Morning Musings

We’re fast approaching the Iraq silly season in this town. It happens just about every summer, except this year it is a lot hotter than usual in the region so the chattering class is busier than usual. The person they should be listening to, former UN Ambassador John Bolton, has said all about Iraq that …

Morning Musings

Edward Snowden holds court, as if he had something to say. This time to Vanity Fair. If things were so bad at the NSA, then why has there not been armies of whistleblowers stepping forward, denouncing the great beast? This fellow used the revolving door. He wanted the Uncle Same on his resume, then he …

Cuban Regime Officials Descend on Foggy Bottom. Now, Tell Us Why.

Last week one of Cuba’s more senior foreign ministry officials, Josefina Vidal Ferreiro, paid a visit to Foggy Bottom. Depending on who you ask in this town, most people think the State Department visit focused on the Alan Gross case or the continued campaign against Americans who visit the island. Unless you follow the ins and outs …

Wait, What Did You Just Say?

In the latest edition of a U.S. State Department publication, State Magazine, senior officials warn employees to “choose your words thoughtfully” because you may offend someone using common colloquial phrases such as rule of thumb. According to Chief Diversity Officer John Robinson, rule of thumb could be offensive to left-wing feminists because the term originates from a …

Around Town …

Over at the Export Law Blog a nice jab at the State Department’s definition of what should constitute a “defense service” under U.S. law. A gut feeling though, this rule is not going to die an easy death. I think the media, and the Obama Administration, spent too much time yesterday on the birther issue. Fox’s …

An (Unfunded) Export Control Referee

While on a trip in Asia, President Obama issued an Executive Order creating a Federal Export Enforcement Coordination Center (FEECC) that “subject to the availability of appropriations” will serve as an export control enforcement referee among numerous federal agencies. The Obama Administration had a unique opportunity to streamline licensing and enforcement of export control processes.  Yet, …

American Paid to Take U.S. Foreign Service Exam … by Chinese Agents

Want to take the U.S. Foreign Service Exam but have not money?  Well, did you know you could apply for a Chinese Government loan to prepare for it?  Indeed.  No interest payments or need to payback the loan, at least not with cash.  All you need to do is sell classified information to Beijing and the …