• Sexism is OK (As Long as it’s Aimed at Melania, Apparently)

    March 27, 2017 // 16 Comments »


    She doesn’t sleep with him. They have separate beds, according to one anonymous source. And him?



    He has had a lot of women, some public and much, much younger, some only rumored about (but we know.) One of the most talked-about involved him, an older, powerful man, bedding a younger woman infatuated with him, and likely controlled by him.

    And it’s apparently OK to talk about all this, and shame the dutiful wife, even by feminists. At least as long as it is about Melania Trump, and not, for heaven’s sake, about that other White House power “couple.”

    Christina Cauterucci, writing in left-of-center Slate, headlines the anonymous-sourced based news that Donald and Melania sleep in separate beds. See, that implies they don’t… you know… have sex.

    Now normally a) where people sleep is not news in any way; b) where people sleep is their private business and c) a woman in 2017 should not be shamed or commented on in the media for whatever choices she makes regarding her married life, and certainly not for her (implied and unconfirmed) choices regarding sex. What is it, 1950 at Slate?

    It apparently is 1950. Because writer Cauterucci says all that shaming is actually OK, because it’s Trump. She writes:

    …with this particular president, [it] does matter. Trump used a big-powerful-rich-daddy persona to win the presidency, and he painted that persona with the help of the ever-younger string of women he’s married and claimed to sleep with. All three of his marriages generated press “leaks” that suggested Trump was great at sex and had a lot of it with his respective wives, sometimes multiple times a day. The implication to anyone with eyes is that a past-his-prime man uses money and power to get sex and arm candy service from traditionally beautiful women. The report turns that implication on its head.

    Um, OK?

    But I really don’t get any of this. If one assumes all those pejorative statements about Trump are true, why does his sleeping arrangement with his spouse matter in any way? Is the writer, what, reverse slut-shaming Trump, maybe stud-shaming, mocking him for not be the swordsman she feels he’s claimed he is and that matters somehow? Is the point of mocking Trump and his wife to suggest he is not a stallion and, what next, should be impeached?

    No, no, here’s the point buried near the end of the piece:

    Trump’s marriage is not, like the Obamas’, a seeming match of life partners who fully respect one another’s intellects… Trump’s ignorance on policy and other issues of national importance is a point of pride for him, but when someone threatens his manly-man persona in public, it hurts.


    BONUS: The same article gets in a few sex digs on Pence, too. Here you go:

    An unofficial study of my personal opinions reveals that 100 percent of hetero couples who call one another “mother” and “father,” as Mike Pence and his wife do, sleep in separate twin beds with the sheets firmly tucked in on all sides, in formal pajamas and nightcaps, crucifix affixed on the wall where it can be seen from any potential sexual vantage point.

    Bada bing, Sexy time!




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    OK, Sure, More on the U.S. Consulate in Naples…

    November 15, 2013 // 14 Comments »




    Following our story on the alleged sexual shenanigans at the U.S. Consulate in Naples (photo, left, is the consulate Halloween party), attorney Lawrence Kelly has forwarded another translated affidavit from an ex-Italian local employee of the State Department, along with the response to the broader allegations from the U.S. Embassy in Rome.


    Let’s start with that:

    State Department Response

    Dear Mr. Kelly:

    I am writing to you in response to your message to Ambassador Phillips dated September 12, 2013. The Department of State takes any complaint of this nature very seriously. The Department of State does not comment on personnel issues.

    Sincerely,

    Kathleen Doherty
    Deputy Chief of Mission
    U.S. Embassy Rome


    So, that’s settled.

    Or maybe not, as Kelly’s client filed a formal complaint with the Department after Embassy Rome failed to do anything. That pending complaint includes material from the affidavit, below. While of course we cannot verify the authenticity of any of the statements below, the Department of State sure can if they wish to, all of which should make for an interesting time (all redactions are by this blog):

    My name is _____, I was born on _____ in _____, and I live in _____. I worked for nine long years at your embassy of Naples-based in Piazza della Repubblica. And only today as we honor Martin Luther King (my personal hero) 50 years after his death, I find the courage to write some thoughts about the person of Mr. Donald Moore [Note: Moore was the head of the Naples Consulate, i.e., Consul General]

    I cannot understand why Mr. Moore suspended me from work, just because I, [two names redacted by this blog; one was the State Department security officer] were aware of his private affairs, such as the relationship that Mr. Moore had with the language instructor _____, from which he was to have a child, but who he convinced to have an abortion in exchange to not fire her. These facts are certain. I can testify. I agree in every way with what Ms. Kerry [the American employee who filed the formal complaint against Moore] has said because first of all she is a good person; very respectful to the Italians, who is loved by me and my family. Mr. Moore took advantage of me work-wise… and thanks to Donald Moore my career is now over, blocked, because of my knowledge of private matters that [the language teacher] came and told me about and now she is still at the consulate and while I have no job.

    Returning to the relationship between Moore and [the language teacher], I can testify that I have seen and heard everything because I was often present during the telephone conversations that happened between the two lovers, especially when I was acting as her driver in my personal car. In fact [the language teacher] told Mr. Moore that I was very helpful to her, bringing her to the consulate in the afternoons, (because she worked at a hospital in the morning) then in the afternoon she came to give Italian language lessons to Moore and other Americans.

    [The language teacher] always told me that when she was teaching Mr. Moore they always ended up having sex in his office. Then, Mr. Moore would invite her for lunch in the residence, and then suddenly tell his household staff to leave the residence (his butler _____ and two housekeepers _____ and _____) saying that he had important work to do. In your opinion, Mr. Councilor, what was this important work? It was to go to bed with [the language teacher]; and I am certain in this because [the language teacher], before going to the residence passed by the fourth floor where I worked and showed me the intimate underwear she was going to wear, because we had such a close and confidential rapport. She would use the emergency stairway from the fourth floor that is connected to the residence so that no one could see her go, except me. She often told me, “Listen _____, don’t say anything to anyone because Mr. Moore doesn’t trust these Americans.” I would respond, “Not to worry! I have not seen you!” This is how she climbed the stairs unseen by indiscreet eyes and saw her lover.

    [The language teacher] is very friendly with a certain _____, responsible for the security of the American Consulate. She confided in _____ who was fully aware of the relationship between Mr. Moore and [the language teacher]. He often said to her, “If you love him, what is the problem?” It was on a beautiful day that [the language teacher] come to the Consulate (in 2011), in tears and sobbing. She told me and _____ that Mr. Moore advised (forced is a more accurate term) to have an abortion, because he was already separated and had a son in France. And being career diplomat, he could not have these strong personal ties. [the language teacher], mortified and alone, was forced to turn to a gynecologist with an office on via Gramsci for an appointment that Mr. Moore had made to have an abortion. (The fetus was two months old.) But, Consul Moore had promised her that she would be able to remain working at the consulate without a problem. Meanwhile, _____, _____, _____ and I were unjustly fired from our jobs. When [the language teacher] told everything to [the security officer] she was told to stay away from Consul Moore because the Rome embassy security was investigating their private relationship and quietly ordered Mr. Moore to break off the relationship. But [the language teacher] told me that often still met Mr. Moore at her house when her daughter was not at home.

    Now I ask myself, why was I the “sacrificial goat” when others, (the security officer), Mrs. _____ and _____ were fully aware of the intimate and private details of their relationship. There are CCTV tapes that can confirm everything that I say. There are also the guards that saw me often accompanying [the language teacher] in my personal car. I could write a book about the relationship between this Italian-American couple, but how would the testimony of a man my age help, even though he knows so many bad details. Today I am without work, with a wife and two children to feed and a house in the hands of the bank. Still today I cannot believe that [the language teacher] and [the security officer] are living the good life.


    Some Questions

    And so while this could all be just made-up, we’ll conclude with a couple of questions.

    — The statements above are easily verifiable facts, and with plenty of suggested collaborating witnesses, that it would not require much effort at all for State to verify or dismiss the accusations quickly. Have they? If not, why not? You’d think that at a minimum they would want to be able to tell the Italian press that the accusations are baseless to preserve the image of the United States.

    — The most recent inspection of the embassy in Rome’s cafeteria noted “Valid complaints have been leveled at the cool temperatures of prepared foods,” so we do know that State is on top of the important things.

    — Why does the Consulate Naples still list Donald Moore as the Consul General on this page, while welcoming the new Consul General on this page (Moore was transferred to an obscure U.S. domestic position by the State Department)? The new Consul General has been there since September, following Moore’s coincidental departure around the time of the allegations.

    — Why does the State Department praise (p. 42) Naples for coordinating on behalf of Iranians “very smoothly with the Italian Embassy in Tehran to assist applicants who need Italian visas to attend their visa appointments in Naples.” Doing this work on behalf of Iranian visa applicants is a U.S. national interest because… ?

