On Russia’s Diplomats’ Day, Moscow Kicks Out US Embassy DCM

 

US Embassy Moscow’s Deputy Chief of Mission Bart Gorman and his family departed Moscow on February 10 after being declared persona non grata by the Russian Federation, this blog has learned.
The US Embassy in Moscow did not respond to our inquiry.
Mr. Gorman was Chargé d’affaires at US Mission  Russia after the departure of Ambassador Jon M. Huntsman Jr. who served in Moscow from October 2, 2017–October 3, 2019. Ambassador John J. Sullivan (1959–) assumed charge of the mission in January 2020 and Mr. Gorman continued as his deputy. Below is Mr. Gorman’s bio via Embassy Moscow:

Bart Gorman is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Mr. Gorman is responsible for managing key aspects of the U.S. – Russia relationship.

From 2017-2019, Mr. Gorman served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary and Assistant Director for Threat Investigations and Analysis (TIA), Bureau of Diplomatic Security, U.S. Department of State. In this capacity, he oversaw all Diplomatic Security programs that analyze, assess, investigate, and disseminate information on threats directed against U.S. diplomatic personnel overseas and domestically.

Previously, Mr. Gorman worked as the Director of Diplomatic Security’s Office of Intelligence and Threat Analysis (DS/ITA), where he led a cadre of analysts and support staff responsible for enhancing the safety and security of U.S. diplomatic facilities, personnel, and other key constituencies by monitoring, analyzing, and providing warnings about threats impacting U.S. interests worldwide.

Mr. Gorman has also served as the Senior Regional Security Officer (RSO) in Moscow, Russia (2014-2016); the Senior Deputy RSO in Baghdad, Iraq (2013-2014); the RSO in Amman, Jordan (2010-2013); the Deputy RSO in Beijing, China; a threat analyst in DS/ITA (2004-2006); the RSO in Almaty, Kazakhstan (2002-2004); the RSO in Yerevan, Armenia (2001-2002); and an Assistant RSO in Moscow, Russia (1999-2001). His first assignment as a special agent was in the New York Field Office (1999).

Mr. Gorman holds a Ph.D. and MA in Slavic Literatures and Languages from the University of Southern California, and a BA from Colgate University. He also holds an MS in Strategic Intelligence from the National Intelligence University.

Mr. Gorman is married to Donna Gorman and they have four children, ages 19, 16, 13, and 11.

 

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Amnesty Report Ruins Ambassador Nides Butterfly Moment

 

 

The Conflicted Civil Servant: Should I Stay or Should I go?

 

Via War on the Rocks:
“Is our primary duty to the elected government of the day, even when it may be breaking the law or willfully deceiving the public? Or is our duty to some broader notion of the “public good”? If the latter, how is that to be defined, and by whom? If we stay silent in the face of wrongdoing, do we become complicit ourselves? But if we speak out, are we breaking our pledge of impartial service to the government of the day and undermining the foundation of trust between politicians and officials? If we resign, do we let down our colleagues and institutions? Do we merely allow others with fewer scruples to fill our shoes? But if we stay on, are we knowingly violating our duty to provide ethical public service to our fellow citizens?”
[…]
To get a better sense of how the U.S. system works in practice, I spoke first to Eric Rubin, a career diplomat since 1985 at the State Department, a former U.S. ambassador to Bulgaria, and currently president of the American Foreign Service Association. He is crystal clear that “you cannot speak publicly against government policy. If you want to do that, you must resign. It’s anti-democratic. It is inappropriate to believe you know better than the people’s elected representatives.”
Rubin also believes that resignations rarely have any impact on policy. “You might be a ‘One Day Wonder’ — generating a bit of a splash in the news for a few days, perhaps be invited to write an op-ed, or speak at a think tank, but that’s it.” He believes that people frequently overestimate the consequences of their resignations. “I have had people tell me they want to influence policy or stop something happening, but my view is that you can’t — you can’t fix foreign policy.” He cites the case of Iraq, where people who resigned in protest over the decision to invade “had no impact on the rush to war.”18
Read the whole thing:

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Snapshot: PP9645 and PP9983 – Affected Nationalities, Nonimmigrant and Immigrant Visas

 

On January 20, 2021, President Biden signed a Presidential Proclamation (P.P. 10141) titled “Ending Discriminatory Bans on Entry to the United States.”  This proclamation ended the travel restrictions under Presidential Proclamations 9645 and 9983 under Trump and directed the State Department to pursue the processing of visa applications for individuals from affected countries consistent with applicable law and visa processing procedures.  Guidance on State’s implementation of P.P. 10141 can be found here. Pursuant to President Biden’s Proclamation, the visa restrictions under Proclamations 9645 and 9983 are no longer applicable.
Below is a CA report on the affected nationalities for both nonimmigrant and immigrant visas from December 8, 2017 t0 January 20, 2021. The full report is available here.

