Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been trying to sabotage the Department of State since his confirmation. Either that, or he’s so incompetent at the job that he may as well be.
Tillerson aimed to “restructure” the department, which seems to mean driving out all of the senior diplomats responsible for maintaining peace and security around the globe. Well, not all. He’s been disproportionately firing minorities and women. Apparently, that “restructuring” effort is not going well, because the chief Trump official in charge of it, Maliz Beams, just quit her job.
Here’s more from Bloomberg, who broke the story:
‘Maliz Beams was named counselor to the department on Aug. 17, according to her biography on the State Department’s website. She has decided to return to her home in Boston, and Christine Ciccone, Tillerson’s deputy chief of staff, will step in to lead the redesign effort, according to the official, who asked not to be identified discussing internal matters.
‘The departure is a blow for Tillerson, who had brought in Beams to oversee the signature initiative of his term so far — a restructuring intended to eliminate inefficiencies and overlap at the department. The plan has run up against resistance within the department and in Congress, where critics say it has contributed to key positions going unfilled and plummeting morale.’
This is especially notable because most of the senior positions at the State Department have been left unfilled by Tillerson – only about 1/4 of appointments have been filled. As Bloomberg goes on to report:
‘Beams was one of Tillerson’s most high-profile hires, and one of the few people appointed to a top post amid a wave of departures by senior officials.’
A spokesperson at the department recently confirmed the low morale among our remaining diplomatic corps amid the senseless changes put in place by Tillerson. Via CNN:
‘State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert acknowledged Friday that that there is a morale problem in the agency and offered this advice to workers: “Don’t give up.”
‘Asked about a spate of critical letters to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson by members of Congress, as well as recent reports about high-level resignations, Nauert conceded that some staff are feeling frustrated.
‘”I know that times may seem tough right now,” she conceded to reporters at the agency’s regular news briefing. “I know that the headlines coming out of the State Department do not look good, do not look promising. We have a lot of work to do here at the State Department.”
‘Nauert did not fully answer a question about whether Tillerson is conscious of the morale issues or plans to do more personally to address them. However, she emphasized that the secretary expresses his appreciation to staff when he travels to embassies abroad.’
Not only is Tillerson unaware of morale issues, he actually rejects them, saying that’s “all going to be taken care of” by the same thing that’s causing the problem in the first place. From the LA Times:
‘”The redesign is going to address all of that,” Tillerson said during a brief appearance with Qatari Foreign Minister Sheik Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al Thani.
‘“And this department is performing extraordinarily well, and I take exception to anyone who characterizes otherwise,” Tillerson said. “It’s just not true.”’
According to many sources within the department, that’s not the case. The State Department is being hollowed out and crippled, and is less able to serve our nation. It’s not working at all. As others have said, his firing of most of the top diplomats is roughly akin to firing all of the three- and four-star generals in the military. How can you do that and expect to get anything useful done?
Just a few days ago, a dozen U.S. diplomatic officials accused Tillerson of breaking a law designed to protect children from being forced to serve as soldiers.
If Tillerson thinks “this department is performing extraordinarily well,” it’s clear that his intent is to sabotage our nation. There’s no other explanation, because the only people who have benefited from his actions so far are our adversaries. Undermining our foreign service professionals undermines our foreign policy. War ships are well and good, but diplomats keep the peace.
Here’s a diversity speech by Tillerson, who apparently has no concept of irony or hypocrisy:
Featured image via Mark Wilson/Getty Images