    — Why does a relatively minor U.S. government official like Moore in a tiny consulate have a butler, a driver and two maids paid for by the U.S. taxpayer? There are only ten Americans assigned to Naples anyway.

    — For that matter, why does the U.S. have a tiny consulate in a relatively unimportant city like Naples anyway? The U.S. already has a huge embassy in Rome, three consulates in other parts of Italy, plus three consular agencies (like small branch offices), plus a whole separate embassy with its own ambassador just for the Vatican. The U.S. State Department maintains in Italy a full-time staff of well-over 500 people, at an annual cost of over $97 million, because… ?

    Italy is about 116k square miles, roughly the size of California.




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    Sex, Lies and Rotten Meat at the American Consulate in Naples

    November 13, 2013 // 17 Comments »

    The New York Post reports that Ms. Kerry Howard, the community-liaison officer at the U.S. Consulate in Naples, claims she was run out of her job with the State Department after complaining about the consul general’s alleged office trysts with subordinates and hookers.

    Ms. Howard stated she had been bullied, harassed and forced to resign after she exposed US Consul General Donald Moore’s (pictured, left) alleged security-threatening shenanigans in the Naples, Italy, office. She explained that when she revealed allegations about her boss, State Department officials swept it under the rug, according to an Equal Employment Opportunity complaint she filed with the Department’s Office of Civil Rights. This blog has covered this story briefly before, but we now have new information, exclusive to this blog.

    Needless to say State declined to comment to the Post. Ms. Howard resigned. Consul General Moore took another assignment elsewhere for State. In the insular world of Foggy Bottom, problem solved.

    EXCLUSIVE: Here’s More about Moore

    Lawrence Kelly is an attorney in New York representing Kerry Howard, the woman in the New York Post articles who raised the concerns about Naples.

    Kelly’s bio has him previous serving as Senior Rule of Law Advisor for the State Department on a Provincial Reconstruction Team in southern Iraq. He also does pro bono works for 9/11 victims (Trial Lawyers Care) and with TSGLI, a lump sum disability benefit for seriously wounded service members. While we have no way to verify the following statements, the State Department sure as heck can, and we invite their comment.

    Here’s attorney Lawrence Kelly, today’s guest blogger, with more on Naples:

    When the United States is interested in a foreign country, it likes to have a big footprint. What happens to the locals who interact or work with Americans when the Americans lose interest? There is a precedent. In the seventy years since the end of World War II, generations of European families have worked in American embassies and consulates as locally employed staff. If the recent treatment of locally employed staff in the consulate in Naples Italy is any indication, the locals might want to keep a consigliere on retainer.

    The New York Post has done two stories on the consequences to the careers of American whistleblowers in the Foreign Service confronting the abysmal activities of senior management in these European posts. Even worse, and not yet disclosed in the media, are the stark consequences for the locally employed staff of being in the wrong place and observing the misbehavior of senior State Department staff. The United States has shown itself to be ungrateful, arrogant and malicious in destroying the lives of locally employed staff to cover up for American misdeeds.

    The State Department standard of care has devolved into the Clinton query “what difference does it make?” I have obtained statements from the locally employed staff separated from their Naples Consulate employment. Their observations include the following [Note: Kelly supplied these translations, along with Italian language originals]

    “XXX receives in his apartments women of dubious morality, sleeping with them during working hours. …More seriously, I have seen the falsifying of the accounts for food for guests and dignitaries. XXX making them much higher. In addition, he was seeing a psychiatrist attending many sessions and her diagnosis was is mentally unstable, how can it be that a man so mentally unstable be in such a position? During one attack of anger he destroyed the courtyard of the Consulate two metal umbrella containers, taking them kicking and throwing them from the apartments above.”

    “I have witnessed in my working things like; XXX received in his residence women who dressed as prostitutes…he had often the habit to cook rotten foods, for example when he was the host of the British Consul General he served meat that had expired in 2010. He also falsified receipts for the costs of his events.”

    “XXX (definitely a very despicable person in my opinion”)… advised (a locally employed staff member he had impregnated) forced is a more accurate term to have an abortion…XXX had promised her that she would be able to remain working at the consulate. There are close circuit television tapes that can confirm everything that I say….a man who forces a woman to have an abortion is what kind of man?”

