Nancy Powell and the Hunt for Bin Laden
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.
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.
Nancy Powell "left her job" a few months after Kirk's conversation with Bush, in November 2004. She now works in the State Department offices in Washington DC. I hope we haven't heard the end of this story - I'd like to know why she acted on her own to override national security decisions.