A reader called our attention to the fact that the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security removed its long-unclassified version of its firearms policy from the web and classified it very soon (11/29/2011) after one of its Special Agents, Chris Deedy, shot a man while off duty in Hawaii (11/5/2011). That trial has entered jury deliberations and a verdict is expected soon.
There is no paper trail to explain why State made the change, and thus of course no way to demonstrate it is directly related to Deedy. A coincidence, yes?
State’s firearms policy lived online in the Foreign Affairs Manual, a huge set of rules and regs that govern the work of State. Specifically, the section in question is called 12 FAM 023 FIREARMS POLICY AND REVIEW BOARD (FPRB). That section as available to the public, now reads, in its entirety:
a. The Diplomatic Security Firearms Policy and Review Board is an ad hoc advisory board to the Director of the Diplomatic Security Service (DS/DSS). See 1 FAM for further information.
b. For the FPRB-revised U.S. Department of State Deadly Force and Firearms Policy, approved by U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. on November 29, 2011, and promulgated herein, see 12 FAM Exhibit 023. Additional procedures previously contained in 12 FAM Exhibit 023 have been relocated to 12 FAH-9, available on ClassNet.
Changes to the Foreign Affairs Manual usually are accompanied by a transmittal notice. Here’s that that says:
This issuance updates the Department of State’s Deadly Force and Firearms Policy, found in Exhibit 023. Much of the material previously found in this exhibit has been moved to 12 FAH-9, as follows: (My Note: the two sections listed are the FROM and TO portions)
12 FAM Exhibit 023 section 2.6 12 FAH-9 H-020 Standards of (Standards of Conduct for Armed Conduct DSS Special Agents)
12 FAM Exhibit 023 section 2.5 12 FAH-9 H-030 Prescription (Prescription Medication) Medication
12 FAM Exhibit 023 section 2.10 12 FAH-9 H-040 Firearms Officers (Firearms Officers)
12 FAM Exhibit 023 section 2.15 12 FAH-9 H-050 Disciplinary Action (Disciplinary and Other Action)
12 FAM Exhibit 023 section 2.4 12 FAH-9 H-110 Qualification (Qualification)
12 FAM Exhibit 023 section 2.11 12 FAH-9 H-211 Carrying Firearms (Carrying Firearms on Aircraft) on Aircraft
12 FAM Exhibit 023 section 2.12 12 FAH-9 H-212 Other
COMMENT: The move of these regulations from unclassified to classified was made formal on November 29, 2011. Deedy shot the guy on November 5, 2011. One wonders exactly when Diplomatic Security started the change-over, and why.
What this all means is that the State Department’s rules for how its armed Diplomatic Security agents act in public are classified. A jury can’t see them. A defense lawyer can’t see them. You can’t see them.
What’s up State? Why did your Standards of Conduct and regs about Prescription Meds need to become classified? Why can’t the public you interact with know whether your agents can carry while affected by their meds?
The usual web tools (Wayback, etc.) do not pull up the old version of the FAM. Anyone who happens to have an older unclassified version of 12 FAM hanging around may wish to share…
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