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Congress and Cabinet Watch III: Secretary of State Tillerson is Emptying State Department

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Tycoon Rex Tillerson could be the poster-child for oil barons. He held the post of Exxon Mobile’s Chairman and CEO since 2006 until earlier this year, when President Trump nominated him to a high-ranking cabinet member position in the Administration—Secretary of State.

Rex Tillerson was not in the public spotlight prior, except presumably among oil executive circles. He likely knows his way around boardrooms but has no previous experience in governmental roles. But the newly appointed Secretary of State does have some experience in world matters, as he clearly knows how to make business deals with foreign governments around the world.

Tillerson has become controversial as U.S. Secretary of State. Under the direction of President Trump, he is emptying out (some would say destroying) the State Department. He began to fire people immediately, some with no notice, and many that had decades of State Department diplomatic experience and knowledge.

Tillerson is not rehiring for most of those positions, and he has not backed off the vaguely defined agenda of “remaking” the State Department. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson claims he is simply “un-bloating unproductive bureaucracy.”

From a lay perspective, Tillerson appears to be trying to run the State Department like a business. It might make sense, except for the logical reasons a business owner would lay off all the employees of a newly acquired, fully functioning and profitable company—to dissolve the company or go out of business while saving as much profit as possible by firing people and canceling contracts.

It is general knowledge that the purpose of the State Department is all about foreign relations and diplomacy. Republicans even held hearings for years when 3 diplomats were killed in the Benghazi attack, purportedly because of the lack of personnel—i.e. the staffing of the State Department. Are Republican leaders concerned now?

According to the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), American diplomacy is “the backbone of US global influence”. AFSA is charging that the State Department is near collapse under Tillerson. Some define it as “kneecapping foreign policy.”

How will Tillerson accomplish the duties of his office without a functioning State Department? How will he enhance US interests and do all that negotiating through diplomacy without diplomats and experienced people in the State Department?

Experts say the historically low number of people at the State Department is not sustainable or defensible. Tillerson and others say it doesn’t even matter.

The United States needs a Secretary of State and a State Department, and people clearly prefer diplomatic relationships in the world. Will Rex Tillerson serve the public interests first according to his job description and put his personal interests aside?

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4 Comments

4 Responses to “Congress and Cabinet Watch III: Secretary of State Tillerson is Emptying State Department”

  1. Ray Wagner on December 11th, 2017 6:29 am

    In other words, he’s “draining the swamp” just as Trump promised. Get rid of those do-nothing career drones and make America great again.

  2. Paul Ballotta on December 13th, 2017 8:06 am

    @Ray Wagner, You mean, make the off-shore bank accounts of Trump and his cabinet great again after compromising the nation’s national security by colluding with a foreign power to promote a bigoted and sexist agenda that is being sponsered by the Central Bank of Vladimir Putin with the intent to divide the U. S. Get a brain, dude.

  3. PNW Conservative on December 11th, 2017 7:05 am

    I like the way Trump gets things done in spite of the ongoing roadblocks. Having a strong, euipped, and prepared military is a necessity more than ever.

    However, perhaps it is even more important to have a strong experienced diplomatic core at the State Department. The guidance and influence of the United States around the world needs to be a much more a part of the agenda of this administration.

    Tillerson needs to go before more damage is done
    to the State Department.

  4. Paul Ballotta on December 11th, 2017 7:41 am

    Like the other filthy rich members of President Trump’s cabinet, Secretary Tillerson is betraying U. S. interests by dismantling the structure of the State Department with the firing of its seasoned diplomats before he returns to the private sector where he’ll be rewarded for his efforts in the oil industry that owes no loyalty to the U. S., just like the business interests that await Trump’s cabinet with their off-shore bank accounts they use to avoid paying Federal taxes. The only thing Donald Trump wass really good at (axide from talking out of his ass) was bankripting his companies and now he’s deep in debt to the Deutsch Bank that was fined for laundering Russian mob money and that basically makes Trump a Russian puppet.

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