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November 01, 2007

A “Revolt” At The State Department?

Yesterday’s ‘town hall’ meeting at the Department of State about plans to order Foreign Service Officers to fill positions left vacant in Iraq due to a lack of volunteers is getting attention at the highest level of the Department.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is trying to quell a revolt among U.S. diplomats angry over moves to force foreign service officers to work in Iraq under threat of dismissal.

Rice plans to send a cable to all U.S. embassies and missions abroad on Thursday explaining the rationale behind the decision to begin the largest diplomatic call-up since Vietnam, a U.S. official told The Associated Press. The effort comes after a contentious "town hall meeting" at the department on Wednesday in which diplomats expressed serious concerns about being forced to work in Iraq.

Rice, who did not attend the meeting, was making clear in the cable that foreign service officers have a duty to uphold the oaths they took to carry out the policies of the government and be available to serve anywhere in the world, according to the official.

I hope Rice stands up to these people and takes the opportunity to clean house of the malcontents. I have a suggestion about where she might start.

"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," (Jack) Croddy (a senior foreign service office) said. "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?"

I did not realize that assignments at the State Department were based upon one's belief in a policy as decided by the elected President of The United States of America.

As for a posting to Iraq being a ‘death sentence’, Badger 6 points out that the chance of a Foreign Service Officer being killed in Iraq “is almost nil”.

There’s a long an honorable history of public servants resigning when they can not in good conscious implement a policy. Perhaps Mr. Croddy and those that cheered him should consider that option.


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posted by DrewM. at 02:33 PM

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