December 22, 2013

Regarding “India announces transfer of diplomat after arrest, strip-search” [news, Dec. 19]:

I am a retired U.S. Foreign Service officer who was posted in New Delhi in the 1990s. The treatment of the arrested Indian deputy consul general in New York was abominable. The Indian official is correct that, “even with unfriendly countries,” such actions are outrageous.

I fear that the U.S. mania regarding security allows excesses such as the Devyani Khobragade case to be tolerated. But it should not be: The result is worse security for our New Delhi staff, as the article noted. The U.S. Marshals Service should be investigated and, if the abuses are confirmed, the officials involved should be severely disciplined.

I returned to the United States via Philadelphia International Airport in July, watching with horror as impolite, inadequately supervised government officials arbitrarily subjected hundreds of foreigners to demeaning, useless searches. (They were none too kind to us Americans, either.) It is time to put the nation’s security into perspective. We must control our officials or they will damage our standing in the world.

M. Gordon Jones, Vero Beach, Fla.