kareem Naama, center and U.S. Army reservist Ahmed Kousay al-Taie, right, in Baghdad, Iraq.
As both Tim Naama and Sgt. Ahmed Kousay al-Taie are Iraqi Americans, I am just going to assume Hamza must be one of the four Iraqi Americans thought to be missing in Iraq. There are two SIGACT reports that specifically identify missing Iraqi Americans: February 1, 2007 and March 3, 2007.

Beyond the sidebar, I can't find any additional information on Bob Hamza or when or how he disappeared.

Somebody out there must know who Bob Hamza is.


Search goes on for missing Americans in Iraq
By Kim Gamel, Associated Press, Washington Post, January 23, 2011

SIGACT Reports
December 17, 2010 - since updated

Friday, January 21, 2011

AP Article on Missing Americans

New article on American hostages and missing persons in Iraq. It more or less centers around Sgt Ahmed Qusai al-Taayie, missing since October 23, 2006.

Unfortunately, there's no formal list of the missing to accompany the article. And based on information within the article, it's reported the U.S. State Department is taking over outstanding cases. Pardon my cynicism but that sounds like a bureaucratic black hole to me - a polite way to tell families, "We're doing everything we can," while accomplishing absolutely nothing.

Search goes on for missing Americans in Iraq
By Kim Gamel, Rebecca Santana, Associated Press, Marine Corps Times, January 21, 2011

The search effort is now in the hands of the military's Personnel Recovery Division, a group of 20 people overseen by Col. Michael Infanti of Stafford, Va.

Infanti was the battalion commander in charge of the search for three U.S. soldiers who went missing after their unit was ambushed south of Baghdad in May 2007. Their remains were found more than a year later, after Infanti and other soldiers, who had spent months combing through the canal-lined terrain, had returned to the U.S.

Besides al-Taie, the Personnel Recovery Division is also looking for seven other Americans, four South Africans and a British man.

The military said it is developing a plan to transfer the cases concerning American citizens to the U.S. State Department, which has promised to maintain a strong diplomatic presence after the troops leave. The other cases will be turned over to their respective countries. more...
The article notes that the SIGACT report for the abduction of Jeffrey Ake can be found in the Iraq War Logs at WikiLeaks - as far as I know, this article is the first from a mainstream news organization to report on the SIGACT reports for Americans missing in Iraq. Call it progress.

According to my own records and assuming Major Troy Lee Gilbert is included, a minimum of 8 to as many as 18 or more Americans still remain missing today.


Washington Post carries the same article but it contains some additional information. In particular, this passage:
Search goes on for missing Americans in Iraq
By Kim Gamel, Associated Press, Washington Post, January 22, 2011

U.S. Air Force Maj. Jimmy Smith, the [Personnel Recovery Division]'s deputy director, said nine American abductees, including three who were still alive, have been recovered in Iraq since 2004.
I'm feeling a little frustrated. Where are the Personnel Recovery Division getting their figures? At least 42 Americans have been abducted in Iraq. Of those, 1 escaped and 5 were released alive; remains of 18 deceased have been recovered; 8 are missing; status of the remaining 10 is unknown.

See the chart in the post linked below.

Additional Reading

SIGACT Reports of Americans Missing in Iraq (includes chart of the missing)
December 17, 2010

Friday, January 07, 2011

Homeland tv pilot

A television pilot is in the works for Showtime starring Claire Danes and Damian Lewis.

Claire Danes and Damian Lewis to star in Homeland pilot on Showtime
By Christine Nyholm, January 4, 2011

Damian Lewis will play U.S. Marine [Sergeant] Scott Brody - a POW who was missing in Iraq for nearly a decade - who miraculously returns home. Carrie Anderson (Claire Danes) is a driving CIA officer is suspicious of Brody and becomes convinced that the national hero may [be] connected to an Al Qaeda plot. Mandy Patinkin plays Saul, a CIA division chief who is Carrie's boss and mentor. 

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy New Year