Somewhere on A1A...

Friday, August 09, 2002

This is Unbelievable.

That's right: the White House has announced its intention to replace the now-fired head of Consular Affairs, Mary Ryan-the pioneer of Visa Express-with a woman who raises the ire of American parents struggling to recover children abducted in foreign lands.

Ambassador Maura Harty, the White House's pick to succeed Mary Ryan, had two stints running the Office of Children's Issues (OCI), the division within Consular Affairs in the State Department charged with reuniting parents with children illegally abducted to foreign lands.

In her two tours at OCI, from 1994-1995 as its Managing Director and from August 1999-April 2001 as the Deputy Assistant Secretary, Harty's office had a record of "indifference bordering on hostility" toward the interests of American parents, according to Patricia Roush, whose two (now-adult) daughters Aisha and Alia have been held hostage in Saudi Arabia by their Saudi national father since 1986.


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