Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Après Pierre?

Almost seven months after U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues Pierre-Richard Prosper resigned his post, no replacement has been nominated by the Bush administration. The Office of War Crimes Issues is currently headed by an interim director, Deputy Legal Adviser Samuel M. Witten.

Prosper, a Pepperdine School of Law graduate, resigned last October in order to return to California to make a run for the Republican party's nomination for state attorney general. Two days before the March 10 filing deadline, Prosper pulled out of the race citing his failure to raise sufficient funds for the primary campaign.

Why hasn't the Bush administration moved to replace Prosper? The initial decision to appoint an ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues was made at the insistence of Secretary of State Colin Powell. When Powell left State, the Office of War Crimes Issues lost its only supporter within the Bush administration. With Powell and Prosper gone, President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will be quite content to let the Office of War Crimes Issues drop completely out of sight.