On August 7th, 1998 my guest today John Lange was the acting United States Ambassador to Tanzania when a truck bomb exploded outside the embassy in Dar es Salaam. He did not know it at the time, but this bombing was part of a coordinated attack on US embassies in the region. Minutes early in Nairobi, Kenya the US embassy was bombed as well.
Al Qaeda was responsible for these attacks that killed over 200 people.
To commemorate the 20th anniversary of these attacks, I invited Ambassador Lange on the show to share his experiences from that day and also reflect on how those attacks changed US diplomacy.
Today, Ambassador Lange is a senior fellow for global health diplomacy at the United Nations Foundation. He is a contributor, along with 40 other survivors to a commemorative issue of The Foreign Service Journal
The US embassy bombings were a pivotal moment for US diplomacy and world history. These attacks were a a pre-cursor to the September 11th attacks that drew the United States into conflict in Afghanistan that is ongoing to this day.
I want to thank Ambassador Lange for being so candid about his experiences and his reflections on the meaning of these attacks 20 years later.