• Diplopundit on We Meant Well: “This Seemed Important”

    January 21, 2012

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Embassy/State, Iraq

    Foreign Service uber blog Diplopundit, in summing up significant events in the world of the State Department, had this to say about We Meant Well:


    Foreign Service Officer, Peter Van Buren pens a book of his PRT Iraq experience. The first live FSO to do so. The new author courted controversy by not resigning prior to the books hitting the stores and ostracization for well, writing the book that makes everyone looks bad. The State Department’s response was definitely without a doubt a “don’t like” — so of course, they took away his badge and threw away the key. Subject currently considered untrustworthy even to handle paper clips. Falls under the “more” category for 2011. As my blog pal, @elsnarkistani would say, this seemed important.

    In a separate blog post, Diplopundit also pointed out the, um, incongruity, of State’s lofty pronouncements of the value of dissent and differing opinions and of speaking truth to power with the reality of how it treats its bloggers:

    The Bureau of Consular Affairs (CA) recently announced its new leadership theme for 2012 which is “Follow Courageously.” CA, of course, is the home bureau of some of our consular officers who offended the tigers with their blogs — MLC, Peter Van Buren, to name a couple.

    Nice words but really, in which State Department sector is this real? And when you are not working in a “successful office” what then? What happens when you report certain problems and the tigers bite your head off? Is there anyone in CA who would be willing to loan the courageous follower a Scottish targe or shield for protection from incoming projectiles?

    Folks, the migraine line starts over there. Follow courageously and stay quiet.


    Read it all now at Diplopundit.



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