For those lucky enough to live outside of DC, the Department of State is located in an area of town called Foggy Bottom; that’s even the name of the subway station nearest the building. Back in the 18th century the area was literally a fetid swamp, hence the name.
It appears now that the swamp gases are rising through the concrete, because something in connection with the McGurk ambassador to Iraq nomination stinks.
State claims that McGurk is “uniquely qualified” for the job, and that he was the subject of “rigorous vetting.” Yet now-authenticated, salacious emails, which call into question his judgment, maturity, discretion and ethics popped up online, straight out of State’s own archives and blew his once certain Senate approval on to a back burner, at best.
As part of any political vetting process, especially in the age of the web, the candidate is asked at some point “Is there anything else? Anything out there that might come up we need to know about? Any skeletons in the closet, old affairs, angry ex’, anything?” Because today, if it is out there, it will surface.
And one of three things happened.
McGurk either lied to State and did not tell them about his affair, his trading info for sex, his lack of judgment (bad), or
McGurk with his own ethical compass did not think he did anything wrong and did not tell State (maybe worse), or
McGurk did tell State the whole story and State covered it up, hoping to mislead the Senate into confirming McGurk (very bad)
Anybody got a fourth possible scenario? I don’t.
We are left with the choices of a man either without ethics and shame, or one willing to lie to get ahead, or an institution at State so set on pleasing its political bosses in the White House that it is willing to deceive the Senate and help place an unqualified man in one of its most important posts.
There are too many well-qualified, honest people out there who could be ambassador to Iraq for the Senate to waste any more time on McGurk. He should now announce his need to spend time with his new wife, and State should come clean on its role in covering up this stench.
State should abandon its investigation into the leak of the emails and instead investigate its own vetting process.
Let’s try something new here: put the interests of America in front of self-interest. It will be a welcome change for the State Department.
Copyright © 2013. All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity. Follow me on Twitter!