• The Sad Intramural Horseplay of a Decadent Organization Eating Itself

    February 7, 2014

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Embassy/State

    State Department employee Jeremy Yamin used official letterhead to write to Homeland Security about a visa for his maid.

    State said using its letterhead for this purpose was against its rules, and after a lengthy process, punished Yamin with a one-day suspension. Yamin challenged this through State’s internal process, and State was forced to rescind the one-day suspension.

    The process of defending himself cost Yamin over $71,000, and now he is suing in U.S. District Court for State to reimburse him, as, he contends, they are required to do. The process is headed into Year Two.

    CONCLUSION: The people at State are all clearly insane, and taxpayer money is being wasted on disciplinary processes that make no sense and do not stand up to scrutiny.

    The Facts

    According to court documents, Yamin was abroad and wrote four papers letters, on State Department printed letterhead stationery (remember that from grandpa’s office?), to the Department of Homeland Security regarding a work visa for his foreign maid. He wanted to bring the maid with him from overseas for his domestic assignment in Boston. That’s what happened, nothing more, nothing less. There were no accusations of fraud or any concerns on the part of State about the contents of the letters per se, only that they constituted “personal” use by Yamin of official stationery.

    COMMENT: For better or worse, many Foreign Service personnel bring domestic help from overseas back to the U.S. with them. This is a common thing. When hiring a domestic overseas, the U.S. embassy almost always is officially, directly in involved in the domestic’s visa processing with the host country. In many countries, an actual diplomatic note is formally issued by the embassy. Not withstanding any rules about stationery, it is not unreasonable to believe visa processing within the U.S. might fall within the broad realm of “official” correspondence, especially when the writer did not misrepresent himself i.e., “I am writing on behalf of the Government of the United States to inform you…” or his purpose.

    State nailed Yamin for his offensive use of stationery. Yamin fought back, employing a legal team, and won. State was forced to rescind the one-day suspension.

    In cases where State loses such grievances, the law allows for reimbursement of “reasonable attorney fees.” Yamin presented documents showing he paid out over $71,000 in such fees. For those of you lucky enough not to live in D.C., lawyers there charge $300 bucks an hour. State said they found only about $12,000 in fees “reasonable,” based on their own finding that Yamin’s lawyers held an “unnecessary” hearing, even though Yamin had a legal right to hold such a hearing. So, faced with over $59,000 in out-of-pocket costs, even though State was found wrong in punishing him as they did, Yamin is back in court suing State for the cash.

    Who Cares about the Taxpayer?

    At some level, who cares that State enthusiastically punishes lower level employees for minor infractions, while senior people’s actions end up under FBI investigation while they skate away unpunished. That’s just the sad intramural horseplay of a decadent organization eating itself.

    What we all should care about is the insane expenditure of taxpayer money in pursuing minor infractions, if they are in fact infractions, especially when State is clearly proven to have erred in its decision. Whatever Yamin did, compared to forced abortions, fake receipts and sex with subordinates in Naples, it was just not that big a deal. Even after Yamin’s lawyers pointed out State’s mistakes, the Department continued to fight to the bone not to admit them. When clearly found in the wrong, State doubled down to not pay legal costs and pushed the case into the courts. A government attorney will have to defend the case and, if State loses, the government will end up paying even more of our money out to Yamin’s attorneys.

    What it Means

    We have here an organization that has lost contact with the gravity that holds most of us to the earth. Minor things are conflated into big things, while big things are to the limits possible swept under the rug. Senior officials get away with much, lower officials get away with little. Taxpayer money is spent freely and irresponsibly to maintain such a system. Even when it realizes it is in the wrong, State doubles down to try and slam its own employees who dare challenge the great and powerful Oz. If an aggrieved employee does not hire a lawyer s/he is at the mercy of State. If a lawyer is hired, State will punish the grievant financially.

    BONUS: State makes no real effort to publish its grievances, and exerts much internal pressure on all parties to not bring the cases into daylight even when public courts are involved. Many thanks to Diplopundit for his/her efforts to keep these cases in front of the taxpayers.




