Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov Shot Dead in Ankara

Posted: 10:30 am PT
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Russia’s ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, was killed on Monday, while attending an art exhibition in the Turkish capital of Ankara. Daily Sabah reports that Turkish security officials identified the attacker as Mert Altıntaş, who had graduated from İzmir Rüştü Ünsal Police Academy in 2014.  Hurriyet Daily News says that Ambassador Karlov started his career as a diplomat in 1976 and worked extensively in North Korea over three decades before moving to Ankara in 2007. He became ambassador in July 2013.

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Conservative Group Blasts Tillerson Pick, Wants Pro-LGBT “Activists” in @StateDept “Ferreted Out” (Updated)

Posted: 1:52 am ET
Updated: 9:32 am PT
Update: 12/20, 12:47 pm PT (click here for comment during DPB)
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We just blogged that House Democrats called on the State Department to resist potential Trump political witch-hunts). And what do you know?  On December 15, Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council issued the following statement, excerpt:

The Obama administration has not only sent openly gay ambassadors into countries that are culturally opposed to homosexuality, they’ve used foreign aid to force nations opposed to homosexuality to change their laws to provide special protections for such behavior. And even flown the rainbow flag at U.S. embassies around the world! Equally, the Obama State Department under Hillary Clinton also promoted abortion, declaring reproductive healthcare a basic human right.
[…]
…. I have raised concerns about the nomination of ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson for secretary of state. I certainly don’t see Tillerson cut from the same cloth as Clinton or Kerry, but he doesn’t have to be for these anti-life, liberal social policies to continue. He must have the courage to stop the promotion of this anti-family, anti-life agenda, which is very much a question mark given that he capitulated to activists pushing to liberalize the Boy Scouts’ policy on homosexuality when he was at the helm of the organization.

The incoming administration needs to make clear that these liberal policies will be reversed and the “activists” within the State Department promoting them will be ferreted out and will be replaced by conservatives who will ensure the State Department focuses on true international human rights like religious liberty which is under unprecedented assault.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the Family Research Council (FRC) is an anti-LGBT extreme group that bills itself as “the leading voice for the family in our nation’s halls of power,” but that “its real specialty is defaming gays and lesbians.” SPLC has also published an extremist profile of Perkins here.

Updated:  According to HuffPo, Trump’s transition team released a statement expressing strong opposition to the Family Research Council’s appeal.  “President-elect Trump campaigned on a message of unity in order to bring all Americans together. To think that discrimination of any kind will be condoned or tolerated in a Trump Administration is simply absurd,” Trump spokesman Jason Miller said.

This is worrisome because “ferreting out” LGBT “activists” can easily expand to the purging of LGBT employees.  Trump has a “complicated track record on LGTBQ issues” but given the people in his orbit, it is important to remember that in 1953, under the guise of national security, President Eisenhower signed Executive Order 10450 which expanded the grounds for dismissal to cover homosexuality. Under the guise of seeking “true international human rights” or something else, this could easily go from worrisome to alarming.

There’s a dark history of employee purges in the federal government, most especially at the State Department.  The National Archives notes that beginning in the late 1940s and continuing through the 1960s, thousands of gay employees were fired or forced to resign from the federal workforce because of their sexuality. Dubbed the Lavender Scare, this wave of repression was also bound up with anti-Communism and fueled by the power of congressional investigation.

According to the State Department, on February 28, 1950, in testimony before the subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Deputy Under Secretary for Administration John Peurifoy noted that 91 employees in the “shady category” had been dismissed since January 1, 1947. “When pressed to define this category, Peurifoy alluded to “moral weakness.” He seemed too hesitant to offer specifics, and the number of dismissals was too large for the matter to be easily dropped. Senator Styles Bridges (R-NH) pressed Peurifoy further, and the Deputy Under Secretary finally admitted that the category referred to homosexuals.”

Stay aware. Stay engage.

