Archive for the ‘foreign service’ Category

U.S. Diplomats: Free To Resign

January 10, 2008

James Morrison
The Washington Times
January 9, 2008
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Diplomats who refuse to serve in Iraq because they oppose U.S. policy or fear the duty is too dangerous can always resign from the Foreign Service, a State Department spokesman said yesterday in response to a new survey of U.S. diplomats.
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“When we signed up for these jobs, we signed up to support the policies of the American government,” said spokesman Sean McCormack. “If people have a problem with that, they know what they can do.”
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Forty-eight percent of 4,300 diplomats who responded to the survey by the American Foreign Service Association cited their opposition to U.S. policy in Iraq as a reason for refusing to serve in the country. The diplomats could list more than one reason for rejecting an assignment to Iraq. Sixty-one percent cited security concerns, while 64 percent listed “separation from family.”
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Sixty-eight percent of those who responded also opposed or strongly opposed being ordered to serve in Iraq. Only 32 percent favored or strongly favored the so-called “directed” assignments to Iraq.
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Earlier this year, the State Department feared it might have to draft diplomats to fill the jobs at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad but found enough volunteers to staff the mission.

Our thanks to Mike Benge for bringing this to our attention….

Related:
Halfhearted at State?

Diplomat Jack Croddy: You Don’t Want to Go To Iraq? Step Forward and Meet the Families of the Fallen and Those that Serve

State Department Memories from The Hanoi Hilton

Diplomats Who Refuse Assignments: “Hit The Road, You are Terminated with Prejudice and Without Pay”

The Abyss Between State and Defense

In Iraq: Reporters More Dedicated than the U.S. Foreign Service?

Diplomatic Infighting Hurts Terror War Effort

Rice Tells State Department Staff: You Took an Oath

A Diplomacy of neighborhoods

“Gaffe Machine” Karen Hughes Leaving State Department

Group claims responsibility for killing U.S. diplomat in Sudan

January 4, 2008

(CNN) — A group calling itself the Partisans of Monotheism in Sudan claimed responsibility Friday for the shooting death of an American diplomat and his driver early New Year’s Day.

The soldiers of monotheism carried out their operation in killing the U.S. diplomat John Micahel Granville and his Sudanese driver, who sold his faith for nothing in this earthly life, … in Riyadh neighborhood east of Khartoum,” the group said in a statement posted in Arabic and English on several Islamist Web sites. The group misspelled Granville’s middle name, which is Michael.
art.granville.family.jpg

John Granville, seen in an undated family photo, was shot to death in Sudan Tuesday.
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The Web sites reported the group, also called Ansar Al-Tawhid, is new.

CNN cannot independently verify the authenticity of the statement or the legitimacy of the group.

The State Department was unaware of the claim….

Read a detailed report:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/africa/01/04/sudan.diplomat/index.html

Related:
Salute to U.S. Diplomat Killed in Sudan

Halfhearted at State?

November 7, 2007

By John E. Carey
The Washington Times
November 7, 2007

For the first time since the Vietnam War, the State Department has notified career diplomats, or Foreign Service Officers (FSO), that they may be required to accept overseas postings not of their choosing. The order from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was necessary to fill 50 or fewer posts in the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

FSOs immediately began to express outrage that they might have to leave cushier assignments for tasks in what could be a danger zone. So Miss Rice convened State’s version of a venting session they call a “Town Hall Meeting.”

A 36-year veteran of the diplomatic corps, Jack Crotty, came to the microphone to say: “It’s one thing if someone believes in what’s going on over there and volunteers, but it’s another thing to send someone over there on a forced assignment. I’m sorry, but basically that’s a potential death sentence and you know it. Who will raise our children if we are dead or seriously wounded?”

According to reporters, many of Mr. Crotty’s colleagues applauded.

Outraged military personnel, too disciplined to express anger to the media, contacted several retired military people like myself to ask, “What about our service? What about our children? And why are the elite of the State Department allowed to pick and choose their assignments without repercussions? Didn’t we all take the same oath?”

