• To My State Department Colleagues:

    July 26, 2013

    Posted in: Democracy, Embassy/State




    To my State Department colleagues: Did you really sign up to help restrict the rights of an American to speak freely and to seek asylum?


    This will make us all proud to implement: Lindsey Graham demanded the State Department coordinate with lawmakers on setting penalties against nations that seek to help Edward Snowden avoid extradition to the United States. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the proposal unanimously by voice vote as an amendment to next year’s $50.6 billion diplomacy and international aid bill.

    State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said “[Russia] still has the opportunity to do the right thing and return Mr. Snowden to the United States.” The Department made similar statements to China and Hong Kong, as well as several European and Latin American nations. You know; you delivered the demarches and the place-holder extradition requests to forty-some countries recently.

    The White House and the State Department complained that the Russian government permitted Snowden to meet with human rights groups at the Moscow airport. “Providing a propaganda platform for Mr. Snowden runs counter to the Russian government’s previous declarations of neutrality,” Jay Carney said.

    Obama has pressured Russia privately, and publically seeks “clarity” about Snowden’s request for asylum. Ever seen that before?

    The U.S. criticized Snowden for speaking to internationally-respected groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. In fact, the Obama administration urged human rights groups not to help Snowden. In response, the Human Rights Watch General Counsel said Snowden “should be allowed at least to make that claim and have it heard.” Has that ever happened before in your careers? Lifetimes?

    Here’s a link to what some in the old USSR might have considered a propaganda platform, a speech by dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn after he was granted refuge in the United States. We facilitated the U.S. giving such “propaganda platforms” to prisoners and fugitives and enemies of (other) states such as Nelson Mandela and Aung Su Kyi.


    I understand we all were hired to represent the views of the U.S. government overseas, and that part of the deal is of course we may not always agree with those views. I publically supported the USG’s position under multiple presidents, Reagan, through to Obama, for 24 years, though I blew the whistle on State mismanagement of the Iraq reconstruction at the end as an act of conscience, and gave up my career in return.

    We also were hired to protect American citizens abroad, even though we may not always agree with their views. Some of those Amcits we helped were criminals in jail, and not very nice people and we all did it, proud that our country cared about all its citizens without prejudice, simply because they were American. That to me always represented the best of us. I am still proud of that despite all the ugliness that passed between the Department and me.

    About a year ago the U.S. gave Chinese dissident Chen Guang Cheng refuge in our embassy in Beijing before allowing him to enter the United States. Chen had escaped from Chinese government house arrest and was a fugitive upon reaching the U.S. embassy. You know better than most pundits the agreements the U.S. has signed on asylum, and you have cited them to foreign governments on the behalf of the United States. Are some fugitives more equal than others? Some governments? When threats are the only you wield, is that still called diplomacy?

    We are sworn under oath to support and defend the Constitution. Violations of the Constitution are not a policy or view of the United States that we are bound to support and defend.

    The key question is: Are we Americans or just employees?




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    Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity. Follow me on Twitter!

  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...

      1

      Here’s a suggestion: Amend the Great Seal motto to “Career Before Country” over the spread eagle design. Whores have more dignity, they don’t delude themselves who they are and what they do. The CIA and NSA can use it too.

      07/26/13 2:53 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      2

      07/26/13 3:01 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      3

      Whores have more dignity than some State employees:

      http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57595659/weiners-wife-huma-abedin-under-scrutiny-over-two-jobs

      She loved Anthony’s weiner too much.

      07/26/13 3:20 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      4

      07/26/13 4:27 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      5

      Never thought I would see the day the Washington Times was the voice of reason:

      http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jul/25/domestic-snoops-win-the-day/

      07/26/13 4:31 PM | Comment Link

    • meloveconsullongtime said...

      6

      Recently the Americans have sold out Chen Guangcheng too.

      07/28/13 12:27 AM | Comment Link

    • JVC said...

