Kerry typically would have been at the Boston Marathon
Secretary of State John Kerry has a long history with the Boston Marathon and has been on the scene several times in the past few years, but this year he was returning from his 10-day trip to the Middle East and Asia. On Monday afternoon, Kerry was informed of the two explosions that caused at ...
Secretary of State John Kerry has a long history with the Boston Marathon and has been on the scene several times in the past few years, but this year he was returning from his 10-day trip to the Middle East and Asia.
On Monday afternoon, Kerry was informed of the two explosions that caused at least 2 deaths and dozens of injuries near the marathon’s finish line by a senior aide as his plane approached O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, a senior State Department official told The Cable. Kerry stopped in Chicago to visit the family of Anne Smedinghoff, the 25-year old Foreign Service Officer killed April 6 in a bombing in Afghanistan.
"While in Chicago the secretary contacted his youngest daughter, Vanessa, a doctor in Boston who has run the marathon in previous years, to confirm that family and friends were safe," the official said. "The secretary has a long history with the marathon, and in fact this morning noted it was one of the few years he wasn’t on hand to fire the wheelchair race’s starting gun."
Kerry and his staff have reached out to state and federal officials to receive briefings as the information on the attacks develops, the official added. Kerry is scheduled to return to Washington tonight and meet with Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia, Saud al-Faisal, at the State Department Tuesday morning.
Kerry, a former senator from Massachusetts, fired the starter’s pistol in the 2002 Boston Marathon.
"I love the marathon," Kerry said that day. "I admire everyone. To run, it takes a lot of spirit and a lot of guts."
Kerry has also said that he ran the Boston Marathon in the past. "I did. I ran a marathon back in ’80, something like that. Did the Boston Marathon," he told ESPN.
A White House official told reporters Monday that President Barack Obama was has received briefings from FBI Director Robert Mueller and DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano. A photo of the president calling Mueller showed that White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and Lisa Monaco, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, were in the Oval Office during the calls.
The Secret Service has extended the security perimeter in front of the White House as a precautionary measure, but the State Department has not yet announced any security adjustments at U.S. diplomatic facilities either inside the United States or abroad.
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at email@example.com.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin
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