Foreign Service Officers (FSOs) must constantly be on alert for security threats, which can sneak up during the most unexpected times. Oftentimes when FSOs arrive at a new post, they may expect to be greeted by friendly faces who are ready to welcome them to their new country.
However, even these simple, lively occasions can quickly turn catastrophic.
William (Scott) Butcher arrived to join the political section at the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in August of 1975. Upon stepping off the plane, he received news that the Japanese Red Army (JRA) had taken over part of the American Insurance Associates (AIA) building in Kuala Lumpur. The building was home to several diplomatic missions, including the U.S. Embassy. Immediately, Scott began closely following negotiations to release those being held hostage and subsequently reporting to Washington about the evolving situation. All the while, he was navigating his own transition into the political section.