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Truth and Credibility
Second KBR Driver Killed
A couple of weeks ago, we reported the death in Baghdad of a garbage-truck driver working for KBR who was shot Jan. 13 by Australian and U.S. military guards at a checkpoint near a hospital in the Green Zone. Now another KBR truck driver has been killed -- and another person in the truck was wounded -- Feb. 5 at Camp Anaconda, an air base about 50 miles north of Baghdad, according to the Associated Press.
A military spokesman said the shooting came in "an escalation-of-force incident," which often means that a driver approaching a checkpoint did not respond to an order to move slowly and stop. The driver's name was not released.
But the wire service cited a Web site posting from a funeral home in Chesaning, Mich., that said KBR driver Donald Tolfree, of nearby Owosso, had been killed Monday in Balad, Iraq, which is near Camp Anaconda. A KBR spokeswoman said the shooting is under investigation.
Back Home at State
Condoleezza Rice, no longer home alone. The Senate on Monday confirmed former national intelligence director John Negroponte as deputy secretary of state, a post vacant since July. Negroponte, former ambassador to the United Nations, and to Iraq, Honduras, Mexico and the Philippines, said yesterday at a welcoming ceremony at State that he was "delighted that one of my first acts is going to be this afternoon to declare this a snow day."
Negroponte's portfolio as deputy was expected to include the pesky North Korea nuke problem. But Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill appears to have hammered out an agreement on that. Maybe it was because the North Koreans heard Negroponte was coming?
Khalilzad on the Somewhat Fast Track
Also on the personnel front . . . The White House has sent up to the Senate the nomination of Zalmay Khalilzad, now our man in Baghdad, to be ambassador to the United Nations. The move Monday came nearly two months after his selection was announced. We're told the Senate, barring some unforeseen fracas, may confirm him in early March.
Foreign policy veteran Tom Graham, who was, until Friday, National Security Council senior director for Russia, is heading to the private sector to work with Kissinger McLarty Associates. Graham, who did two tours in Moscow as a Foreign Service officer in the embassy, is credited with coining the name "oligarchs" for the avaricious tycoons that snapped up state assets during the early years following the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Ford M. Fraker, an investment banker and former head of banking at Saudi International Bank, is President Bush's pick to be ambassador to Saudi Arabia. Fraker founded and now chairs the London-based Trinity Group and is a consultant to Intercontinental Real Estate in Boston.
Lt. Gen. Dell L. Dailey, now director of the center for special operations at MacDill Air Force Base, has been tapped to be the State Department's coordinator for counterterrorism.