With Foggy Bottom Under Attack, Pompeo Jets Off to Kansas For Ahem… Workforce Development

 

The calls for Mr. Pompeo to step up and defend the diplomats working for him are getting louder every day. Our dedicated diplomats have been called many nasty names in multiple news cycles now. Mr. Pompeo had lots of opportunities to defend them but so far no apparent reaction could be seen from where we sit. We think folks ought to reconcile themselves to the reality that the 70th Secretary of State likes to talk tough about protecting State Department employees when it’s convenient (“I will not tolerate such tactics, and I will use all means at my disposal to prevent and expose any attempts to intimidate the dedicated professionals whom I am proud to lead and serve alongside at the Department of State) but will not likely expend political capital to defend his people when needed because doing so could put him in the crosshairs of his unpredictable and erratic boss.
Uh-Uh, what’s this?
He recently told a reporter (“amid the ornate seventh floor of the State Department, adorned with oil paintings of his predecessors”): “I look at these pictures on the wall every day, and I think, ‘Oh my gosh. Madison, Monroe, Jefferson. Pompeo. Wow. Which of those doesn’t belong in that group?’”
Oh, what a joker, that’s easy peasy.
His latest ‘Miles With Mike” boasts of getting to Ankara, Turkey “in a hurry for some tough diplomacy.” It’s so tough, the other guy got everything on his wishlist. And of securing “an agreement with Turkey that saved many lives.” Also of continuing “to ensure that the ISIS Caliphate remains defeated”,  of “assisting with humanitarian challenges” and “to do these things as one team, with one mission.” 
Who writes this stuff? What universe are they living in?
The latest MWM reportedly came with happy pictures from the “ceasefire” trip where the United States double ditched its Kurdish Allies in Syria, who Mr. Pompeo, by the way, once called “great partners). Asking about U.S. credibility is not really an “insane” question as he told the reporter in Wichita, Kansas, it’s just a new version of his “It’s like you’re working for the DNC” bark of tricks.
Anyway, things are apparently peachy he could afford to jet off to Kansas, but why are we hearing Foggy Bottom being described as “coo-coo-ville” these days?

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Tillerson Signals No Career Nominees For Regional Bureaus? #FoggyBottomBlues

Posted: 2:55 pm PT
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Via BuzzFeed’s John Hudson:

After an intense battle with the White House over his first choice to become the top US diplomat to Asia, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is considering a new candidate with a deep resumé in business and economics but little diplomatic experience…
[…]
Olin Wethington, a former Treasury Department official and a nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council, is now a contender for the nomination of assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, four individuals familiar with the matter said.
[…]
Tillerson originally wanted the job to go to Susan Thornton, a veteran diplomat who speaks Mandarin Chinese, two US officials told BuzzFeed News. But White House officials opposed her due to concerns that her views were out of step with the president’s agenda — a claim State Department officials deny.
[…]
Ultimately, in shifting to Wethington, Tillerson appears to be acquiescing to the White House, which has shown a preference for appointments with a strong business background over career diplomatic experience.

Read in full the John Hudson scoop below.

For more of the rumored nominee, see this and this.

Secretary Tillerson once took a few minutes to “communicate” his  “high regard for the men and women of the State Department.

He promised that as secretary of state he would “deploy the talent and resources of the State Department in the most efficient ways possible, and that he would “depend on the expertise of this institution.”

“Your wisdom, your work ethic and patriotism, is as important as ever. And as your Secretary, I will be proud to draw upon all these qualities in my decision-making,” he told his employees not too long ago.

When asked once what inspires him when he comes to work at the State Department every day, Secretary Tillerson said that “the men and women of the State Department inspire me, my colleagues – their professionalism, their commitment, their patriotism.”

As recently as last month, during a hearing at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee defending the gutted budget of his agency, he repeated that “My colleagues at the State Department and USAID are a deep source of inspiration, and their patriotism, professionalism, and willingness to make sacrifices for our country are our greatest resource.”

Despite his “high regard” for the men and women of the State Department, and his promise to “depend on the expertise of the institution” he is now leading, and despite the fact that he declared them a “deep source of inspiration” to him, he apparently does not have any control over his staffing, or for that matter, how his building is run.

And seriously, if Tillerson “loves” the AA/S for EAP Susan Thornton, a career diplomat with deep expertise in the former Soviet Union and East Asia, but could not hire her because she has not sworn a blood oath to the kool aid special, what hope is there for other career professionals in Foggy Bottom?

So the next time, Secretary Tillerson talks about his high regard for his people at the State Department, or how he is inspired by his people’s patriotism, professionalism and their sacrifices, remember that Foggy Bottom is now the “Real Post of the Month” and will remain to be so in the foreseeable future.  Also don’t forget to check your playbook to see what’s next in dramatic plays over in Foggy Bottom. We understand that the plays, Another Load of Old Crap With the Word Inspiration in the Title;  Margaret, Don’t Eat the Government Cheese; and Gone to Texas are all on repeat on BNET.

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