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Blinken Gets ‘Ratioed’ For His “We honor Jamal Khashoggi” and Condemn [WHO?] Tweet

 

Special Envoy to Haiti Daniel Foote Resigns in Protest, @StateDept & Friends Mount Concerted Attack

 

Back in July when the State Department announced the appointment of Ambassador Foote as Special Envoy to Haiti, it said, “Special Envoy Foote brings extensive diplomatic experience to this role – including as Deputy Chief of Mission in Haiti and as the U.S. Ambassador to Zambia. The Department congratulates Special Envoy Foote as he takes on his new role and thanks him for his continued service to his country.”
Today, as his resignation in protest over Haiti policy became public, the State Department as well as the Biden White House are mounting a concerted effort to smack him down.  The spoxes in Foggy Bottom and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue both had something to say; it was not to thank him for his brief service as special envoy.
State Department spox Ned Price in his statement said …”not all ideas are good ideas.” The WH spox Jen Psaki said that Ambassador  Foote’s views were put forward, and they were were valued, they were heard …”. Also that “Special Envoy Foote had ample opportunity to raise concerns about migration … He never once did so.”
The State Department’s number #2 official, Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman took time out from her busy schedule to give an exclusive interview to @McClatchy about this resignation – “You know, one of the ideas that Mr. Foote had was to send the U.S. military back to Haiti,” Sherman said. “It just was a bad idea.” she said. Then she said what the State Dept spox already said in his statement: “Some of those proposals were harmful to our commitment to the promotion of democracy….”. For him to say the proposals were ignored were, I’m sad to say, simply false,” Sherman said. She did say, you know, that she’s sad to say that.
Also Secretary Blinken being Tony and nice just said “I really understand the passion that comes with this.”
So then according to one reporter, an unnamed senior Biden Administration official also claimed that Ambassador Foote has a “toxic personality” & that Foote would often “shout people down and cut people off.” Toxic and shouty, and cut people off, blah, blah, blah!  And this is all coming out now after he resigned in protest? When are they going to tell us he also kicks his dog?
See, here’s the thing. They’re not just saying his ideas were valued and heard but oh, they were also just bad. But hey, did you know he wanted to send troops back to Haiti? Isn’t that also bad? And in case that doesn’t work, some official told a reporter, that the guy who quit has a toxic personality and was shouty, anyway.
This appears to be the first protest resignation under the Biden Administration. And you can see the all hands effort here. It is likely that 1) they recognized that the Foote letter would  resonate with a lot of people, 2) they’re looking at the domestic component and potential political fallout and 3) this serves as a warning for future dissenters on policy. Had Ambassador Foote just resigned quietly to spend more time with his family, State may have given him their “One Team” Award.
The Miami Herald says Ambassador Foote did not respond to requests for comment Thursday. Which makes the parade of named and unnamed characters talking about Foote’s resignation just stark by comparison.
Folks, he quit; he’s done. Why are y’all wasting time on the guy who already left the room?
Meanwhile, your Haiti policy is till a hot mess. Get to work, good grief!
Related posts:

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Now Showing: Brutal Dictator Launches National Plan For Human Rights as USG Withholds a Fraction of $1.3B Military Aid

 

President Biden Appoints Jessica Stern as U.S. Special Envoy to Advance the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons

13 Going on 14 — GFM: https://gofund.me/32671a27

 

On June 25, President Biden announced his appointment of Jessica Stern, Executive Director of OutRight Action International as Special Envoy to Advance the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons:

WASHINGTON – Today, ahead of his remarks at the White House for Pride Month, President Joe Biden announced that he will appoint Jessica Stern to be the U.S. Special Envoy to Advance the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons at the Department of State – a role critical to ensuring that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons around the world. The Special Envoy will play a vital role in leading implementation of the Presidential Memorandum on Advancing the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons Around the World. At a time when the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons are increasingly threatened in all regions of the world, the Special Envoy will bring together like-minded governments, civil society organizations, corporations and international organizations to uphold  dignity and equality for all.