The fact is that the oath FSOs, and everyone of any importance at the State Department, takes is the same oath military personnel take. But there is a vast difference in the way that oath is respected, apparently.

Military people know they face the Uniform Code of Military Justice if they refuse orders. They know they may wind up standing before a court martial. State Department people, it seems, feel completely within their right to defy the secretary of state and their president. Herein lies the dilemma.

After the tragedy of September 11, 2001, the president of the United States declared a war on terror and the Defense Department mobilized for war. At Foggy Bottom, many career diplomats yawned. What started as apathy has morphed into defiance.

And our military men and women know this.

But it wasn’t just the active duty military who took Mr. Crotty’s remarks and his colleagues’ apparent approval as a serious affront: Retired military and Foreign Service officers began to buzz on the Internet.

Mike Benge is a retired FSO who should know something about duty, honor and respect for those who serve and abide by their oath.
 

Mike was in the Marine Corps before he joined what is now the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). In Vietnam, he served as a Foreign Service officer doing what is now termed “nation-building.”

In 1968, Mike was captured by the North Vietnamese communists and held hostage for more than five years, most of it in the infamous Hanoi Hilton. But since Mike was not a uniformed member of the armed forces, he was not a prisoner of war (POW), so he was held in isolation.

After his release in 1973, Mike again returned to Vietnam as a volunteer and continued his work until the communist takeover in 1975.

Mike, along with many of his colleagues who view service much differently from the current crowd at State, expressed outrage beyond belief that senior State Department officers today are not aware of — or have so little respect for — their oath and their distinguished lineage

Mike sent us this message: “We had many fine Foreign Service officers who served in Vietnam, quite a few from the State Department who served in various capacities including in danger zones out in the provinces. The closest thing to a ‘green zone’ perhaps was service in Saigon — which was sometimes dangerous,” Mike wrote.

“Every one of these dedicated State Department officers in Vietnam did an excellent job, and many gave the ultimate sacrifice of their lives in service of their country — 27 State Department officials gave the final sacrifice for their countrymen, I believe. Many more from USAID and other government agencies lost their lives, and some like me, were taken prisoner,” wrote Mr. Mike Benge

Now, is the United States of America mobilized for and fighting a “Global War Against Terror” or not? Knowing that senior State Department officers can choose not to participate without any repercussions makes one wonder.

John E. Carey is a retired career military officer, former president of International Defense Consultants Inc. and a frequent contributor to The Washington Times.

Diplomatic Corps: Division Over War Assignments

November 6, 2007

By Nicholas Kralev
The Washington Times
November 6, 2007

The growing pressure on State Department personnel to serve in Iraq, which culminated in Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s decision to resort to forced assignments, has polarized the Foreign Service to a level not seen in decades, American diplomats say.
 


Ryan C. Crocker, U.S.
Ambassador to Iraq.
Some of them said the Bush administration is straining the world’s largest diplomatic corps in support of an almost impossible mission. Others accuse their colleagues of whining and not living up to the oath they took to serve their country.

“We are concerned that directed assignments of Foreign Service civilians into a war zone would be detrimental to the individual, to the post and to the Foreign Service as a whole,”

Steve Kashkett, vice president of the American Foreign Service Association, wrote in a cable to the union’s members.
Iraq service was taking its toll long before the announcement a little more than a week ago that Miss Rice would “direct” diplomats to serve in Iraq, State Department employees said.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/
article?AID=/20071106/FOREIGN/111060060/
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Diplomat Jack Croddy: You Don’t Want to Go To Iraq? Step Forward and Meet the Families of the Fallen and Those that Serve

November 4, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
November 4, 2007

Last Wednesday, October 31, 2007, Senior Foreign Service Officer Jack Croddy stood up at a “Town Hall Meeting” at the United States Department of State and addressed the Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice with these words:

“Incoming is coming in every day, rockets are hitting the Green Zone….It’s one thing if someone believes in what’s going on over there and volunteers, but it’s another thing to send someone over there on a forced assignment. I’m sorry, but basically that’s a potential death sentence and you know it. Who will raise our children if we are dead or seriously wounded?”

