Rex Tillerson and President Donald Trump just got called out for the ruining the State Department in an epic resignation letter.
Last month, we reported that Tillerson is neutering the State Department by firing career diplomats or forcing them to resign.
This put a lot of stress on diplomatic efforts around the globe as many high-level positions remain unfilled and complicated work left in the hands of junior level department staffers.
Before that report, award-winning diplomat and rising star within the State Department Elizabeth Shackelford penned her resignation letter and explained that her decision to leave her post resulted from the way Tillerson and Trump have treated diplomacy in this country since taking office in January.
“Over the past 10 months, our government has failed to demonstrate a commitment to promoting and defending human rights and democracy. President Trump’s dismissive attitude toward human rights was no surprise following his campaign, but your May 3 remarks to Department staff shocked many as you called into question the utility of advancing human rights when it proves inconvenient. As a foreign policy professional, I understand better than most that we must balance competing interests, but human rights and democracy are fundamental elements of a safer world for our people.”
Indeed, Tillerson stood before State Department staff on May 3 and put more emphasis on national security than he did on advancing human rights. Basically, if it doesn’t directly benefit America, Tillerson is against it.
And that has caused many longtime diplomats and senior staffers to leave in disgust rather than stick around to watch the State Department get gutted from within.
“The Department’s position within the interagency has also diminished, as we have ceded to the Pentagon our authority to drive U.S. foreign policy, at the behest of the White House but to our detriment as a nation. The trend in this direction will accelerate further with the budget and staffing cuts you are championing. In these challenging global times we should be seeking to conduct more diplomacy with more resources, not less with less.”
Shackelford then explained just how bad things are getting at the department as Tillerson continues his anti-diplomacy campaign.
“Top career leadership in the Department has been gutted, leaving few empowered to make hard foreign policy decisions. With dozens of vacant positions and so many officials in acting capacities it is little wonder we lack direction. The cost of this is visible every day in Mission Somalia, my current post, where State’s diplomatic influence, on the country and within our own interagency, is waning.”
While Shackelford remains confident that the State Department will get through this tumultuous era in its storied history, she warned that the consequences will be felt for “many years to come” and do great harm to our nation and our reputation around the world.
She concluded her letter by slamming the way Trump and Tillerson are treating the State Department and advised Tillerson to follow her “out the door” if he doesn’t have the balls to show true leadership and take a stand for diplomacy.
I have deep respect for the career Foreign and Civil Service staff who, despite the stinging disrespect this Administration has shown our profession, continue the struggle to keep our foreign policy on the positive trajectory necessary to avert global disaster in increasingly dangerous times. With each passing day, however, this task grows more futile, driving the Department’s experienced and talented staff away in ever greater numbers. I would urge you to stem the bleeding by showing leadership and a commitment to our people, our mission, and our mandate as the foreign policy arm of the United States. If you are unable to do so effectively within this Administration, I would humbly recommend you follow me out the door.
Her resignation officially took effect on Friday, but her words prove that Trump and Tillerson are damaging the State Department and America’s effort to reach diplomatic solutions to the world’s most pressing problems, including the showdown with North Korea, which Trump has only escalated.
America needs a strong State Department more than ever before, but as long as Tillerson and Trump are running the show, diplomacy is going to take a back seat to military force, and that will cost our country dearly in money and lives.
Watch Tillerson’s press conference here:
Featured Image Via YouTube screenshot.