The State Department is sometimes referred to as “foggy bottom” because their offices were built in what used to be a swampy and foggy area of Washington DC. It’s poetic justice that the draining of the swamp should being there, in one of the most corruption-plagued and compromised agencies of the federal government.
The leaks, corruption, and obstructionism that have been a key component of State Department operations for decades and which were certainly an ingrained portion of their operation under both Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, along with countless other violations of laws, regulations and procedures, just came to a screeching halt. Openness, compliance with the law and subservience to the White House and the Constitution are now going to be the order of the day.
Apparently the level of defiant conduct was such that there was little choice, particularly in view of the 1,000 signatures that were attached to a letter of opposition to the executive order banning travel from terrorist nations into the US. It only makes sense that these same people who have been obstructing access to the documents providing information on the Clinton cover up in concert with John Kerry and his partisans, would be ousted. Additionally, putting your name on a letter as being opposed to a key component of President Trump’s platform and thinking there is safety in numbers proves how flawed their judgment is. If for no other reason that would make them unqualified to remain.
It can be a dangerous time for any marginal or worse employee when the boss is away. It’s sometimes being a convenient opportunity to dismiss people through subordinates without having to deal with the drama and resistance. While Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was on his first official overseas trip his staff laid off much of the seventh floor, a group of self-aggrandized bureaucrats and criminal political operatives who are sometimes referred to as the shadow government. Now maybe they’ll see the light, having been forced out of the shadows.
The top executives of the State Department, who have played a key role in hiding evidence and thwarting efforts by Republicans to get access to information, who participated in illegal activities which included the destruction of evidence and obstruction of justice are gone. The two key offices involved were the Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources and the Counselor office, which housed the lawyers who frustrated and obfuscated efforts to find out what has been going on inside the agency.
Naturally arguments of reduced levels of service, national security being jeopardized and the like are being heard from those impacted and others, but the real threat of leaks originating in the State Department as well as the adversarial posture towards the White House by many of the Obama holdovers made this the only logical move to make. Any situation that exists now is minuscule in the broader context of the information selling and who knows what all that was taking place over the last eight years. Some operations will now be directed from the White House in the short-term as vacancies are filled and the remaining staff evaluated.
Those who thought they were so indispensable, many of whom were surely signatories to the end of January travel ban letter, just learned that anyone can be replaced, the hard way. The arguments that this was a political purge that is dangerous for eliminating the expertise of some bureaucrats are falling on deaf ears. That travel ban letter, for many, may turn out to have been their unwitting letter of resignation.
State Department spokesman R.C. Hammond, a new hire who previously worked for Newt Gingrich, did not respond when asked about the motivation for the layoffs. He provided a statement, saying, “As part of the transition from one administration to the next we continue to build out our team. The State Department is supported by a very talented group of individuals, both Republicans and Democrats. We are appreciative to any American who dedicates their talents to public service.” That empty non-statement means “no comment,” which is also an indicator that more is likely to come and that the State Department was identified as one of those areas most in need of cleansing, the first location where the draining of the swamp should and had to begin.
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