The Foreign Service Journal, March 2020

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | MARCH 2020 15 As America is currently rethinking its relation to the world, I have a simple message: America is needed. America is needed in the Sahel. America is needed in the Near East. And alliances are to be treasured: not as burdensome relics, or as commercial endeavors; but as a web of bonds, of values, of influence, whose collective value far exceeds that of each part. —French Defense Minister Florence Parly, in a speech at the Harvard Kennedy School, Jan. 28. Contemporary Quote he had defended Amb. Yovanovitch, Secretary Pompeo responded: “I’ve said all I’m going to say today.” Ms. Kelly later reported that shortly after the interview, “the same staffer who had stopped the interview reap- peared, asked me to come with her— just me, no recorder, though she did not say we were off the record, nor would I have agreed. “I was taken to the Secretary’s private living room where he was waiting and where he shouted at me for about the same amount of time as the interview itself. He was not happy to have been questioned about Ukraine. He asked, ‘Do you think Americans care about Ukraine?’ He used the F-word in that sentence and many others. “He asked if I could find Ukraine on a map. I said yes, and he called out for aides to bring us a map of the world with no writing. I pointed to Ukraine. He put the map away. He said, ‘People will hear about this.’” On Jan. 25, Secretary Pompeo released the following official statement: “NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly lied to me, twice. First, last month, in setting up our interview and, then again yesterday, in agreeing to have our post- interview conversation off the record. It is shameful that this reporter chose to violate the basic rules of journalism and decency. “This is another example of how unhinged the media has become in its quest to hurt President Trump and this Administration. It is no wonder that the American people distrust many in the media when they so consistently demon- strate their agenda and their absence of integrity. “It is worth noting that Bangladesh is NOT Ukraine.” The Washington Post reported on Jan. 26 that it had obtained emails indicating that the Secretary’s staff was aware that Ms. Kelly would ask the Secretary about several topics and raised no objections. On Jan. 27, USA Today and other media outlets reported that the State Department had blocked NPR diplomatic reporter Michele Kelemen from the Sec- retary’s plane for his upcoming travel to Ukraine and several other countries. “We can only conclude that the State Department is retaliating against National Public Radio as a result of this exchange,” said Shaun Tandon, president of the State Department Correspondents’ Association. Kelemen “was in rotation as the radio pool reporter” for the trip, he added. Secretary Pompeo has had run-ins with other reporters. In October, he told Nashville TV reporter Nancy Amons that it “sounds like you’re working, at least in part, for the Democratic National Com- mittee,” after she questioned him about the Trump administration’s decision to withhold aid from Ukraine. He made similar comments to PBS news host Judy Woodruff in October, as well. Experts Featured on Commission on Unalienable Rights Panel T he State Department’s Commission on Unalienable Rights—charged by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to offer him advice about the role human rights should play in foreign policy—has invited a series of constitutional and human rights experts to speak before it over the past few months. On Jan. 10, two human rights experts—sometimes critical of the Trump administration’s human rights record— addressed the commission: Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, and Diane Orentlicher, professor of international law at American Univer- sity’s Washington College of Law. Mr. Roth told the panel that it is dif- ficult for the United States to have moral authority on human rights when the president supports autocrats, or when families are separated at the border, or when the CIA tortures people. “Countries I speak with in my work ask about that,” he said. Roth said he disagreed with Secre- tary Pompeo’s notion that there had been a “proliferation” of rights in recent times. There have been no new human rights agreements in at least the past 13 years, he said. Some social movements are now seeking rights—for example, LGBTQ advocates seeking economic