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« Some commitment: Sen. Barbara Boxer says it would harm some workers to force them into Social Security | Main | The Jeff Weise horror with a twist: An arrest in a murder-suicide »

March 28, 2005

Comments

The Cranky Liberal

Hey Frank, that same article says the program was dicontinued BEFORE Powell took office? Any idea what the truth is?

Dave

Osama went from "Wanted: Dead or Alive!" to "not that important." around about the same time. If the President wanted something done, do you think he would need from July until November to start the reward program?

Kirk is a partisan congressman. There's no way we should be taking his word over that of two state department officials.

I think this story was timed to be hidden under Terri Schiavo. Nobody on the left has written ANYTHING about it yet, which is odd.

Frank Warner

Good question, Cranky, and I haven’t spotted a follow-up in any newspaper.

The Sun story quoted one anonymous senior State Department official as saying the Rewards for Peace program was discontinued as “ineffective” before Nancy Powell became ambassador. The same story says Pakistan embassy intelligence “officials” blamed Powell herself for ending distribution of the printed materials.

It’s hard to read between the lines. The most obvious point is, Powell could have re-continued the program as soon as she became ambassador. The Pakistanis clearly need to know about the reward on Osama bin Laden’s head. Wanted posters might have a limited effect in an area of low literacy, but considering the posters already were printed, passing them out couldn’t have hurt.

Nancy Powell went to Pakistan, first as an acting ambassador, in June 2002, not even a year after the 9-11 attacks. If the wanted-poster program was cancelled that early, she should have asked why.

A year ago, the House voted to double the reward for Osama’s capture, so apparently a rewards program still existed in March 2004. We all should be asking, Why bother to double the reward, if we're not sure anyone ever knew it was $25 million?

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