Sunday, April 15, 2007

Perspective: U.S. Marshals a presence in Iraq

Above: U.S. Marshals on a security mission over Baghdad.

NEW YORK: The cowboy hats and horses are long gone, distant memories of a Wild West frontier where justice was dispensed by U.S. marshals named Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp.

In the 21st century, the nation's first lawmen have a broad global mission, capturing fugitives, protecting judges, running the Witness Protection Program, and even training Iraqis.

Deputies for the U.S. Marshals Service protected witnesses during the historic trial of Saddam Hussein and assisted the American military in transferring the deposed Iraqi leader to local authorities for execution by hanging.

It's a long way from home for the law enforcement descendants of Earp, Masterson and "Wild Bill" Hickock, members of an agency founded by George Washington himself. Since 1789, the U.S. marshals have gone wherever the action is.

Read the rest at the International Herald Tribune