Foreign Policy for America Statement in Support of American Diplomats

October 23, 2019

Foreign Policy for America Statement in Support of American Diplomats

Washington, DC – President Trump’s corrupt actions, which have dragged the Oval Office into an impeachment inquiry, are now putting American values and institutions to the ultimate test. We are dismayed to watch the cynical manner in which the Trump White House and its congressional allies are treating America’s finest public servants.

These past five weeks have demonstrated the stark contrast between the corruption and cynicism of the Trump political operation and the integrity and nonpartisan professionalism of career diplomats, and their unwavering dedication to protecting the Constitution.

We have been inspired by the leadership these diplomats have shown, despite President Trump’s and Secretary Pompeo’s efforts to silence them. This includes Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and Ambassador Bill Taylor, who made clear their devotion to the rule of law and democracy both at home and abroad.

“Marie Yovanovitch, Bill Taylor, Mike McKinley, and the others who have testified, have dedicated their adult lives to serving our country. By speaking the truth, they are living out the meaning of their oaths – to support and defend the Constitution of the United States,” said Foreign Policy for America Executive Director Andrew Albertson. “Particularly now, with Trump tweeting every day, we should thank our lucky stars for the thousands of American diplomats around the world, just like Yovanovitch and Taylor, who are working with extraordinary professionalism to showcase our values, strengthen our alliances, and keep all of us safe from harm. They’re not ‘radical bureaucrats’ or whatever Trump is calling them. They’re heroes.”

Quick quotes – Statements of support for American diplomats from former diplomats and State Department officials 

“The extraordinarily able women and men of our nation’s Foreign and Civil Service have been under assault since the onset of this administration for precisely their non-partisan approach to securing our nation’s and the world’s safety and security. The Trump administration’s attack on our democratic values has dramatically damaged our security. Starting with Tillerson’s strip-mining of the State Department’s top senior Foreign Service Officers and continuing through Trump’s and his colleagues’ corrupt attempts to subvert serious foreign policy, they have gravely damaged our professional diplomats’ abilities to produce a safer, more democratic, and prosperous world for all.”

Robert Gelbard, former Ambassador to Indonesia and Bolivia and former Assistant Secretary of State

“I was disgusted by the latest White House attack on my diplomatic colleagues, including Ambassadors Masha Yovanovitch and Bill Taylor. Over the decades I have known them, they embody integrity and service to country. Secretary Pompeo’s slur against the finest diplomat of this generation, former Deputy Secretary Bill Burns, is beneath contempt. This really is a war against the merit-based nonpartisan public service that is a cornerstone of our democracy and crucial to our national security.”

Laura Kennedy, former Ambassador to Turkmenistan and the Conference on Disarmament and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State

“I commend and applaud the courage and devotion to duty that Ambassador Taylor demonstrated in his statement to the House Intelligence Committee yesterday. In these troubled times, we must all support our dedicated public servants who put country and the public good above self-interest.”

Barry White, former Ambassador to Norway  

“Diplomats are the unsung heroes of U.S. national security. Ambassador Taylor, Ambassador Yovanovitch and other Foreign Service officers who have or will testify have upheld the oath they made to defend the Constitution. They deserve our gratitude as a nation.”

Deborah McCarthy, former Ambassador to Lithuania

“America’s professional diplomats like Ambassadors Taylor and Yovanovitch who are courageously standing up for American values deserve the thanks and support of the country. They are true patriots, unlike President Trump and his Republican enablers.”

Derek Shearer, former Ambassador to Finland; Chevalier Professor of Diplomacy, Occidental College

“Rarely do American citizens at home get a glimpse of the integrity, professionalism, and patriotism of U.S. diplomats who are deployed globally to promote U.S. interests.  Masha Yovanovitch and Bill Taylor exemplify the best of the U.S. Foreign Service, in their strong defense of constitutional norms and clear-eyed understanding of U.S. national goals. I have never been so proud of my Foreign Service ‘alumnus’ status as when reading the prepared statements of my former colleagues.”

Jeffrey Feltman, former Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs