• McGurk’s Latest Wife Whines: I’m a Victim Here

    June 17, 2012 // 10 Comments »

    Gina Chon, previous mistress of ambassador-to-sleazeland Brett “The Stick” McGurk, for some ridiculous reason (probably because Dancing with the Stars was booked) did an interview with the Washington Post.

    The article states:

    Chon said in her message that the leaked e-mails were promoted to news outlets by a “disgruntled” employee on the eve of McGurk’s confirmation hearings, apparently in an attempt to undermine his nomination. She did not identify the State Department employee.

    I hope she isn’t referring to me, for I am not disgruntled in any way. Quite happy to be here, had a decent career with State until fairly recently, a career that I entered through a very competitive process and maintained over 24 years of up or out promotions– unlike McGurk who has been appointed to all his Iraq jobs.

    OK. But what about those emails Gina?

    She described her relationship with McGurk as “a fairly simple tale of two people who met in Baghdad, fell in love, got engaged and later married.” Their e-mails, she said, “reflected flirtatious banter and nothing more.”

    Of course Chon resigned/got fired for sharing her stories with McGurk ahead of publication, something known as “unethical” in the universe she and Brett don’t live in.

    But really, wow. Lots of people spent a year (or several) in Iraq and managed to stay married. Most of their flirtatious banter isn’t the sophomoric crap her emails reveal, with talk of blue balls and masturbation and sexy time hookups whilst ditching one’s spouse. There are also reports that Ms. Chon cheated on her spouse with a second dude.

    Added the disgruntled Chon:

    The question I continue to have is when will the conversation return to issues?

    Good idea. Let’s have a conversation about the unparalleled success of McGurk skateboarding America through nine failed years of war and occupation in Iraq. Take a look at his crap from 2006-2007, newly discovered blog posts, where he spinelessly defends the Bush policies and predicts happy sunshine for Team America in Iraq.

    Let’s also talk about whether not speaking any Arabic is a good or bad thing for McGurk. Let’s ask what experience he has had managing a $6.5 billion enterprise with 16,000 employees. Let’s ask what job if any he has held other than appointed political hack. Let’s talk about how many Iraqi groups see him as so close to PM Malaki that they initially refused to even work with him. Let’s talk about the little paid-for nooky at Harvard. Let’s talk about whether using US Government email to conduct an extra-marital affair suggests you have the discretion, maturity and personal credibility to be an ambassador. Let’s talk about John McCain’s objections. Let’s talk about Inoufe’s objections.

    Let’s talk about all those issues, and whether they add up to someone who deserves to be an ambassador.

    And as if to make sure the story drags on for another news cycle, Chon also spoke to CNN. Better yet, some apology email Chon sent to her “friends” ended up leaked to CNN by one of them. The embattled spouse told CNN:

    People have jumped to unfair and inaccurate conclusions using our own words against us.

    Oh, the old “using our own words” defense. We call that taking responsibility for what you say and write. And this woman worked for a major newspaper?

    Bottom line: If you did it yourself, you can’t claim yourself as the victim. The issue is not the leaking of the emails, it is the content of the emails and the fact that McGurk and the State Department tried to hide them from the Senate and the American People. I’m sorry it took a sex scandal to rouse the Senate from its nap to pay attention to this nominee, but it needs to pay attention to this nominee.

    Hang on Gina, your 15 minutes are about to end, and the reality TV offer can’t be far behind. Is that Bristol Palin on line one already?

    Bonus: with the Arab press all over this story (see here and here as examples) how effective could McGurk hope to be as ambassador anyway?

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    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

    Posted in Embassy/State, Iraq

    No F*cking Around at State Department

    March 2, 2012 // 4 Comments »

    The March 2012 edition of the Foreign Service Journal on page 42 reports that the State Department has proposed to discipline a handful of employees for off duty conduct– extra-marital affairs between consenting adults. The article notes that the State Department has never formally notified its employees that, “depending on the number of partners, it views such behavior as ‘notoriously disgraceful conduct.'”

    There are so many questions with this one, who knows where to start?

    Assuming State Department people are randy in equal proportion to normal people, a lot of diplomats will be needing stern discipline. According to the Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy, approximately 50 percent married women and 60 percent of married men will have an extramarital affair at some time in their marriage (some of whom are candidates for president). And since it is unlikely that the people having affairs are married to each other in every case, the current statistics on the percentage of married couples who cheat on each other means that someone is having an affair in nearly 80 percent of marriages.

    What does State mean by “multiple partners?” Does that mean the to-be-disciplined diplomat had say, affairs with three mistresses over the course of three weekends, or does it mean that while 1:1 affairs are cool, group stuff is, um, undiplomatic?

    Since State refuses to recognize same-sex marriages, substituting an awkward partner agreement of its own creation to avoid the nasty hypocrisy of an Administration that allows for partners abroad but won’t rescind the Defense of Marriage Act at home, one presumes the naughty diplomats noted above are all heterosexuals. Does this mean gay dips are free to party? Is this a loop hole that needs to be filled by an ever-growing body of regulation?

    If State is going to classify an affair by consenting adults as “notoriously disgraceful conduct,” what else will they put on the list to clean up our embassies? What about other forms of sexual conduct between consenting adults? State should publish a highly-classified cable listing what the partner threshold actually is, and delineating what acts are allowed and which are punishable. The list may grant allowances for rank, i.e., just like Ambassadors get to fly Business Class and ship more household effects abroad, they should be allowed more leeway with interns and household help.

    What about special rules for Diplomatic Security agents?

    Will diplomats assigned to Japan have to ration their anime viewing?

    But most important of all, given the pressing issues in the world in say Syria, North Korea and other places State is worked up over, why do they have time at Foggy Bottom to enforce morality rules like this?

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    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

    Posted in Embassy/State, Iraq