On the Death of Anne Smedinghoff, Three U.S. Soldiers and an Interpreter

By: Friday April 25, 2014 9:08 am

The Chicago Tribune gained access to the 2013 U.S. Army report on the death of State Department Foreign Service Officer Anne Smedinghoff in Afghanistan. She was only 25 years old. She was one of three American civilians, three soldiers and a local interpreter killed in what was once the deadliest day of last year for [...]

American Held Incommunicado in Yemen for 39 Days, Legal Team Still Doesn’t Know Why

By: Wednesday April 9, 2014 6:01 pm

During most of the month of March, the legal team for a United States citizen, who faces murder charges and is awaiting trial in Yemen, disappeared. They had no idea where he was being imprisoned. However, a spokesperson for the Yemeni Embassy in Washington, DC, denies that he was ever “disappeared.” But the US Embassy [...]

USAID’s Response to AP’s Story on ‘Cuban Twitter’: What Isn’t Denied & What’s Striking About It

By: Tuesday April 8, 2014 4:04 pm

It is “important that the good work” of the US Agency for International Development “not be falsely characterized,” the agency wrote in a blog post responding to the Associated Press’ story on “Cuban Twitter.” The response outlined eight “inaccuracies” and eight “facts” to show key flaws in the story. The only problem is the rebuttal [...]

Did State Department Fail American Peace Activist When She Was Detained at Cairo Airport?

By: Monday March 10, 2014 10:58 am

An American peace activist and co-founder of the group CODEPINK was planning to go to Gaza as part of a delegation on women. However, she flew to Cairo. She was detained in the airport, held for hours and then, before Egyptian security officers tried to deport her, she was roughed up and had her arm [...]

The Tao of Political Ambassadors

By: Tuesday February 18, 2014 9:43 am

Political Patronage Isn’t the (Only) Problem with American Diplomacy The United States is the only first world nation that allots ambassador jobs as political patronage. You don’t have to know anything, or have any specific background or training, to be the president’s personal representative abroad and conduct foreign policy on behalf of the World’s Most [...]

Pakistani Drone Victim, Who Has Sought to Hold CIA Accountable, Kidnapped & Disappeared

By: Wednesday February 12, 2014 3:52 pm

A drone victim, journalist and activist who has spoken out against drone strikes in Pakistan was kidnapped by fifteen to twenty men in the early hours of February 5. He is missing and a judge in Pakistan has ordered the Pakistani intelligence services to produce him by February 20. Kareem Khan has been pushing a [...]

State Dept Whistleblower Email Hacked and Laptops Stolen from Lawyer’s Office

By: Wednesday January 29, 2014 8:06 am

The personal Gmail account of a State Department whis­tle­­blower, Richard P. Higbie, a diplomatic security agent, was hacked, and four years worth of messages — some detailing alleged wrongdoing at the agency — were deleted. The emails allegedly included evidence about misconduct by top officials at the Department, communications with other potential whistleblowers, and correspondence with members of Congress who are investigating allegations of misconduct by State Department employees to include use of prostitutes, soliciting child sex and more.

An Invitation to the State Department, and Defining “Dedicated Service to the United States”

By: Monday January 27, 2014 10:17 am

I spent 24 years working for the State Department, including one year in Iraq. Following that I wrote my first book, We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People, and the Department of State began proceedings against me. They sought to bully me, then failed [...]

Book Review: The Pomegranate Peace

By: Friday January 24, 2014 8:27 am

Pomegranate Peace, a new novel by Rashmee Roshan Lall, is a funny, sad and all-too-true piece of fiction about the failure of U.S. reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan, and about the crippling isolation America’s diplomats impose on themselves in that misguided war. The novel is also a cookbook, but we’ll get to that later. Pomegranates for [...]

ACLU, Others, Advise Americans to Be Wary When Dealing with U.S. Embassy in Yemen

By: Friday December 20, 2013 11:51 am

We have covered in detail the ongoing misuse of authority at the U.S. embassy in Sana’a, Yemen, where a pattern of coerced “confessions,” flimsy fraud accusations and outright illegal passport seizures has led to a) promotion by the State Department of the senior consular officer involved and b) a flurry of lawsuits that State consistently [...]

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