      7

      RB..”Spread eagle…” is that a pun?
      Re this post… There are a lot of conscientious people who are on both sides of the fence about the Snowden affair. I don’t disagree with your posts and outlook that Snowden is the target of a government persecution… and if we find out down the road that he took money from the Chinese, Russians, etc., that wouldn’t surprise me either. Asylum seekers like Snowden and Assange raise my eyebrows and skepticism when they 1. Flee the system… if you believe what you’re doing, stick around and face the music. Kudos on that end to Manning. 2. Flee the system and jump into the arms (crying “freedom, liberty, transparency”) of some of the most menacing and totalitarian regimes in the world, i.e. Russia and China. I know there’s a lot of pissed off current or past USG employees hovering around this site but if you think the US is on the same level of corruption and mendacity of those two countries… I don’t think that’s accurate. Not saying we’re not headed there but we’re not there yet. I’m not saying it’s not bad… I know… I’m a FERS employee in the throes of getting out myself but we are not Russia and China. Not yet. I read We Meant Well. I know it’s bad. We’re still not Russia and China. Russia and China suck. (No offense to the sino/slavic readership). We don’t suck. Obama sucks but I didn’t vote for that fool. Ever.
      If you want to argue… “Well the regime is no longer a democracy. Witness black ops, black prisons, Gitmo, etc.”
      I’d say, we’re definitely going down the wrong road but an Assange or Snowden in US custody isn’t going to be a secret trial. They would become trials of the century and both would have an enormous dias for these men to call it as they see it. And the whole world would be listening.
      Liberal democracies may suspend civil liberties to safeguard security for short periods of time… witness Lincoln (Habeas corpus) and Roosevelt (Japanese internments, 4th amendment) but those periods of national emergency i.e. war, ended. I’m not sold that what we’re enduring isn’t necessary given 9-11. I was in the mid east in the 1990’s and I thought Clinton was asleep at the wheel. I think Clinton’s inaction in the 90’s ABSOLUTELY allowed 9-11 to occur. We missed the collapse of Russia. We missed 9-11. I’m no intelligence guru but if you were tracking that region as I was and watching Kobar, USS Cole, Tanzania, Kenya, you could very quickly as a lay person conclude that we were inbound to 9-11. Tom Clancy figured that they’d use airplanes. Condy Rice couldn’t. Myopia transcends political allegiance in the federal service.
      We can debate the wars, 9-11, Arab hatred of the West, post-colonial didactic revisionism, blah, blah until we’re blue in the face but the fact is no nation is going to tolerate airplanes getting hijacked and flown into its buildings.
      My issue is that this “Deep State” has no end date. There has been no declared war. We’re not even sure who the enemy is. Islam is our friend but fundamentalist Islam is the enemy. Sort of. Uh… Whuh?
      The Press may bear the largest responsibility for this mess… by aiding and abetting the USG in its constant and sustained double standard messaging, etc… China bad, but when we act like China, it’s good, because it’s US… and promoting the notion that news is entertainment. Tim Tebow, “Dog and Crow play ball” – CNN 07/28/13 and the royal baby is not news. It’s fluff.
      It’s all post-politics now. Pelosi, Bush, Obama and Kerry are all sides of the same COIN. The Republic will stand so long as the Constitution continues to be supported by SCOTUS and nominally, by the parties in power. While it is slowly being chipped away, it is still, the law of the land, except in GITMO, apparently.

      07/28/13 8:11 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      8

      “We are not Russia and China.”

      Oh my, how far the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave has sunk. We should aspire higher like DENMARK. Denmark beats US in health care, child care, education and protecting the unemployed. In the United States, real unemployment (including those who have given up looking) is high, wages and income are low, millions of Americans are struggling to find affordable health care and the gap between the very rich and everyone else is growing wider.

      YES Danes pay very high taxes, but in return enjoy a quality of life that many Americans would find hard to believe.

