Thursday, June 24, 2004

Veteran ambassador John Negroponte yesterday was sworn in for the world's most dangerous diplomatic job — the first U.S. ambassador to the Iraqi government that takes power Wednesday.

Standing by his side were his wife Diana and their five children — who were all adopted when he was posted to Honduras. Negroponte said he has no choice but to leave them behind because of the danger of the job.

"I will go to Baghdad by myself but I will not go alone," said Negroponte, adding he could not have taken the job "without their love, their encouragement and their support."

Negroponte, 64, is literally putting his life on the line. He was sworn in on the same day that terrorists vowed to assassinate Iraq's new prime minister. And last month a tape from Osama bin Laden offered ten thousand grams of gold for killing U.S. envoy Paul Bremer, whom Negroponte will replace.

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