Remember Douglas H. Paal

Remember Douglas H. Paal? TPM chronicled his long, restless struggle to secure an ambassador-type appointment in Asia — any ambassador-type appointment in Asia, really — from the Bush administration in a March article in The New Republic.

When last we left Mr. Paal … well, when last we left Mr. Paal, Mr. Paal was leaving us. His long awaited appointment to serve as AIT Director in Taipei — America’s de facto ambassador to Taiwan — was finally announced on April 5th and off he was supposed to go. This was in spite of the fact that there were still various questions floating out there. But the battle royale between the China hawks and the China engagers was over and Paal was packing his bags.

Over the last couple days though I’ve been getting signals that something might be amiss. That maybe there was some further hold up. And now that seems confirmed.

Today’s Nelson Report — Washington’s bible for the hottest scoops and gossip on Asian diplomacy and trade negotiation politics (yes, believe it or not) — reveals that “Doug Paal [has] still not [been] fully cleared by State for Taipei.”

What’s this newest hitch? What is it now?