Richard Holbrooke, Obama's Special Envoy is coming in for criticism from all sides. First Mickey Kaus observed that Holbroke was in the middle of the AIG and subprime messes
Obama's special envoy Richard Holbrooke served on A.I.G.'s board when the company a) went "over a cliff," and b) approved the now-controversial bonuses. But he'll survive. It's not like he also got special loan deals from Countrywide as a "Friend of Angelo." .... Oh, wait! ... I don't want to know where Holbrooke was when Enron was going down. ... P.S.: Will the White House now have to force three perfectly well-qualified assistant secretaries to withdraw for triviial resume blemishes in order to make up for keeping Holbrooke on? ... [Can we say this is "strike three" if you count each Countrywide loan separately?--ed If you count each Countrywide loan separately it's strike six.] 4:33 A.M. Then, today the International Herald Tribune reported that two U.S. Diplomats reported that he had in fact promised Radovan Karadzic, former Serb leader, that the U.S. promised him immunity from prosection:
Every time Radovan Karadzic, the onetime Bosnian Serb leader, appears in court on war crimes charges, he hammers on one recurring claim: A senior American official pledged that he would never be standing there.
The official, Richard C. Holbrooke, now a special representative on Afghanistan and Pakistan for the Obama administration, has repeatedly denied having promised Mr. Karadzic immunity from prosecution in exchange for abandoning power after the Bosnian war.
But the rumor persists, and different versions have recently emerged that line up with Mr. Karadzic's assertion, including a new historical study of the Yugoslav wars published by Purdue University in Indiana.
Charles W. Ingrao, the study's co-editor, said that three senior State Department officials, one of them retired, and several other people with knowledge of Mr. Holbrooke's activities had told him that Mr. Holbrooke had assured Mr. Karadzic in July 1996 that he would not be pursued by the war crimes tribunal in The Hague if he left politics.
The Court has asked the United States government for clarification.
Asked about the claim, one Washington wit today said: "You have here two diametrically opposing versions of the same event, one from Richard Holbrooke and the other from a genocidal mass murderer on trial for war crimes. The question is: which man do you believe? The answer is that you wouldn't hesitate. Holbrooke, of course, is lying."