Tuesday, March 14, 2017

FOGGY BOTTOM


March 10, 2017
Dear Judge Brennan,
By way of brief introduction my name is Patrick Sell and I am a Foreign Affairs Officer in the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC. My office, the Office of the U.S. Speaker Program, coordinates virtual and traveling speaking engagements, connecting American experts with foreign audiences to advance American foreign policy priorities. We receive regular requests for speakers to discuss the current state of American politics. American Embassies abroad look to our office to connect them with American experts in this field.

I am writing to see if you would ever be interested in working with us on any future U.S. Speaker Programs? If so, then I would be happy to have a brief phone call with you to tell you more about the U.S. Speaker Program. Please e-mail me at SellPJ@state.gov if you are interested.

Thank you, in advance, for your consideration of this request.

Kind regards,
Patrick Sell

March 10, 2017
Patrick:
I would be happy to discuss the Speaker Program with you.
My phones: Land Line: 231-526-0065  Cell: 352-346-5891
I should be available most any time.

March 10, 2017
‎Dear Judge Brennan,

Thank you very much for your response and for your willingness to participate on our public diplomacy initiatives. I am currently out of the office, but one of my colleagues will be in touch with you early next week to discuss the U.S. Speaker Program.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Kind regards, Patrick

On Monday, March 13, 2017, I received a telephone call from Brandon Lambert, a colleague of Patrick Sell. He described the Speakers Program as one in which the State Department underwrites one or two week’s overseas travel for selected private citizens, the purpose being to talk to people about our country. The federal government, he assured me, pays for travel and lodging and provides an additional modest allowance of $200 per day.

Mr. Lambert told me they would want my curriculum vitae. I told him they could look on Wikipedia. He said that their office knew nothing about me except that I had been a supporter of Donald Trump for President.


March 13
Patrick:

I spoke with your colleague. He said that your office knew nothing about me except that I was apparently a supporter of Donald Trump. On reflection, I am of a mind to decline participation in your program. It has the smell of the swamp #45 wants to drain.

TEB

March 14, 2017
Dear Judge Brennan,

My apologies for my late response. I am on personal leave and am only checking emails periodically.

I also apologize for this unfortunate exchange. Evidently I didn't properly brief my colleague before I left. My job is to recruit a wide variety of experts on various topics. It's true that I came across your name on a list of experts who endorsed President Trump in the recent election. But it's your judicial experience, and your higher education experience, that makes you a great candidate for our programs (if you so choose). We run multiple Speaker Programs on judicial capacity building, for example, and I believe your time on the Michigan Supreme Court would be valuable to the foreign judges. We also discuss ways to promote American higher education- another area of expertise for you.

I am back in the office on Friday and would love to have a telephone conversation to discuss our offerings. But should you feel that this is not a good use of your time then I completely understand.

Kind regards,

Patrick

March 14, 2017
Patrick:

You didn’t mention the reason you are on ‘personal leave.’ As a taxpayer, I would hope that you are busy looking for employment in the private sector.

Your candid admission that you found me on a list of “experts” who supported the candidacy of Donald Trump takes some explaining.

Why are State Department employees looking for Trump supporters who might be interested in all-expense-paid overseas travel coupled with pocket money of $200 per day?

The light goes on. This program certainly wasn’t invented after January 20, 2017. No sir. It is better than even money that this program has been going on for a long time.

Next question: for how many past years have employees of the State Department been culling over lists of Presidential campaign supporters to find candidates for overseas travel?

Foggy Bottom is well named. It sure sounds like a swamp.

TEB



3 comments:

  1. Good for you for not "taking the bait." As a tax payer myself, I thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Congratulations Tom. There are similar paid loyalty junkets in Canada as well. Unfortunately I have friends who could not resist the first class travel, hotel rooms and spending cash. He was sent by the Liberals to photograph Scotland and she to write about it.

    ReplyDelete