On June 1, 2020, the State Department updated its Foreign Affairs Manual (12 FAM 030) covering the Accountability Review Board (ARB). The chair of the ARB Permanent Coordinating Committee will now be the director of the Office of Management Strategy and Solutions (M/SS). If we remember correctly, this used to be the director of M/PRI (Office of Management Policy, Rightsizing and Innovation (M/PRI). Another update relates to the classification authority of Board Members; they have no original classification authority; M/SS will exercise original classification authority on the Board’s work materials. On the ARB’s findings, the Board submits its findings to the Secretary of State through M/SS. The updated regs make clear that “the report will initially be provided solely to the Secretary, who will determine its subsequent distribution.”
The updated regs has not eliminated 12 FAM 036.4 which refers to Reports to Congress (an update from 10-05-2017). “Per the ARB statute, the Secretary will, not later than 90 days after the receipt of a Board’s program recommendations, submit a report to the Congress on each such recommendation and the action taken with respect to that recommendation.”
The Secretary is required to submit “a report” to the Congress not later than 90 days but the regs does not require him/her to submit the ARB report. The new regs says the secretary of state will determine the report’s “subsequent distribution.”
12 FAM 035 FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
12 FAM 035.1 Findings
a. Examination: A Board will examine the facts and circumstances surrounding the security-related incident or a visa incident.
b. Written submission: In its report to the Secretary, a Board makes written findings, which may be classified, as necessary.
c. Dissemination of findings: The board submits its written findings directly to the Secretary through the M/SS director, whose role is only to classify the document as appropriate (the Board members do not have original classification authority), and L, whose role is to offer legal advice about the report, including ensuring that the report meets the legal requirements laid out in 22 U.S.C. 4834. The report will initially be provided solely to the Secretary, who will determine its subsequent distribution. The Board’s written findings are distributed as directed by the Secretary following the Secretary’s receipt of the Board’s written findings.
12 FAM 034.2-5 Classification Authority
Members of the Board do not have original classification authority. The director of M/SS will exercise original classification authority for materials originating from Board activities.
12 FAM 032.1 ARB Permanent Coordinating Committee (ARB/PCC)
a. Purpose: The ARB/PCC will, as quickly as possible after an incident occurs, review the available facts and recommend to the Secretary to convene or not convene a Board. (Due to the 1999 revision of the law requiring the Secretary to convene a Board not later than 60 days after the occurrence of an incident, except that such period may be extended for one additional 60-day period, the ARB/PCC will meet within 30 days of the incident if enough information is available.) In addition, the ARB/PCC will meet yearly to review the ARB process, existing policies and procedures, and all past ARB recommendations, and ensure that any necessary changes are effected.
b. Membership: The ARB/PCC will be composed of the following members:
(1) The director of the Office of Management Strategy and Solutions (M/SS), who will chair the ARB/PCC; or designee
(2) The Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security or designee;
(3) The Assistant Secretary for Intelligence and Research or designee;
(4) The coordinator for Counterterrorism or designee;
(5) The assistant secretary or designee of the relevant regional bureau(s)
(6) One representative designated by and representing the DNI; and
(7) The Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs or designee.
NOTE: Designees must have the authority to vote at ARB/PCC meetings on behalf of their principal; they may not defer decisions until they have briefed the principal.
c. Other participants: As a result of the State-Justice Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) dated September 20, 2001, the Department of Justice has attended PCC meetings. The Department’s Deputy Legal Adviser, director of the Bureau of Medical Services, and Executive Secretary of the Executive Secretariat, or his/her designees, will attend PCC meetings. Also, as determined by the chairperson, representatives of other offices and agencies may be invited to work with the ARB/PCC. Participants listed in this section do not vote.
Scoop: A top aide to Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Risch (R-Idaho) said on a GOP staff call that the panel will no longer push for Pompeo to testify at an annual budget hearing—saying Risch wants to preserve “political capital,” per 2 ppl on the call.https://t.co/OOdtqtxFnu
— Andrew Desiderio (@AndrewDesiderio) June 7, 2020
— Laura Rozen (@lrozen) June 8, 2020
“The committee’s refusal to press for Pompeo’s testimony fits a recent pattern when it comes to Risch’s posture toward an administration that has snubbed congressional oversight at every turn.” https://t.co/8nHSWLbrZG
— Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) June 8, 2020
Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Jim Risch for a second straight day refused to comment when asked about the rationale he was given for the State IG firing. He said he won’t comment on the issue beyond a statement from Monday which said Trump has the right to dismiss watchdogs
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) May 20, 2020
“I think the whole world knows that this began and originated there in Wuhan. Where exactly it came from, it matters. We want to know the answers to that. There’s evidence that it came from somewhere in the vicinity of the lab, but that could be wrong.”
And Mr. Secretary, have you seen anything that gives you high confidence that it originated in that Wuhan lab?
SECRETARY POMPEO: “Martha, there is enormous evidence that that’s where this began. We’ve said from the beginning that this was a virus that originated in Wuhan, China. We took a lot of grief for that from the outside, but I think the whole world can see now. Remember, China has a history of infecting the world and they have a history of running substandard laboratories. These are not the first times that we’ve had a world exposed to viruses as a result of failures in a Chinese lab. And so while the Intelligence Community continues to do its work, they should continue to do that and verify so that we are certain, I can tell you that there is a significant amount of evidence that this came from that laboratory in Wuhan.”
The more Pompeo publicly blames a Chinese lab for the coronavirus pandemic, one State Department official said, “the higher the chances of an Iraq intel repeat happening… which will just undermine us in the end” https://t.co/2l8i0A53XB
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) May 10, 2020
NEW: U.S. death toll for COVID-19 has risen above 80,000, according to an NBC News tally. https://t.co/zObXvjQC2u
— NBC News (@NBCNews) May 10, 2020
As the U.S. took the lead for illness and death from coronavirus, the White House moved the focus to the Chinese government. Last Sunday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attempted to resurrect a debunked theory that the virus was man-made in China. https://t.co/MZbfe4LeXi pic.twitter.com/bIjTRfboTg
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) May 10, 2020
This is a huge accusation—that COVID-19 is genetically engineered. Mr. Secretary show us the “enormous evidence.”https://t.co/59HZ8b72ct
— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) May 4, 2020
China Foreign Ministry: If Mike Pompeo has "enormous evidence" the coronavirus emerged from a Wuhan laboratory, now would be an opportune time to share it with the world.@Kubota_Yokohttps://t.co/edn0bFOFRs
— Jonathan Cheng (@JChengWSJ) May 6, 2020
Secretary of State Pompeo asked if he has high confidence that Coronavirus came from a Chinese Lab
“There’s enormous evidence that that's where this began.”
“I can tell you that there is a significant amount of evidence that this came from that laboratory in Wuhan.” pic.twitter.com/q8kSEA85oZ
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) May 3, 2020
Matt Armstrong served as the Executive Director of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy in 2011. From August 2013 through January 2017, Matt served as a Governor on the Broadcasting Board of Governors, since renamed the U.S. Agency for Global Media. He is an MPhil/PhD candidate at King’s College London in the Defence Studies Department (since January 2020), an Associate Fellow at King’s Centre for Strategic Communication at King’s College London, and an Adjunct Lecturer for the Joint Special Operations University.
Voice of America, forbidden from competing with US media though it is apparently doing just that, is subject to oversight and guidance in using its scarce resources to empower the ill-informed and under-informed abroad. Congress is failing to do so. https://t.co/7Sy62NS1MM
— Matt Armstrong (@mountainrunner) April 16, 2020
— Matt Armstrong (@mountainrunner) April 16, 2020
— Amanda Bennett (@abennett) April 10, 2020
“The city of Washington was built on a stagnant swamp some 200 years ago, and very little has changed. It stank then, and it stinks now. Only today, it is the fetid stench of corruption that hangs in the air. And who did I see taking a bribe but the “Honorable” Bob Arnold! Don’t worry, Congressman, I’m sure you can buy all the votes you need with your dirty money! And this will be one nation, under the dollar, with liberty and justice for none.” – Lisa Simpson
See the longer snippet here in Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington.
In that scene Lisa is crying because she lost faith in US democracy after seeing a Congressman take a bribe. So she rips up her planned patriotic speech and writes a new one called "Cesspool on the Potomac."
