Protecting Diplomats at UNGA: The Inside Story #1

Interview by Heath Kern With Darwin Cadogan, Director of Protection for Diplomatic Security

September 24, 2007

MR. CADOGAN: Hi. I'm Darwin Cadogan, Director of Protection for the Bureau of Diplomatic Security for the U.S. Department of State.

QUESTION: Agent Cadogan, how long have you been with Diplomatic Security?

MR. CADOGAN: Oh, I've been an agent with the State Department for 31 years.

QUESTION: And you're here in New York because of the UN General Assembly.

MR. CADOGAN: That's correct.

QUESTION: Otherwise known as UNGA.

MR. CADOGAN: That's correct.

QUESTION: So how long -- how many UNGAs have you done in your career?

MR. CADOGAN: I've done a total of 13 UNGAs, most recently -- consecutive the last three years, since I've returned from overseas.

QUESTION: What exactly is your role during this UNGA? Who are you protecting?

MR. CADOGAN: We're protecting approximately 34 foreign ministers visiting the U.S. for this particular event.

QUESTION: And who are you protecting from the U.S. Government?

MR. CADOGAN: U.S. Government we have, of course, the Secretary of State, we have the Deputy Secretary of State and we have the U.S. UN Ambassador.

QUESTION: And how many special agents do you have covering this? How many people are working for you?

MR. CADOGAN: We have a total of 320 special agents from the Bureau of Diplomatic Security and we also have 55 agents from the U.S. Marshall Service and from the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Tobacco.

QUESTION: So for each foreign minister, so foreign minister X, tell me exactly what kind of protection you're giving that foreign minister, if you can?

MR. CADOGAN: The level of protection is based on threat or perceived threat in the United States and so we go from high, medium to low and then we provide services based upon that particular thing. And reciprocity falls into place and as well as political considerations. So we have to put all of that together when we're putting together a protective package.

QUESTION: Who's determining what the threat level is?

MR. CADOGAN: We work with our threat analysis division and they, in turn, work with the intelligence community.

QUESTION: So at the highest level of threat, what kind of protection would foreign minister X be getting?

MR. CADOGAN: At the highest level for that particular individual, would get 24/7 protection, while they're in the United States. Many of the ministers that are in, we see now take trips to Washington while they're here and they may take trips to other parts of the United States for various reasons while they're here: Chicago, Los Angeles, or whatever. And that detail will go with them and remain with them until they leave the continental United States.



New York, USA
October 1, 2007

Daniel in New York writes:
As a taxpayer and citizen I have seen the dangerous work you do during UNGA. It must be extremely difficult to protect the unpopular leaders from countries whose people are now free to express their true feelings. Your branch of service is not well known enough for people to recognize the important work you do.

District Of Columbia, USA
October 10, 2007

Joe writes:
Sounds, like a great career field... How,to contact your office for consideration for employment with your agency?

Georgia, USA
October 14, 2007

Don in Georgia writes:
This Blog was a great idea! I feel that it will keep employees informed.

California, USA
October 18, 2007

Gary in California writes:

great idea!

Helicopter Carrying President Bush
September 25, 2007


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