Archive for the ‘oath’ Category

Pakistan’s Tyranny Continues

December 23, 2007
December 23, 2007
Lahore, Pakistan

THE chief justice of Pakistan’s Supreme Court, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, and his family have been detained in their house, barricaded in with barbed wire and surrounded by police officers in riot gear since Nov. 3. Phone lines have been cut and jammers have been installed all around the house to disable cellphones. And the United States doesn’t seem to care about any of that.

The chief justice is not the only person who has been detained. All of his colleagues who, having sworn to protect, uphold and defend the Constitution, refused to take a new oath prescribed by President Pervez Musharraf as chief of the army remain confined to their homes with their family members. The chief justice’s lawyers are also in detention, initially in such medieval conditions that two of them were hospitalized, one with renal failure.

As the chief justice’s lead counsel, I, too, was held without charge — first in solitary confinement for three weeks and subsequently under house arrest. Last Thursday morning, I was released to celebrate the Id holidays. But that evening, driving to Islamabad to say prayers at Faisal Mosque….

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/23/opinion/23ahsan.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

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.

State Department Memories from The Hanoi Hilton

November 4, 2007

Introduction By John E. Carey, Peace and Freedom: Maybe State Department employees, even those with 36 years of service like Mr. Jack  Croddy, need an occasional reminder of their proud heritage. 

United States
Department of State
Seal of the United States Department of State

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:

“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?” 

The essay below was given to me today by my friend Mike Benge.  Mike was a staffmember of the United States Agency for Internatiional Development, an Agency of the Department of State, in Vietnam when he was scooped up by the communists and ultimately landed in the Hanoi Hilton.  But because Mike was not a member of the uniformed services, he could not be held as a Prisoner of War (POW).  So he was held separately.

For those too young to recall, the “Hanoi Hilton” is the American nickname given to the most infamous of communist North Vietnam’s prisons.

Mike has contributed to America and the world in many ways but I always recall his memory of the “Christmas lights over Hanoi in 1972.”  That essay closes with these simple words: “Yes Christmas lights are pretty, but none will ever be as pretty as those over Hanoi on Christmas ’72.  And  God Bless the pilots and crews of the planes who gave their lives to set us free.”

Mike and I have had contact for several years, and Mike has taught me much and there is not much that I could ever teach Mike.  He is an expert in duty, honor, service to country and service to his fellow man. I first met Mike because of his insightful work writing for the Washington Times.  We share a passion for freedom and human rights, a love of the peoples of Vietnam and a desire to contribute in the world community. Mike would be my half brother as I can never fully honor or equal his time held captive by communists or his stellar contributions to many venues including the History Channel. We cannot regain the past; so we both now man the gates of justice and reality and attempt to keep honest and aware those that might overlook different problems in far away lands. Or in Washington DC, it now seems.

HanoiHilton.jpg

The Hoa Loa Prison (Vietnamese: Hỏa Lò, meaning “fiery furnace”), later known to American prisoners of war as the Hanoi Hilton.
***********************
 

On the State Department at War
By Mike Benge

Like me, those who choose government service — be they military or civilian — swore an Oath of Service:

“I (person taking oath says own name) do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. That I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same. That I take this obligation freely and without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. That I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me, God.”

Although sworn to this Oath of Service, some Foreign Service Officers join not really to serve their country but to be elitists and enjoy the perks of cushy government employment: job security, good retirement package, travel to exotic foreign countries, free housing, generous leave packages, and access to good life and other accompanying bennies – never dreaming that they may someday be called to really serve their country in dangerous situations.

And now when these people have been called to live up to their oath of office, last week at the State Department, officials began crying, “I didn’t sign up for this!” (See: Envoys Resist Forced Iraq Duty, Washington Post, 11/1/07)

Sorry folks, but you did, and it wasn’t even in fine print at the bottom of your Oath that by the way is a binding contract.

After first serving in the Marine Corps, I went to Vietnam with the International Voluntary Services, then joined what is now the U.S. Agency for International Development serving as a foreign service officer doing what is now termed “nation building.”

In 1968, I was captured by the North Vietnamese and was held hostage for over five years. After my release in 1973, I again returned to Vietnam as a volunteer and continued going in an out until the communist takeover in 1975.

My government service spanned 44 ½ years.

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.

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 I, were taken prisoner.

None of them went on strike like the present breed of elitists at the State Department; none of them cried, “Not I!”

Related:

For a real hero’s story from the Hanoi Hilton go to:
Meet “Bud” Day; Read His Medal Of Honor Story

Other stories related to the Diplomatic Corps:

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

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

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

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

November 3, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
November 3, 2007

As of October 15, 2007, according to the Washington Post, 118 journalist-reporters had been killed in Iraq.

At least 3,830 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to the Associated Press.

We asked the U.S. State Department about any and all deaths and we got this in reply:

“More than 1,200 of 11,500 eligible State Department personnel have already served in Iraq. By 2008, we need to fill 250 posts in the Embassy in Baghdad and we have had 200 volunteers.”

“At least three department employees have been killed in Iraq since the 2003.”

Three.

And one more point: who was in charge of protecting the diplomats of the State Department and the Foreign Service? Why, the State Department itself. State hired Blackwater to do the job: and now there are rumors that Blackwater is very unhappy with the way the department behaved in protecting them and managing the contract.

When the city of Washington DC has too much crime in a short time span, the Police Chief and the Mayor declare an “All Hands on Deck.” The city gets flooded with police officers and crime goes down.

After September 11, 2001, I thought I heard the President of the United States declare war on terror: in effect, a national “All Hands on Deck.” Reporters and military people streamed into Iraq.

The Foreign Service? Many ran for cover with no repercussion.

Related:

Defense on Steroids; State on Life Support

Rice Tells State Department Staff: You Took an Oath
and
A Diplomacy of neighborhoods

and
Diplomatic Infighting
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/02/AR2007110201754.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

See also:
War’s Necessary Sacrifices

The Abyss Between State and Defense

November 3, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
November 3, 2007

Last Wednesday, October 31, 2007, at a U.S. State Department “Town Hall Meeting,” a U.S. Foreign Service officer stood and addressed the Secretary of State using these words: “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?”

This one short statement underscores the cultural abyss between the U.S. military and the U.S. Foreign Service.

Military people and Foreign Service officers are all voluneers. All take the same oath. But they are widely divided by culture.

A military man or woman who refuses assignment to a war zone has four options: prove that he or she is conscientious objector, desert, face disciplinary measures or prove some hardship such as being the only family member with an income. Proof is tough for any road requiring the military to grant special priviledge and very few military people fail to carry out their assignments and their duties.

At the State Department, it seems to military people, there are no repurcussion for the Foreign Service officer who fails to obey an order or “squirms out.”

In more than 30 years of my personal service, I have seen the gulf between the Pentagon and “Foggy Bottom” (a nickname for the State Department) deepen and widen.

At the Pentagon, the view is that the State Department believes in endless discussion, endless dialogue, endless staffing and endless meetings. At the State Department there is a widely shared view that military people really know nothing of the world and, like a hammer that spots a nail, always favors the force of arms over diplomacy.

Neither of these views is correct.

But misperception and disagreements in form and substance exist between Defense and State and they are significant and dangerous to our Nation, the United States. The two sides of the Potomac River have very different cultures and this will take a long time to resolve, if it really needs resolution. It may be an essential element of mankind that one’s life experiences shape his or her outlook and culture.

But the immediate issue is this. President Bush declared a world-wide war on terror and an all-out U.S. government effort immediately following the terror disaster of September 11, 2001.

But the all-out U.S. government effort never materialized, according to many who work on the Arlington side of the river.  About one percent of the U.S. population has been engaged in the war and the Defense Department has carried, by far, the largest role.   

Arlington is the home of the Pentagon and the great National Cemetery.  On the Arlington side of the river, people look toward Washington DC and ask, where is their contribution? Where is the REST of the Federal Government.

Arlington denizens look toward Foggy Bottom with scorn and distain.

The remarks made at Wednesday State Department Town Hall Meeting have to be faced and dealt with or the abyss within the U.S. government will deepen and widen yet again and even more.
*************

Oath of service to the United States, taken by military members, members of the U.S. Foreign Service, and other government employees:

“I (person taking oath says own name) do solemnly swear that I will support and defend that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. That I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same. That I take this obligation freely and without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. That I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me, God.”

Related:

Diplomatic Infighting Hurts Terror War Effort

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

Rice Tells State Department Staff: You Took an Oath

A Diplomacy of neighborhoods

“Gaffe Machine” Karen Hughes Leaving State Department

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