From the Keystone Diplomat Department, a real head-shaker from the New York Sun, with thanks to Romy:
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.
While the American government was engaged in a number of “black” or covert intelligence activities to locate Al Qaeda leaders, Mr. Kirk said, the “white” or public efforts – which have succeeded in the past in leading to the capture of wanted terrorists – were effectively shut down in the months following the September 11 attacks.
Mr. Kirk discovered Ms. Powell’s unusual order in January 2004 and, over the past year, launched a series of behind-the-scenes moves that culminated in a blunt conversation with President Bush aboard Air Force One, the removal of the ambassador, and congressional approval for reinvigorating the hunt for Mr. bin Laden.