After 36 years of service, Mr. Croddy, this is the example you set for young and eager Foreign Service Officers?

O.K., Mr. Crotty: Who will raise the children of the fallen Soldiers? Who will raise the children of the fallen Marines and Airmen, Sailors and Civilians in the service of America? Who will raise the children of the fallen from the USS Cole, from the embassy bombings at of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya? Who will raise the children of those that died in the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon and on flight 93? Who raised the children of those Marines killed in the Beirut Embassy bombing?

We want you to meet all of the families of the fallen and all of the families who serve their country. We want you to explain why you take the money from the taxpayers, took the oath, and now like a mule refuse to cross the bridge.  You are now refusing to follow orders and would closely fit the military definition for a deserter or mutineer

I could go on and there are no words to express my rage.

You sir, were sworn to serve. You took the same oath military men and women take. You have taken my tax dollars for years – long enough for your hair to become grey. And now you are spitting on your flag, your oath, your fellow citizens (and taxpayers) and your president.

Mr. Bill Crystal on “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace” on Sunday, November 4, 2007, called you “disgraceful” and an “embarrassment.” Britt Hume said you were a “black mark on the Foreign Service.”

But these are measured and articulate men. You and your family could not bear to hear the words I have for you in my mind. My pastor would have to restrain me.

Mr. Crotty: if you feel so strongly that you are ready to refuse assignment: you should resign immediately. You have served enough. More than enough.

Do the honorable thing, man. Go home.

Related:

Halfhearted at State?

State Department Memories from The Hanoi Hilton

Diplomats Who Refuse Assignments: “Hit The Road, You are Terminated with Prejudice and Without Pay”

The Abyss Between State and Defense

In Iraq: Reporters More Dedicated than the U.S. Foreign Service?

Diplomatic Infighting Hurts Terror War Effort

Rice Tells State Department Staff: You Took an Oath

A Diplomacy of neighborhoods

“Gaffe Machine” Karen Hughes Leaving State Department

Defense on Steroids; State on Life Support

November 3, 2007

By Hans Binnendijk
For the Washington Post
Saturday, November 3, 2007; Page A19

The revolt this week by Foreign Service officers faced with involuntary deployment to Baghdad may be an understandable response to shifting ground rules, but it highlights a deeper problem: America’s civilian agencies are unprepared to contribute adequately to 21st-century global security challenges. Defense Department resources, missions and institutions have multiplied as counterpart civilian agencies stagnate or disappear.

While Washington has focused on Rumsfeld vs. Powell or Gates vs. Rice, this underlying imbalance has grown. It is not born of a Defense Department power grab but of an inability by civilian agencies to adjust to new missions. The Defense Department is at war while the State Department still suffers from the post-Cold War notion of a peace dividend. One is on steroids, the other on life support.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/02/AR2007110201725.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Diplomats Who Refuse Assignments: “Hit The Road, You are Terminated with Prejudice and Without Pay”

November 2, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
November 2, 2007

Members of America’s famously proud and elitist diplomatic corps have said they will not serve in Iraq so apparently we now live in an America where an oath, a commitment, responsibility, the team and orders don’t count for a thing: even in wartime.

My response to the so called “diplomats” and such “public servants” is analogous to that of Ronald Reagan when air controllers who were Federal Government employees decided to go on strike. The President basically said: “You guys are all fired. Clean out your desks and lockers.”

Ronald Wilson Reagan
Ronald Reagan

There are times when the team is more important than the individual. There are times when an oath has meaning. Who are these bastard that think they are more important than our troops who are fighting and dying in war in behalf of all of us?

Dear members of the American Foreign Service and Diplomatic Corps: your freedom and your cushy jobs are being bought and paid for every day by members of the U.S. Military.  In blood.  You are no longer fit to be called “American” if you cannot take on the occasional tough job between the “cocktail postings.”

