12/01/2005 07:55 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

See Karen Hide

Anyone wondering what Karen Hughes is up to these days? Our Public Diplomacy guru is on her way next week to Central America, “to encourage private sector assistance to relief and reconstruction efforts in the area following a series of natural disasters that impacted the economies and quality of life in the region,” according to the State Department. A far cry from her much publicized trips to the Muslim world, but I suppose she has to look busy while she plows through her department’s multimillion dollar budget.
Granted, the role of Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy is not limited to merely finding ways to make Muslims hate us less, but given the urgency of that mission (and George Bush’s emphasis on that aspect of the job), isn’t it rather amazing that at this moment she sees fit to deal with the enhancement of U.S. prestige and image in Central America?
At a time when there’s news of CIA prisons in Europe, and at a time when news of secret CIA transfer of terror suspects (using European airports for transit) has alarmed our closest allies, I suppose one can hardly blame Karen for running in the opposite direction.