Monday, August 02, 2004

US to Send Armed Troops to Olympics

This tidbit is almost two week old, but I'm just now finding out about it. It seems that, contrary to their own laws, the Greeks have decided to allow armed American, British and Israeli soldiers to accompany their respective athletes and VIPs.
Greece is reported to have agreed to permit 400 U.S. special forces troops to be present at next month's Summer Olympic games in Athens.

The New York Times cites Greek and U.S. officials as saying the American soldiers, along with Israeli and British security officers will be allowed to carry weapons. The agreement appears to run counter to a Greek law barring foreign personnel from carrying weapons.

A NATO official is quoted as saying the Bush administration persuaded Greece to ask for NATO sponsorship for the U.S. contingent to avoid controversy.

The Times says Greece also will permit 100 armed U.S. agents to serve as bodyguards for American athletes and dignitaries. The FBI reportedly plans to send armed hostage-rescue and evidence-gathering personnel.
Is this not an outright admission that the Greeks themselves have doubts about the security at the Olympics? While viewing, I'll be understanding of anyone I see who hits the deck when a starter's pistol is fired.


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