President Obama appointed gay ambassadors to Australia, Dominican Republic, Denmark, OSCE, Spain, and Vietnam. To say that these missions are in countries “culturally opposed to homosexuality” is false.  Among the six missions, only one has faced blatant, persistent bigotry and discrimination in his host country; that’s Ambassador Wally Brewster who is accredited to the Dominican Republic (see Pres. Obama’s Personal Representative Faces Anti-Gay Bigotry in the Dominican Republic.

The charge that pro-LGBT policies were advanced by LGBT “activists” in the State Department is simply ignorant of how the agency works. Advancing the rights of LGBT persons around the world is an Obama Administration policy. Career employees are required to support and defend it, as well as all other policies of the administration whether they agree with it or not (see On the Prospect of Mass Resignations: A Veteran FSO Cautions Against Rash Decisions).

The Foreign Service Act and appropriate personnel regulations require commitments from candidates for appointment to the Foreign Service to commit to three (3) conditions of employment — availability for worldwide assignment, willingness to accept out-of-function assignments, and observance of Foreign Service discipline with respect to public support of established United States policy.  “In the official performance of their duties as representatives of the United States Government, Foreign Service members may be called upon to support and defend policies with which they may not be personally in full agreement. On such occasions, normal standards of Foreign Service discipline will apply. Ample opportunity is provided within official channels for discussion and dissent with respect to the development and conduct of United States Foreign policy.” (See DS4146). Also see Joseph Cassidy’s Twelve Tips For Surviving Life In The New Foggy Bottom.

More clips below:

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Senate Confirmations: Personal Rank of Career Ambassador to Steve Mull, Victoria Nuland

Posted: 12:29 am ET
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On December 7, the Senate confirmed the nominations of the following-named Career Members of the Senior Foreign Service of the Department of State for the personal rank of Career Ambassador in recognition of especially distinguished service over a sustained period:

Nominee State
Stephen Donald Mull Virginia
Victoria Jane Nuland Virginia

2016-12-07 PN1907 Foreign Service | Nominations beginning Stephen Donald Mull, and ending Victoria Jane Nuland, which 2 nominations were received by the Senate and appeared in the Congressional Record on November 29, 2016.

Under the 1980 Foreign Service Act (P.L. 96-465; 94 Stat. 2084), which repealed the 1946 Act as amended, the President is empowered with the advice and consent of the Senate to confer the personal rank of Career Ambassador upon a career member of the Senior Foreign Service in recognition of especially distinguished service over a sustained period.

Per 3 FAM 2323.1-5 the Secretary may recommend to the President the conferral of the personal rank of Career Ambassador on a limited number of career members of the SFS of the class of Career Minister whose careers have been characterized by especially distinguished service over a sustained period and who meet the requirements of 3 FAM 2324.2. The Secretary’s recommendations will be based on the recommendations of a Career Ambassador Review Panel. Conferral of the personal rank of Career Ambassador will be made by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

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Senate Confirmations: Promotion List – Senior FSOs to Class of Career Minister

Posted: 12:26 am ET
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The following-named Career Members of the Senior Foreign Service of the Department of State for promotion within the Senior Foreign Service of the United States of America, Class of Career Minister (FE-CM):

Robert Stephen Beecroft California
Arnold A. Chacon Virginia
Tracey Ann Jacobson District of Columbia
Geoffrey R. Pyatt California
Marie L. Yovanovitch Connecticut

2016-12-07 PN1909 Foreign Service | Nominations beginning Robert Stephen Beecroft, and ending Marie L. Yovanovitch, which 5 nominations were received by the Senate and appeared in the Congressional Record on November 29, 2016.

