State’s Diplomatic Security chief resigns

State Department’s Diplomatic Security (DS) chief resigns:

Richard Griffin, the Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, announced his decision to step down at a weekly staff meeting, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said, adding that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice accepted the resignation, which is effective Nov. 1.

I find dark humor in Griffin’s resignation. This goes to my point that State doesn’t internalize their role in shaping and transforming opinions through their presence and actions. While Defense increasingly understands what their personnel on the ground are "the last three feet" of engagement through direct contact with people and indirectly through media, State pretends it’s on another level.

State is its own worse enemy here. Blackwater, on the other hand, is like most contractors (Custer Battles is a poster exception) and was just doing its job as a) the client instructed, and b) the client permitted. In all of the emotional rhetoric that’s increasingly distanced from reality on contractors, Jeremy Scahill being the prime example, lost is the hiring party’s culpability.

In the end, this is another example that the State Department, under the leadership of Rice and Hughes, fails to accept what it does, from moving around Baghdad to hiring private vendors, shape opinions. They’ve done such a bad job of managing their security provider that not only are they completely dependent on Blackwater, operations in Iraq and elsewhere are likely to come to halt again as contractors pull out, spurred by Iraq repelling CPA Order 17 in the wake of September 16.

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