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By Andrew P. Napolitano
Obama's veil of secrecy is pierced
Topic - Richard Holbrooke
In a slim and touching memoir, Kati Marton is trying to create a future by recapturing the past. It is a lonely task, and except for a couple of surprising confessions, she pulls it off with a certain amount of flair and elan.
An award celebrating the power of literature to promote peace has been renamed in honor of the late Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, and author Barbara Kingsolver will be this year's recipient.
"Sometimes life in Afghanistan seemed to be lived without Afghans," is how former British ambassador Sherard Cowper-Coles describes the daily reality unspooling behind his Kabul embassy's tall suicide barriers and barbed wire.
Whether or not you liked diplomat Richard Holbrooke - who recently passed away - he was always admirable.
They remembered him as "the Bulldozer" — a U.S. diplomat with such a forceful persona he could drag politicians, military brass and even warlords to the negotiating table in a quest for peace.
Richard A. Holbrooke, a brilliant and feisty U.S. diplomat who wrote part of the Pentagon Papers, was the architect of the 1995 Bosnia peace plan and served as President Obama's special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, died Monday, an administration official said. He was 69.
America's 17 intelligence agencies have spent more than half-a-trillion dollars - more than $500,000,000,000 - since Sept. 11, 2001, most of it on the global war on terror, and the Obama administration still believes that if Taliban supreme Mullah Mohammed Omar were to return to power in Kabul, al Qaeda would be back, too - "in a heartbeat." And this despite much evidence to the contrary.
The Obama administration on Thursday pledged an additional $60 million in aid to Pakistan as the South Asian nation grapples with the devastation caused by its worst floods in 80 years.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is pushing Pakistan and Afghanistan to work together against al Qaeda and the Taliban as she tries to refine the goals of the war in Afghanistan.
An "angry" President Obama summoned the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan back to Washington "to see what in the world he was thinking" when the general and his staff criticized and ridiculed top members of the administration in interviews with Rolling Stone magazine.
"I'm too old for that," he replied. "I did that with Diane Sawyer for seven years."
"Mike Sheehan is the person I would most want at my side when trying to stop terrorists," Mr. Holbrooke wrote, calling the book "a primer for the next president."