In my view, these renegade State Department employees should never again receive a U.S. Government check. They should never again be paid with taxpayer money. And if the president had the power to banish them: he should send them to Uzbekistan or some other garden spot to serve out the remainder of their miserable and disloyal years on this earth.

In my younger years, I briefly aspired to become a United States Foreign Service Officer. I was drawn by the opportunity to serve my nation, to proudly represent the American people, while dealing with the other proud peoples of the globe.

But many of my advisors dissuaded me. Several said “You won’t like the members of the Foreign Service. They are all elitist snobs.” My Father, who served his country in the F.B.I., and two brothers who were U.S. Army Officers, said, “You can do what you want but isn’t there ANY OTHER group of people you’d rather spend your adult life with?”

There was: I became a career U.S. Naval Officer.

And as the years passed, and I had more and more experience with our so called “diplomats,” I knew I made the right decision. We have many fine diplomats and Foreign Service Officers. More than 1,500 members of the foreign service have served in Iraq and Afghanistan already. But this gang of scum who believe they can refuse their oath and continue in “service” of the nation need some awakening. Or they need to find new careers.

In the U.S. Military men and women are starkly aware that they serve “at the pleasure of the President.” That goes for every cabinet member and every member of their staffs. And I for one detest the notion that my taxes are paying for the cushy lifestyles of scum that refuse the orders of their government and their President; no matter the reason.

Related:

State Department Memories from The Hanoi Hilton

 Diplomat Jack Croddy: You Don’t Want to Go To Iraq? Step Forward and Meet the Families of the Fallen and Those that Serve

Condi Rice: Failure is a New Experience

The Abyss Between State and Defense

In Iraq: Reporters More Dedicated than the U.S. Foreign Service?

Diplomatic Infighting Hurts Terror War Effort

Rice Tells State Department Staff: You Took an Oath

A Diplomacy of neighborhoods

“Gaffe Machine” Karen Hughes Leaving State Department

Rice Tells State Department Staff: You Took an Oath

November 2, 2007

WASHINGTON – Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the U.S. envoy to Baghdad reminded diplomats on Friday of their duty to serve their country amid a revolt among some who are resisting forced assignments to Iraq.

In separate comments, Rice and Ambassador Ryan Crocker said that foreign service officers are obligated by their oath of office to work at any diplomatic mission worldwide, regardless of the risks involved or their personal feelin
gs about the policies of any given administration.

“We are one foreign service and people need to serve where they are needed,” Rice told reporters aboard her plane as she flew to Turkey for a weekend conference of top officials from Iraq’s neighbors. Crocker also is attending the conference.

Read the rest:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071102/ap_on_re_us/
us_iraq_embassy;_ylt=AsERsdJMri7AtOax5a8qosGs0NUE

US to order diplomats to serve in Iraq

October 27, 2007

By MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press Writer 

WASHINGTON – In the largest call-up of U.S. diplomats since the Vietnam War, the State Department is planning to order some of its personnel to serve at the American Embassy in Iraq because of a lack of volunteers.

Those designated “prime candidates” — from 200 to 300 diplomats — will be notified Monday that they have been selected for one-year postings to fill the 40 to 50 vacancies expected next year.

They will have 10 days to accept or reject the position. If not enough say yes, some will be ordered to go to Iraq and face dismissal if they refuse, Harry Thomas, director general of the Foreign Service, said Friday.

“Starting Nov. 12, our assignments panel will assign people to Iraq,” Thomas told reporters in a conference call. “Under our system, we have all taken an oath to serve our country, we have all signed (up for) worldwide availability.

“If someone decides … they do not want to go, we will then consider appropriate action,” he said. “We have many options, including dismissal from the Foreign Service.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071027/ap_on_go_ca_st_
pe/us_iraq_embassy;_ylt=
Ahsj5SNGtoKdXpf8Doqbsj2s0NUE