Explosion in Pakistan Kills US Diplomat
A car bomb intended for the US Embassy in Karachi, Pakistan, instead exploded on impact with a vehicle carrying an American foreign service officer, according to the NYTimes.
A suicide attacker rammed a car packed with explosives into a vehicle carrying an American diplomat in Pakistan’s largest city, killing the diplomat and three other people before President Bush’s visit to Pakistan. Fifty-two people were wounded.
The blast near the U.S. Consulate and the Marriott Hotel propelled cars into the air and flung charred wreckage as far as 200 yards. It shattered windows at the consulate and on all 10 floors of the hotel, and damaged a nearby naval hospital.
I know a few people working in the foreign service, but I’ve lost track of postings for a couple of them in the last year. No names have yet been released, but I’m certain that family and friends of those posted in Pakistan are on pins and needles at the moment awaiting news. Thoughts and prayers for all of you — family, friends, co-workers — as you wait for the phone to ring.
Working for the United States in a posting as dangerous as Pakistan is a very tough job. Most of our personnel in difficult postings cannot bring their families with them, but they do a tough job — trying to sell this Administration’s abysmal foreign policy pronouncements to an increasingly skeptical world, while still maintaining some semblence of long-term strategic diplomacy with the nation in question, all the while worrying about safety concerns and potential terrorist threats and kidnappings and other assorted threats — because the nation’s interest requires it.
Ever since Valerie Plame Wilson was outed by her own government in an act of political vengeance and intel exposure, recruiting for these tough posts has been difficult indeed. Who wants to trust an Administration who outs its own personnel? The embassies are staffed not just with diplomatic personnel, but also security experts, analysts and others — and recruiting has suffered over the last few years under the Bush Administration, I am told by several sources in the diplomatic community despite an initial upsurge in applicants after 9/11. The brave men and women who work tirelessly for this nation in positions this dangerous are heroes, plain and simple — that we have lost at least one today is a tragedy.
I just wanted to say thank you to those foreign service personnel who work diligently in the field for all of the rest of us. So, thank you. Please, stay safe.
The WaPo has more.