Another Foggy Bottom Patriot


EX Ambassador Nancy Powell

From the New York Sun

How a Lone Diplomat Compromised the Hunt for Bin Laden

A lone U.S. ambassador compromised America’s hunt for Osama bin Laden in Pakistan for more than two years, The New York Sun has learned.

Ambassador Nancy Powell, America’s representative in Pakistan, refused to allow the distribution in Pakistan of wanted posters, matchbooks, and other items advertising America’s $25 million reward for information leading to the capture of Mr. bin Laden and other Al Qaeda leaders.

Instead, thousands of matchbooks, posters, and other material – printed at taxpayer expense and translated into Urdu, Pashto, and other local languages – remained “impounded” on American Embassy grounds from 2002 to 2004, according to Rep. Mark Kirk, Republican of Illinois.

The full effect of Ms. Powell’s impoundment order is difficult to measure. Pakistan is a key theater in the war on terror. Virtually every Al Qaeda leader captured to date has been apprehended in Pakistan, including Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the planner of the September 11 attacks. More than 600 Al Qaeda fighters have been killed or captured in Pakistan since 2001.

Mr. Kirk accidentally learned of Ms. Powell’s impoundment policy as part of an official congressional delegation visiting Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, in January 2004.

Ms. Powell, now serving at the State Department’s Foggy Bottom headquarters in Washington D.C., declined to comment directly.

I wonder how much pull Condi has at state right now. Is it possible that she can get patriots like ex Ambassador Powell to resign to pursue other interests? Please!

Posted March 28, 2005 by
General | 2 comments

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  • Comments

    2 Responses to “Another Foggy Bottom Patriot”

    1. Tomahawk on March 28th, 2005 2:48 pm

      Getting someone out of the State Dept. is next to impossible.

      The problem isn’t so much the ambassador as it is the mindset of most of these people. I like the test and the story Fmr. Sec. of State George Schultz told…

      “Let me conclude with a story from my time in office. When an ambassador had made it through the hurdles of nomination and confirmation, I invited him or her to my office and said, “Before you can leave, you have one more test. Go over to that globe and show me that you can identify your country.” Without exception, the ambassador-to-be spun the globe and located the country to which he would be posted.

      One day, the late Mike Mansfield, already many years our Ambassador to Japan and an old friend from my previous times in the Cabinet, came in for a visit just before he was to return to Tokyo. I told him about my little test and said, “Mike, how about you?” He and I laughed. And he went to the globe. Mike put his hand on the United States and said, “Here’s my country.”

      In this setting, dedicated to representation, always remember Mike’s words…”

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