    So, as Secretary Clinton would ask, what difference does it make? Families who served the United States for seventy years are thrown away by a feckless United States, discharged from their employment, because the State Department was unable to control or contain senior managers. During the entirety of the Clinton era at the State Department, there was no congressional designation of an Inspector General. Internal investigations were instead run by Foreign Service veterans with close personal ties to existing senior management. Locally employed staff were disposable during an era when suppression of embarrassing details were the governing rules of the road. Regional Security Officers were used to suppress dissent, and morally outraged foreign service officers who raised red flags were admonished, curtailed or forced to seek transfer out of the assignment.

    As for the future, it is little consolation that individuals at the top of the pyramid in Italy during this period have now been moved to the State Department nerve center, the Seventh Floor of Main State. David Thorne, John Kerry’s former brother in law and Yale roommate, was Ambassador to Italy during this time, and the consequences to the locally employed staff of his tenure are fairly represented by the termination of six long term employees whose crime was simply knowing the truth about the Americans in charge of the Consulate.

    The stark consequence to the local employees is that a message has been sent. Americans are not to be trusted. Even by their fellow Americans.

    We’ll have more on this situation in the near future Friday, November 15, so please check back!




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    Rule No. 1: It is Poor Judgement to Talk About Fight Club

    April 18, 2012 // 44 Comments »

    What counts as poor judgement or lack of discretion these days such that Federal employment is no longer suitable? It is a good question, because the State Department is proposing to fire me in part for my “poor judgement” as shown, they say, by these two blog posts, about Hillary Clinton laughing at someone’s death and about Michelle Bachmann being, well, insane. Meanwhile, a State Department VIP apparently has had sex on an Embassy roof, captured on video, not that that matters.

    Now of course both the White House and Embassy Kabul on Twitter chortled over the deaths of other people, so we know that laughing about others’ deaths is not “poor judgement.” Point noted.

    We have learned that having posed for Playboy doesn’t count as poor judgement for a Foreign Service Officer. Point noted.











    And we can show that as the US Ambassador to Iraq dressing as JFK’s unsuccessful Secret Service bodyguard for a Halloween party as Baghdad burned around you apparently isn’t poor judgement. Even after photos are posted on a popular photo sharing spot. Point noted.







    We also know that drunken parties in Islamic war zones like Baghdad, or Afghanistan, are not considered poor judgement (and yes, two of three people dressed as women in the photo are not women). Point noted.














    And we know that being photographed partying in Colombia while the news is dominated by illicit Secret Service partying isn’t bad judgement, even if the media call attention to the issue with headlines like “Swillary” and “Is Hillary Clinton becoming an embarrassment as Secretary of State?” Given that I am a source of her stress, I guess I should be more charitable when Hillary needs a drink. Seriously, though, while “humanizing” Clinton to her fan base in the US, I wonder if the foreigners it is her job to influence see it as a positive image.



    So that leaves us with a final case to decide whether or not poor judgement is afoot.

    What if a video existed that showed a prominent State Department VIP on the roof of the Republican Palace in Baghdad receiving, um, pleasure of an oral nature from another State Department officer not his wife, or even his journalist mistress of the time? What if that video has been passed around among Marine Security Guards at the Embassy to the point where it is considered “viral” with many copies made? What if the Deputy Chief of Mission, hand in hand with the Diplomatic Security chief (RSO) at the time, decided that the whole thing needed to be swept under the rug and made to go away, at least until some blogger got a hold of it.

    Would that count as poor judgement? What if it was published during his oft-delayed Congressional hearings? Funny that State aggressively punishes some extramarital fooling around while ignoring other, er, well-documented cases.

    Or would the State Department once again excuse the act itself and instead punish the person who made the act public, claiming THAT was the example of poor judgement, the crime of not hiding State’s dirty laundry at a sensitive time?

    Remember Rule No. 1 of Fight Club at State: It is poor judgement to talk about Fight Club.


    (And before everyone gets all wound up over the photos posted, would you please first consider the point here, that judgement as contained in the acts pictured is the issue, not harvesting them from around the Internet where they already exist and reposting them here. For those too self-righteous to get it (oh, they’re colleagues ya’all!), the other point is that the State Department excuses all sorts of behavior when it wants to for people it likes or who are connected, and then hauls out the bully-bat of “poor judgement” when it is trying to stretch to justify firing someone they don’t like because of a blog. Thank you.)

    Also, Secret Service Agents abroad: always remember to pay your prostitutes to avoid undue hassle. Generous tips are encouraged; after all, they had to f*ck losers like you.



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    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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