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    Copyright © 2019. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

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  • Recent Comments

    • Bob Higgins said...

      1

      Meanwhile the millions and billions in over billing and outright fraud in security and construction contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan goes seemingly unnoticed and unmentioned.

      As long as public money is being transferred to the “right people,” I suppose there is no foul. A brief look at the embassy construction in Baghdad would unearth enough money to keep us all supplied with impressive stationery for eternity.

      02/7/14 3:00 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      2

      I believe all State employees should “suffer” like the rest of US without maid service when they come back home. It is surprising State would make a federal case out of Jeremy’s maid service. Given his lengthy service with DS, Jeremy likely knows many State secrets that State would prefer to keep hidden.

      02/7/14 3:11 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      3

      02/7/14 5:33 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      4

      “He wanted to bring the maid with him from overseas for his domestic assignment in Boston”

      Shades of the Ghosts of Tom Joad. WTF??? 10 gazzillion US citizens out of work, and this schmuck wants to bring a maid back from another country. right. Well.. FUCK HIM. And FUCK the DOS. What’s even more bizarre is…WHO IN THE FUCK NEEDS A GODDAMN MAID??? There’s a hundred million working class families in this country with BOTH parents working, who THEN, do their shopping, cleaning, cooking, laundry, and every other goddamned thing people do to survive..with NO FUCKING MAID!

      ya know, I feel for this schmuck…not. He can put out $71k to fight a goddamned ONE DAY SUSPENSION??????????? Just to bring a MAID HOME????

      yeah, there’s something wrong alright. But it ain’t just the DOS.

      “I believe all State employees should “suffer” like the rest of US without maid service when they come back home.”

      Bingo.

      Now, you wanna talk REAL bullshit…

      http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2014/02/no-fly-list-bungle/

      I’m sorry, but the dude in your story doesn’t get any pity from me. On the contrary. And yeah, it’s a fucking pile of crap what the taxpayer had to put out..but jeeesusfuckingcrist..JUST TO FIGHT A ONE DAY SUSPENSION??? Fuck you halfwit.

      02/7/14 8:59 PM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...

      5

      While living the rock and roll diplomat lifestyle, we never had a full-time maid. We did pay someone else’s maid to occasionally come in and clean hourly. In most cases the price was a few bucks so it was hard to not do.

      Exporting your maid to your next assignment is the nasty part, as abuse and mistreatment are all too common. See the case of the Indian Consul in NY (who of course was allowed to depart the US despite the arrest and outstanding warrant Diplomatic Security once said was essential to stop human trafficking.) This is all diplomacy’s dirty little secret and everybody does it.

      02/8/14 3:30 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      6

      ps..the “Fuck you halfwit” wasn’t directed at you Peter. Sorry.

      note to self…remember there is NO edit button dammit.

      02/7/14 9:03 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...

      7

      THanks for the link, Rich, to the CS Monitor.

      Ms Nuland, who has long worked in that part of the world, would know surveillance has always been an issue

      02/7/14 11:14 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      8

      Nuland’s revelation is a reminder that we got stupid shits working for State. I say, F.U. all. They’re all a bunch of liars:

      http://www.unz.com/article/veracity-in-government/

      02/8/14 11:58 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      9

      Speaking of liars in government, let’s not forget this joker in the White House of Cards:

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/15/AR2007051500864_2.html

      Feith, Card, fuck you too.

      02/8/14 12:03 PM | Comment Link

    • meloveconsullongtime said...

      10

      For some reason the above stream of comments reminds me of a character in “One Flew Over The Cuckook’s Nest” (the book, not the movie) – a chronic psychiatric inmate named Ruckly, who says nothing but “FFFFFUCK da wife!” over and over.

      Bill Clinton in his senility?

