Time to drain Foggy Bottom

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Not a day goes by without a report that employees of our State Department (motto: "To protect and to serve... Saudi interests") is in some way undermining the policies of their nominal boss, President Bush.

Donna M. Hughes, Women's Studies Professor at the University of Rhode Island, reports on NRO that the State Department seems to be touting legalized prostitution to foreign countries as a solution to the problem of global sex trafficking:

Last week, the State Department took a Southeast Asian delegation for a tour of a brothel in Nevada. As a part of the International Visitor's Program, nine people from the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia visited the Moonlite Bunny Ranch and heard lectures on legal prostitution....

Taking foreign visitors to brothels in Nevada seems to be an ongoing practice of the State Department. In August 1999, I gave a presentation on trafficking of women and children for prostitution to a group of U.S. Information Agency visitors from East Asia. They told me they too had visited a brothel in Nevada as part of their tour....

The purpose of these particular State Department visitors' tours is to teach the participants about human trafficking and how the U.S. is combating the problem. One might conclude from the program of a visiting brothel and a pro-prostitution organization that the State Department is telling international visitors that legalization of prostitution is a solution to trafficking.

Meanwhile, the Washington Times reports on morale over at State Department HQ:

Walk the halls of the State Department's main offices in Washington these days, and you'll encounter an abundance of political cartoons something you could not have found even three years ago. It's not that the diplomats at Foggy Bottom have suddenly developed a sense of humor, but rather a newfound contempt for the leader of the free world. The cartoons overwhelmingly lampoon President Bush as a simpleton who doesn't understand the "complexities" of the foreign policy.

Foreign Service sneering at a president is nothing new, of course, but such open disrespect for a commander-in-chief hasn't existed since Foggy Bottom's diplomats decried Ronald Reagan's description of the Soviet Union as an "evil empire." But at least then-Secretary of State George Schultz was able to keep something of a handle on his lieutenants and foot soldiers. Colin Powell has not.

Consider an example with deep policy ramifications. On March 31, representatives of the North Korean government told State Department officials, for the first time, that they were reprocessing plutonium, a key step in developing nuclear weapons. The Pentagon and the White House did not learn of this stunning announcement until Pyongyang told them during previously scheduled talks with North Korea in China on April 18. The State Department intentionally withheld this vital piece of information, fearing that, if the White House knew, officials there might call off the meeting. The White House was reportedly furious about this deception, but it has done nothing concrete to make sure it doesn't happen again.

And if you want more reason to get mad, read through NRO's archive of reporting by Joel Mowbray, who has relentlessly covered the State Department's policy of expediting visas for Saudi nationals, obstructing efforts to release abducted American children being held in Saudi Arabia, and undermining our relationship with Turkey.

Does the State Department exist to represent U. S. interests abroad, or to influence U. S. policy for the benefit of foreign countries? Is there corruption -- bribery -- behind this behavior? Or is it that people attracted to the Foreign Service are more likely to be enamored of foreign countries and disdainful of America? Does the glamour of jetting around the world and attending peace conferences in fancy hotels lead to a preference for "peace process" over real peace (which usually only results from the measured application of military force)?

Perhaps we ought to fire the whole lot and start from scratch. A government agency charged with representing our interests around the world ought to by manned by people who identify with those interests. Yes, Foreign Service employees should have an appreciation for foreign cultures, but they ought to passionately love our culture, our way of life, and our traditions of liberty and rule of law, and seek to defend them against all threats.

If someone views himself more as a "citizen of the World" then as an American, let him go join the French Foreign Legion. He doesn't belong in the U. S. Foreign Service.

A hat tip to Little Green Footballs for the link to the Washington Times op-ed. LGF is another source for a long litany of State Department outrages.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on May 22, 2003 12:18 PM.

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