The Insignia of the Green Berets, America’s Special Forces

The insignia of the Green Berets, who form the U.S. Army Special Forces, is composed of arrows, a short sword and a ribbon with the words “DE OPPRESSO LIBER.” The Latin words, which mean “liberation from oppression,” make up the Forces’ motto. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy made green berets and the insignia the symbol of the Special Forces entrusted with secret operations during the Cold War. The mission of these “warriors of freedom” was to infiltrate borders, form and train guerrilla units in enemy territory, and plan unrest and subversive activities behind the scenes.

When asked by an American magazine about his motivation to join the force, a former Green Beret referred to the Latin motto, “liberation from oppression.” That Green Beret was Michael Taylor, the man arrested with his son by Tokyo police on charges he aided and abetted Carlos Ghosn in jumping bail and fleeing overseas. Taylor and his son were apprehended by American authorities last May in arrangement with Japan, and last month the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Ghosn’s extradition to Japan. According to the American investigation, Ghosn paid the Taylors $1.3 million for helping him escape. The Taylors told the American magazine that, relying on professional investigations, they refined a plan to smuggle Ghosn out of Kansai Airport in a box used for musical equipment. The magazine also reported that the Taylors resolved to help with the escape after hearing from Ghosn’s wife that Japan was treating him “like a POW.” The police, who were not only humiliated by Ghosn’s escape but were denounced as “oppressors” by his accomplices, must be devoting all their attention to uncovering the details of the escape. It is a clash between a former “warrior of freedom,” hired with money, and the Japanese courts.

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