      02/8/14 1:18 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      11

      “Cuckook-ker-chu” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Flew_Over_the_Cuckoo%27s_Nest_%28novel%29

      Me, it is contagious to say F U. As Peter has documented, “The people at State are all clearly insane, and taxpayer money is being wasted on disciplinary processes that make no sense and do not stand up to scrutiny.”

      02/8/14 3:11 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      12

      “For some reason the above stream of comments reminds me of a character in “One Flew Over The Cuckook’s Nest”

      Reminds me of someone else…

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDkoCtMOFOg

      02/8/14 4:07 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      13

      “This is all diplomacy’s dirty little secret and everybody does it.”

      Yes, sex with their maids @minimum wage. Diplomacy’s dirty little secret.

      02/8/14 4:13 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...

      14

      Thanks again Rich. More interesting links.

      Back in 2007 and part of 2008, the Washington Post produced some fascinating articles on what was taking place internally among the policy apparatchniki such as that story involving Secretary Ashcroft on his hospital bed. That article caused alot of controversy. Those journalistic days are sure over

      That article was interesting, too, about apparatchniki Douglas Feith. That seems to be a key quality these guys have, being absorbing, articulate liars living boxed-in never-never land. The comments were good too – gotta read the comments lol:

      “I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. … corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavour to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.” (Abraham Lincoln, Nov 21, 1864)

      02/8/14 4:55 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      15

      “That seems to be a key quality these guys have, being absorbing, articulate liars living boxed-in never-never land.”

      Articulate? Try Clumsy. Card’s LIE that he and dimwit Gonzo were only checking on Ashcroft reveals these sociopaths don’t even try to hide their contempt for the truth. As Peter can attest in his dealings with brazen liars in Diplomatic Security, these fucks (excuse ME) lie with impunity.

      02/8/14 8:27 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      16

      “I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. … corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavour to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.” (Abraham Lincoln, Nov 21, 1864)

      holy mother of revelations. Now..if we could only decypher the encryption that keeps humanity from finally understanding the ruling class will do exactly what Lincoln said.

      02/9/14 12:58 AM | Comment Link

    • Expat said...

      17

      Speaking of Victoria Jane Nuland, I think that you, Mr. Pitchfork, might be just the man to drop this foot soldier of the declining American Empire a line and tell her what you really think. Others – feel free to pile on. Your assignment? Fill up her inbox by Monday morning, DC time. 😉

      nulandvj@state.gov

      Fuck VJN, fuck DOS, fuck the USG! (Ooh, that felt goood!)

      02/9/14 10:48 AM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...

      18

      Very important to note that his Vickie’s UNCLASSIFIED email so any fuck you’s written may be monitored by the Russians.

      02/9/14 12:50 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      19

      well sooprise sooprise sooprise….

      Living proof that even the dumbest people on the planet can get nominated as an Ambassador..as long as you helped Obama get elected by virtue of money, notwithstanding commanding the art of doublespeak obfuscation.
      And then..there’s the posterchild for Great Moments in Stupidity..Senator Baucus

      http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2014/02/5-most-cringe-worthy-blunders-from-obamas-ambassador-nominees/?google_editors_picks=true

      BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…HOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHO..HEEHEHEHEHEHEHE…HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

      These clowns never cease to fucking amaze me.

      The Sad Intramural Horseplay of a Decadent Organization Eating Itself…

      Horseplay indeed. More like Jackass theater I’d say. As much as I despise McCain, I have to admit though, his sense of sarcasm was razor sharp.

      ‘ “I have no more questions for this incredibly, highly qualified group of nominees,” while his eyes rolled upward.

      fucking priceless

      02/9/14 12:13 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      20

      quote:”Speaking of Victoria Jane Nuland, I think that you, Mr. Pitchfork, might be just the man to drop this foot soldier of the declining American Empire a line and tell her what you really think.”unquote

      I just sent her this…

      A man says to a woman, “Would you sleep with me for one million dollars?” She eyes him up and down. He is well-dressed, seems intelligent, urbane and sophisticated and might well have a million dollars to blow on a night of sex. She decides quickly and replies, “Sure.” The man then asks, “Well, how about for ten dollars?” The woman is outraged. “What do you think I am?” The man smiles and says pleasantly, “My dear, we’ve already established what you are. All we’re doing is bargaining about the price.”