Jessica Stern, United States Special Envoy to Advance the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons, Department of State

Jessica Stern, Executive Director of OutRight Action International, is based in New York. Jessica specializes in gender, sexuality and human rights globally. At OutRight, she has supported the legal registration of LGBTIQ organizations globally, helped secure the mandate of the United Nations Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, expanded the UN General Assembly resolution to include gender identity, and co-founded the UN LGBTI Core Group. She has provided expert opinions to governments globally, regional human rights institutions, and UN mechanisms, including UN Women where she serves as a member of multiple leadership bodies. Her writing has been cited by the Indian Supreme Court in its seminal judgment decriminalizing same-sex relations and been featured in The Oxford Handbook of Women, Peace and Security (2019). She is frequently quoted by the media, including by The New York Times, Al Jazeera, The Washington Post, BBC News, and The Guardian. She is an adjunct associate professor at Columbia University’s School of International & Public Affairs.

 

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Pride Month At Posts Where Consensual Same-Sex Acts Could End In Death Penalty

13 Going on 14 — GFM: https://gofund.me/32671a27

 

According to the State-Sponsored Homophobia 2020: Global Legislation Overview Update (PDF):

“As of November 2020,
there is full legal certainty that the death penalty is the legally prescribed punishment for consensual samesex sexual acts in six (6) UN Member States, namely Brunei, Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria (12 Northern states only), Saudi Arabia and Yemen. There are also five (5) additional UN Member States where certain sources indicate that the death penalty may be imposed for consensual same-sex conduct, but where there is less legal certainty on the matter. These countries are Afghanistan, Pakistan, Qatar, Somalia (including Somaliland) and the United Arab Emirates.

….“full legal certainty” is understood as the absence of disputes about whether the death penalty can be legally imposed for consensual same-sex conduct. This legal certainty may be derived from the existence of written, codified laws unequivocally prescribing the death penalty for same-sex conduct, as it is the case in Brunei, Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria, and Yemen. This list also includes Saudi Arabia, where fundamental laws mandate courts to apply Sharia law “as derived from the Qur’an and the Sunna”. In this particular case, even if the death penalty is not codified in black letter law (in a formal piece of legislation), a broad consensus—supported by judicial practice and ancillary sourceshas made it legally certain that Saudi Arabia’s legal system considers the death penalty a possible and appropriate punishment for same-sex conduct.

Conversely, the lack of clear provisions mandating thedeath penalty for consensual same-sex sexual acts, the existence of disputes between scholars and experts with regard to the interpretation of ambiguous provisions, and the need for judicial interpretation of certain “generic” crimes to encompass consensual same-sex sexual acts has led ILGA World to classify the remaining five UN Member States as jurisdictions where there is no full legal certainty. Additionally, the lack of evidence of enforcement couldto a certainextentbe considered as an argument potentially supporting the idea that the death penalty is not considered to be the appropriate legal punishment for these acts by local authorities. However, this argument can be easily rebutted by a mere reluctance to enforce such harsh penalty, even when the possibility exists.

Nonetheless, there is still avenue for advocacy even regarding countries where it is not legally certain that the death penalty is imposed. For example, it may be worthwhile to clarify the ambit of zina (adultery) laws, as the threat of the death penaltyeven if only a theoretical possibilitycan still be an affront to human dignity and equality”


We’ve poured over the Twitter feed of FS posts at the 10 countries cited  in the report. Of the 10 posts, only US Embassy Afghanistan tweeted directly about June as (LGBTI) Pride Month. US Embassy Yemen tweeted a canned Share America piece about the LGBTQI officials serving in the Biden Administration. The US Mission to Saudi Arabia tweeted that “Saudi women are leading in the tech revolution…..” And US Embassy Pakistan remembered to tweet about “Pollinator Week.”

Brunei

Mauritania

Nigeria

Saudi Arabia

Yemen

__

Afghanistan

Pakistan

Qatar

Somalia

United Arab Emirates

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@StateDept on Pride Month: Recognition, Advance LGBTQI+ Rights, Fly the #Pride Flag

13 Going on 14 — GFM: https://gofund.me/32671a27