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Senate Confirmations: Promotion List – Senior FSOs to Class of Minister-Counselor

Posted: 12:24 am ET
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The following-named Career Members of the Senior Foreign Service of the Department of State for promotion within the Senior Foreign Service of the United States of America, Class of Minister-Counselor:

Nominee State
Robert L. Adams Texas
Brian C. Aggeler District of Columbia
Tanya Cecelia Anderson District of Columbia
Michael Adam Barkin Florida
Stanley H. Bennett Minnesota
Randy William Berry Colorado
Timothy A. Betts District of Columbia
Virginia Meade Blaser Virginia
Steven Craig Bondy Virginia
Maria Elena Brewer Virginia
Bridget A. Brink Michigan
John Leslie Carwile Virginia
Carmen Margarita Castro Virginia
Craig Lewis Cloud Florida
Theodore Raymond Coley Virginia
Marie Christine Damour Virginia
Nicholas Julian Dean Virginia
Robin D. Diallo Maryland
John Walter Dinkelman Virginia
Michael J. Dodman District of Columbia
Christine Ann Elder Washington
Michelle M. Esperdy Pennsylvania
Nina Maria Fite Virginia
Bradley Alan Freden Arizona
Rebecca Eliza Gonzales District of Columbia
Alyson Lynn Grunder New York
Todd Philip Haskell Florida
Jeffrey J. Hawkins Jr. Maryland
Peter Mark Haymond Virginia
Brian George Heath District of Columbia
Jonathan Henick California
Elizabeth Ann Hopkins District of Columbia
Virginia Idelle Keener Maryland
Kevin J. Kilpatrick Indiana
Douglas A. Koneff Connecticut
Donald William Koran Virginia
Steven Herbert Kraft Virginia
Suzanne I. Lawrence Virginia
Thomas H. Lloyd Virginia
Najib Mahmood Virginia
Jean Elizabeth Manes Florida
Joseph Manso District of Columbia
Jennifer Allyn McIntyre District of Columbia
David Meale Virginia
John S. Moretti Virginia
Katherine Anne Munchmeyer District of Columbia
Michael John Murphy Virginia
Mirembe L. Nantongo Virginia
Susan Butler Niblock Maryland
Francisco Luis Palmieri Connecticut
Charisse Melanie Phillips Florida
Beth L. Poisson Maryland
Lynette Joyce Poulton Virginia
Wayne F. Quillin New York
Joseph N. Rawlings Georgia
Kurt R. Rice Virginia
Joan Marie Richards Virginia
Christopher J. Sandrolini Virginia
Stephen M. Schwartz Maryland
Dorothy Camille Shea District of Columbia
George N. Sibley Virginia
Adnan A. Siddiqi Virginia
Adam H. Sterling Virginia
Stephanie Faye Syptak-Ramnath Virginia
Melinda C. Tabler-Stone Virginia
John Stephen Tavenner Texas
Dean Thompson Maryland
Lisa Annette Vickers California
Samuel R. Watson III Virginia
Eugene Stewart Young Virginia

2016-12-07 PN1908 Foreign Service | Nominations beginning Robert L. Adams, and ending Laura Ann Griesmer, which 181 nominations were received by the Senate and appeared in the Congressional Record on November 29, 2016.

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Senate Confirmations: Promotion List – Career FSOs to Class of Counselor

Posted: 12:22 am ET
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The following-named Career Member of the Foreign Service for promotion into the Senior Foreign Service, as a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service of the United States of America, Class of Counselor, effective February 21, 2016.

Nominee State
Laura Ann Griesmer Washington

2016-12-07 PN1908 Foreign Service | Nominations beginning Robert L. Adams, and ending Laura Ann Griesmer, which 181 nominations were received by the Senate and appeared in the Congressional Record on November 29, 2016.

The following-named Career Members of the Foreign Service for promotion into the Senior Foreign Service, as a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service of the United States of America, Class of Counselor:

