U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power tweeted early Monday morning that, “Daniel Pearl’s story is reminder that individual accountability & reconciliation are required to break cycles of violence.”
Pearl is the Wall Street Journal reporter who was abducted in Pakistan four months after Sept. 11, 2001. Al-Qaida leader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed slit Pearl’s throat and sawed his head off on camera, after forcing the reporter to read that “My name is Daniel Pearl. I’m a Jewish American from Encino, California, U.S.A. … My father’s Jewish, my mother’s Jewish, I’m Jewish. My family follows Judaism. We’ve made numerous family visits to Israel.”
Pearl was 38.
“We give u 1 more day if America will not meet our demands we will kill Daniel,” read the first message from the militants who kidnapped Mr. Pearl. “Then this cycle will continue and no American journalist could enter Pakistan.”
Power’s tweets came shortly after she delivered the Daniel Pearl Memorial Lecture at UCLA, where Daniel Pearl’s father, Judea, is a professor of computer science. Judea Pearl is also the president of the Daniel Pearl Foundation, which was founded after his son’s execution “to address the root causes of this tragedy, in the spirit, style, and principles that shaped Danny’s work and character.”
In a February 2009 op-ed in The Wall Street Journal called “Daniel Pearl and the Normalization of Evil: When will our luminaries stop making excuses for terror?” Judea Pearl wrote:
I believe [the normalization of evil] all started with well-meaning analysts, who in their zeal to find creative solutions to terror decided that terror is not a real enemy, but a tactic. Thus the basic engine that propels acts of terrorism — the ideological license to elevate one’s grievances above the norms of civilized society — was wished away in favor of seemingly more manageable “tactical” considerations.
“My grandfather and grandmother were killed in Auschwitz,” Judea Pearl said in Jerusalem last April. “I was saved by a miracle from genocide in 1948, and the murder of our son Daniel marks the latest round of victims of xenophobia.”
Nine hours after her initial tweet and the wave of criticism that followed, Power rewrote her thoughts to imply that by “Daniel Pearl’s story,” she meant the things other people did after Daniel Pearl was murdered:
Correction: @DanielPearlFNDN’s work is a reminder that individual accountability + reconciliation are required to break cycles of violence.
— Samantha Power (@AmbassadorPower) February 24, 2014