It was the most blackpilled shit on TV in 1991.https://t.co/VYvBv2jmi2
— Travis View (@travis_view) February 5, 2020
Mike Pompeo seems unaware of the context surrounding The Simpsons scene he tried to use to roast Nancy Pelosi https://t.co/kG4vKWKEBd
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) February 5, 2020
"Simpsons" writer tells Pompeo not to "watch the show or refer to it" after Lisa Simpson swipe at Pelosi https://t.co/ju0NRrkKY7
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) February 5, 2020
— Adam Zyglis (@adamzyglis) February 1, 2020
For those not familiar with Mormon culture, "Do What is Right" is an LDS hymn. Second line is "Let the consequence follow"
Good on Mitt Romney for living his values and defending the Constitutionhttps://t.co/0EeGruCGVm
— Pat Bagley (@Patbagley) February 5, 2020
Per Senate impeachment Rule XXIII, “[u]pon pronouncing judgement, a certified copy of such judgement shall be deposited in the office of the Secretary of State.” Tonight, it was my pleasure to sign President @realDonaldTrump’s full acquittal. pic.twitter.com/6Y44Mp0oJe
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) February 6, 2020
“So what are we left with? Mitt Romney, alone with his principles, and Trump, angry, vengeful, and unconstrained by any constitutional threat.”
— Eli Stokols (@EliStokols) February 6, 2020
We also question actions regarding funds appropriated to State for security assistance to Ukraine. In a series of apportionments in August of 2019, OMB withheld from obligation some foreign military financing (FMF) funds for a period of six days. These actions may have delayed the obligation of $26.5 million in FMF funds. See OMB Response, at 3. An additional $141.5 million in FMF funds may have been withheld while a congressional notification was considered by OMB
Letter from General Counsel, GAO, to Secretary of State and Acting Legal Adviser, State (Nov. 25, 2019). State provided us with limited information.
As a result, we will renew our request for specific information from State and OMB regarding the potential impoundment of FMF funds in order to determine whether the Administration’s actions amount to a withholding subject to the ICA, and if so, whether that withholding was proper. We will continue to pursue this matter.
At the end of the GAO report, you find they not only validated the Abuse of Power impeachment article, they also faced the same obstruction & cover-up: "We consider a reluctance to provide a fulsome response to have constitutional significance."https://t.co/KcPuitdROq pic.twitter.com/SQHhpFbskE
— Jesse Lee (@JesseCharlesLee) January 16, 2020
Press statement regarding GAO Decision B-331564, Office of Management and Budget—Withholding of Ukraine Security Assistance https://t.co/SxlSeGfy5l
— U.S. GAO (@USGAO) January 16, 2020
BREAKING: Chairman @RepEliotEngel demands documents from the Department of State connected to recently revealed records suggesting surveilling and threats to the security of Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch before she was recalled from the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/pR9gKZDlWq
— House Foreign Affairs Committee (@HouseForeign) January 15, 2020
House Dems are set to demand that the State Department account for Yovanovitch's safety during her stalking, in light of explosive Lev Parnas documents, aide tells me.
Pompeo's stonewalling suddenly looks much worse.
That and more in my new piece:https://t.co/kVHtmxSqo8
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) January 15, 2020
Former ambassadors and security experts @nahaltoosi and I spoke to agreed: A threat to a US ambassador coming from a U.S. citizen would probably be 1) more challenging to spot from a CI perspective and 2) harder to investigate from a legal perspective. https://t.co/f9j3uW8HoY
— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) January 15, 2020
— Nahal Toosi (@nahaltoosi) January 15, 2020
Full initial remarks from MIKE LEE:
– “Unsatisfied” with "legal, factual and moral justification for the attack”
– “Probably the worst [military] briefing I’ve seen"
– Lee found it “insulting and demeaning” that briefers told Senate not to debate more action against Iran pic.twitter.com/scNqZTtPZR
— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) January 8, 2020
I got inside details of the disastrous Congressional Iran briefings:
– CIA Director Haspel told lawmakers to “read the report” — meaning an intel report — instead of actually briefing
– Briefers “shushed” lawmakers
– And much more https://t.co/3AEb68QERy
— Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox) January 8, 2020
I just ran into Dick Durbin at a Subway sandwich shop (I’m too tired to cook, ok?) and I asked him why Trump aides thought they could dismiss Congress like this. “Look who they work for,” he replied. https://t.co/VZPwIj7M8v
— Nahal Toosi (@nahaltoosi) January 9, 2020
A day after Iranian ballistic missiles hit Iraqi bases used by U.S. forces, the Trump administration’s first briefings on Iran for legislators went so poorly that even its allies walked out saying that the White House was losing congressional support. https://t.co/iAAahnIF3k
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) January 9, 2020
— Pat Bagley (@Patbagley) January 9, 2020
Congress readies for Iran briefings and vote in the House that would restrict the president's ability to go to war with Tehran https://t.co/QtXsvbbT7U
— Roll Call (@rollcall) January 7, 2020