      The minimum wage in Denmark is about twice that of the United States and people who are totally out of the labor market or unable to care for themselves have a basic income guarantee of about $100 per day. Health care in Denmark is universal, free of charge and high quality. Everybody is covered as a right of citizenship. The Danish health care system is popular, with patient satisfaction much higher than in our country. In Denmark, every citizen can choose a doctor in their area. Prescription drugs are inexpensive and free for those under 18 years of age. Interestingly, despite their universal coverage, the Danish health care system is far more cost-effective than ours. They spend about 11 percent of their GDP on health care. We spend almost 18 percent. Virtually all higher education in Denmark is free. That includes not just college but graduate schools as well, including medical school.

      In a volatile global economy, the Danish government recognizes that it must invest heavily in training programs so workers can learn new skills to meet changing workforce demands. It also understands that when people lose their jobs they must have adequate income while they search for new jobs. If a worker loses his or her job in Denmark, unemployment insurance covers up to 90 percent of earnings for as long as two years. Here benefits can be cut off after as few as 26 weeks.

      Recently the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development found that the Danish people rank among the happiest in the world among some 40 countries that were studied. America did not crack the top 10.

      One of the reasons for that may be that the Danes are, politically and economically, a very engaged and informed people. In their last election, which lasted all of three weeks and had no TV ads, 89 percent of Danes voted.

      In Denmark, more than 75 percent of the people are members of trade unions. In America today, as a result of the political and economic power of corporate America and the billionaire class, we are seeing a sustained and brutal attack against the economic well-being of the American worker. As the middle class disappears, benefits and guarantees that workers have secured over the last century are now on the chopping block. Republicans, and too many Democrats, are supporting cuts in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, nutrition, education, and other basic needs — at the same time as the very rich become much richer. Workers’ rights, the ability to organize unions, and the very existence of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) are now under massive assault.

      Americans have the freedom NOT to have health care in a country where 45,000 of our people who die each year because they don’t get to a doctor when they should. They want young people in our country to have the freedom NOT to go to college, and join the 400,000 young Americans unable to afford a higher education and the millions struggling with huge college debts. They want children and seniors in our country to have the freedom NOT to have enough food to eat, and join the many millions who are already hungry.”

      This is your Country, people. Yes, we are not like Russia and China. BUT something is very rotten in the state of the States and it’s about time to take out the GARBAGE.

      07/28/13 10:54 AM | Comment Link

    • meloveconsullongtime said...

      9

      “We don’t suck”…

      …actually yes you do. Your government tortures people. You suck.

      07/28/13 12:54 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      10

      To All State Department Rubes

      Fact. Your job is to facilitate the transfer of wealth from other nations to the American ruling class. Period. And yes..you ARE rubes of biblical proportions.

      http://politicalcrumbs.wordpress.com/thinking-like-a-state/how-the-state-thinks-eisenhower-and-indochina/

      Living proof….

      http://wikileaks.org/cable/2009/02/09STATE15113.html

      Oh, about all those stupid dance videos.

      You redefine rube.

      Fuck you.

      07/28/13 4:45 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      11

      ps..if you really want to see what kind of psychopaths are running the Empire’s conquest of the planet..one only need look here..

      http://www.opednews.com/articles/1/Shocking-Extermination-F-by-Max-Blumenthal-130727-530.html

      Extermination Fantasies By the People Running America’s Empire on Full Display at Aspen Summit

      You couldn’t make this shit up.

      These shameless filthy murderers are nothing less than evil personified. They mock Nuremberg. They should be lined up and shot like all war criminals deserve..every last one of them.

      Never happen here my ass.

      07/28/13 5:55 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      12

      as if that weren’t enough to make you vomit…then there’s this…

      http://www.opednews.com/articles/Holder-promises-Russia-not-by-Dave-Lindorff-130727-954.html

      Speaking of psychopaths, Holder “promises” Russia..we won’t torture Snowden.

      right.

      Hitler is laughing his ass off.

      and yes melove…..Amerika does SUCK.

      07/28/13 6:01 PM | Comment Link

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