Ambassador Powell, Pakistan and Matchbooks

A followup to “US Ambassador Impedes Bin Laden Manhunt.”

Richard Miniter's story, “How a Lone Diplomat Compromised the Hunt for Bin Laden,” got a reaction out of the State Department. Miniter covers the response in his blog:

So the State Department deputy spokesman Adam Ereli decided to fire back at me for my article on the front-page of the New York Sun on Monday. What is interesting is that baseless charges (“untrue and unfair”!) are thrown around so freely. I wonder if he actually read the entire article. Mr. Deputy Spokesman raises a number of objections, as you can see below. All of the points he makes are mentioned in the original story. His complaint amounts to arguing that the State Dept. view is buried too far into the story. I guess he wants to play editor…

A day later, Miniter gets a reassertion from Representative Kirk:

The lawmaker at the center of The New York Sun's exclusive yesterday stands by his account. Rep. Mark Kirk, a Republican of Illinois, who sits on the appropriations subcommittee that funds the State Department, faulted Ambassador Nancy Powell's decision to impound wanted posters, matchbooks, and other items translated into local languages.
Asked for comment yesterday, Mr. Kirk declined to elaborate further, adding that the hunt for Mr. bin Laden has been invigorated by the replacement of Ms. Powell by veteran diplomat Ryan Crocker.

I suspect this spat will continue. If the program had been discontinued by State before Ms. Powell arrived, well and good, but it was started up again after Crocker was appointed. If Powell didn't kill it, why did Crocker bring it back?

It seems to be the belief of some that it doesn't work.

Maybe rewards don't work against current terrorists, but do they deter others from becoming terrorists? Or does it make them bolder, like the Wild West movies where outlaws try for higher rewards?

I think the rewards involved here are big enough to change someone's life if they bring forward real information. links:

Josh Poulson

Posted Wednesday, Mar 30 2005 10:33 PM

Adjacent entries


« Referrer Spam
Terri Schiavo »





To track back to this entry, ping this URL:

There are no trackbacks on this entry.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)



Affiliate advertising

Basecamp project management and collaboration

Backpack: Get Organized and Collaborate