Nominee State
Deanna Hanek Abdeen Virginia
Stephen Anderson Montana
Keith Mims Anderton Virginia
Douglas Joseph Apostol California
Constance C. Arvis Virginia
Jennifer L. Bachus Kansas
Doron D. Bard Washington
Nicholas R. Berliner Virginia
Marcia P. Bosshardt Virginia
David Noel Brizzee Idaho
Dana M. Brown California
Robert G. Burgess District of Columbia
Carol-Anne Chang Virginia
Angela Colyvas-Mcginnis Pennsylvania
Robert E. Copley Colorado
Chad Parker Cummins California
James R. Dayringer Montana
John C. Dockery Texas
Joel Ehrendreich New York
Jewell Elizabeth Evans District of Columbia
Alan E. Eyre Maryland
Eric A. Fichte Washington
Troy Damian Fitrell Virginia
Richard Harris Glenn Virginia
Matthew Eugene Goshko District of Columbia
Ramond F. Greene III District of Columbia
Theresa Grencik Maryland
Anne E. Grimes Virginia
Edward G. Grulich Virginia
Margaret Hawthorne District of Columbia
John Hennessey-Niland Virginia
Christina Maria Huth Higgins Virginia
Melanie Harris Higgins Florida
Lisa S. Kenna Maryland
Jonathan Stuart Kessler Virginia
Cynthia A. Kierscht Minnesota
Michael F. Kleine District of Columbia
Christopher M. Krafft Virginia
Helen Grace LaFave Virginia
Adam Duane Lamoreaux Oregon
Gregory F. Lawless Virginia
Phillip Linderman Virginia
Charles Luoma-Overstreet Virginia
Michael Macy Florida
Jerrold L. Mallory California
Bettina A. Malone Virginia
Ann Barrows McConnell California
Meredith Clare McEvoy Virginia
Richard Mei Jr. Kentucky
Alan D. Meltzer Virginia
Jane S. W. Messenger Maryland
Joaquin F. Monserrate Puerto Rico
Mitchell R. Moss Virginia
Phillip R. Nelson Montana
Elisha Nyman Maryland
Gary Glenn Oba Arkansas
Martha E. Patterson Texas
Roy Albert Perrin Virginia
David D. Potter Virginia
Virginia Sher Ramadan Virginia
Walter Scott Reid Virginia
Jeffrey James Robertson California
Hugo F. Rodriguez Jr. District of Columbia
Russell A. Schiebel Texas
Jonathan A. Schools Texas
Micaela A. Schweitzer-Bluhm Virginia
Mark Wayne Seibel North Carolina
Jonathan L. Shrier New York
Susan Marie Shultz District of Columbia
Eugenia M. Sidereas District of Columbia
David W. Simons Virginia
Jefferson D. Smith Texas
Matthew D. Smith New York
Willard Tenney Smith Virginia
Linda S. Specht Virginia
Gavin A. Sundwall North Carolina
Rebecca T. Brown Thompson Virginia
Scott Brian Ticknor Virginia
Alan R. Tousignant Virginia
Pamela M. Tremont Virginia
Stewart D. Tuttle Jr. California
Heather Catherine Variava Virginia
Amy Hart Vrampas District of Columbia
JoAnne Wagner Virginia
Susan M. Walsh Rhode Island
Eva Anne Weigold Schultz Virginia
Edward Anthony White Florida
Aleisha Woodward Utah

2016-12-07 PN1908 Foreign Service

The following-named Career Members of the Foreign Service for promotion into the Senior Foreign Service, as a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Counselor, and a Consular Officer and a Secretary in the Diplomatic Service of the United States of America:

Nominee State
Wendy A. Bashnan South Carolina
John C. Brewer Alabama
Julie S. Cabus Virginia
Cornell Chasten North Carolina
Natalie Cropper South Carolina
Jaime Esquivel Virginia
Yuri P. Fedorenko Michigan
Donald E. Gonneville Jr. Virginia
Marcia K. Henke Alabama
Paul R. Houston Virginia
Joshua D. McDavid Washington
George M. Navadel District of Columbia
Michael Britton Phillips Maryland
Larry D. Roberts Jr. Virginia
Christopher R. Rooks Virginia
Behzad Shahbazian Maryland
Hartaje K. Thiara District of Columbia
Jeffrey A. Thomas Virginia
Tracy Jo Thomas Virginia
Jennifer S. Tseng Colorado
Thomas R. Vandenbrink Virginia
Judith Vardy Florida

2016-12-07 PN1908 Foreign Service

 

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