Samantha Power, the US Ambassador to the United Nations, caused a brouhaha on Twitter Monday night after she tweeted comments which some view as controversial, about slain journalist Daniel Pearl.
Pearl, 38, was the South Asia bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal when he was abducted in Karachi on January 23, 2002, while researching a story about Islamist terrorists.
A horrific video showing his decapitation was delivered to the US consulate in the city nearly a month later. In the video, Pearl confirmed to his captors that he is Jewish, and his last words were the Shema Yisrael prayer.
Power first tweeted praise for Pearl's parents Monday, stating that she was "honored" to meet them and noting that they "responded to hate with dialogue." The Daniel Pearl foundation hosted a series of talks between Daniel Pearl’s father, Professor Judea Pearl, and Dr. Akbar Ahmed, Chair of Islamic Studies at American University over tensions between the Jewish and Muslim communities and have received several prizes.
However, what seemed like diplomatically correct comments descended into confusion when she stated that the slain journalist's story sends the message that "individual accountability and reconciliation are required to break cycles of violence."
This was interpreted by some as meaning that Pearl himself had displayed "individual accountability" in being murdered. Power then clarified that she was referring to Pearl's "work" and not his "story." But the ambiguity nonetheless caused a firestorm of responses on the social media site, which ranged from confusion to outrage over what the comments could have meant.