      Have a nice day Ms Nuland.

      02/9/14 12:21 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      21

      No separation of Church and State:

      “A report released by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child in Geneva strongly urged the Vatican to oblige its priests and bishops to take all reports about abuse to the police and end what it termed a “code of silence” under which whistle-blowers were “ostracized, demoted and fired.”

      State whistleblowers take note.

      02/9/14 1:54 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...

      22

      1.
      “Very important to note that his Vickie’s UNCLASSIFIED email so any fuck you’s written may be monitored by the Russians. – ”

      Sounds like those communications have loooong been unintentional wikileaks there. Guessing the call with the Ambassador was not on a home cell? Too bad the NSA is preoccupied with boring ordinary American citizens and not monitoring who is monitoring from abroad

      2.
      Dear Rich, State is afflicted with the same syndrome.

      The priest scandal is worse in the US than anywhere else in the world. Is that a coincidence? Or is it sign of a systemic institutional problem in our institutions?

      The problem is found elsewhere: higher ed, ie Penn State and Sandusky, as well as the military sex scandals, where victims are often retaliated against, drummed out of service, for reporting what happened to them. The problem goes well beyond sexual matters and the salacious

      Its a mindset problem, fueled by lack of accountability by some (not all) in the governing elites in these institutions. Leadership, for these perps, means protection for everything they do

      02/9/14 5:31 PM | Comment Link

    • Expat said...

      23

      Didn’t realize VJN (aka Nudelman) was Robert Kagan’s wife. I just lost my breakfast.

      http://whirledview.typepad.com/whirledview/2011/05/the-strange-appointment-of-victoria-nuland-as-states-spokesperson.html

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria_Nuland
      Funny statement from this entry: “Nuland says that she speaks Russian, French, and some Chinese.” Yeah, right. 😉

      02/10/14 3:00 AM | Comment Link

    • meloveconsullongtime said...

      24

      Kyzl Orda wrote:

      “The priest scandal is worse in the US than anywhere else in the world. Is that a coincidence? Or is it sign of a systemic institutional problem in our institutions?”

      Now THAT is a TRUE and acute observation! And the reason why the priest scandal is more of a Western and especially American one than a worldwide one is because, as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, Catholic Church discipline and authority is essentially local, reposing in the various individual bishops, NOT in “the Vatican”. Each bishop has almost absolute authority over his own diocese and is not subordinate to the Pope except in rare instances involving disputes over doctrine.

      So what’s wrong with American bishops, as compared to, say, African ones? Perhaps the culture they come from and are immersed in. For example, as American culture became more therapeutic, sexually abusive priests were sent off to get therapy instead of being disciplined in the harsh ways they deserved, like a good hard core African bishop would do!

      This Irish comedian’s take on it is in agreement with mine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5WTpUNi5fs

      02/10/14 12:03 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      25

      “Its a mindset problem, fueled by lack of accountability by some in the governing elites in these institutions. Leadership, for these perps, means protection for everything they do.”

      Hillary-ious

      02/10/14 12:59 PM | Comment Link

    • meloveconsullongtime said...

      26

      “Nuland says that she speaks Russian, French, and some Chinese”

      Hey, so do I! Mind you, I only speak enough Russian or Chinese to order food or find the toilet in those countries, and only enough French to understand Miss Piggy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhaO2crrH0k

      02/10/14 2:29 PM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...

      27

      But the real language test is can you insult our European allies in any of those languages? Nuland already passed with flying colors.

      02/10/14 2:32 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...

      28

      Dear MLCT,

      That clip was a riot. I kept thinking, shouldnt be laughing but was hard not to. I just learned he was a “Father Ted’ cast member. That explains it lol

      02/10/14 10:46 PM | Comment Link

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