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State Dept. Workers Pressed into “Death Sentence” Service in Iraq

Sounds like the back door draft, civilian style, is making State Dept. workers pretty mad. First Bush and Rummy blocked all of their suggestions of how to run postwar Iraq; now the Administration wants to draft foreign service workers and put them to work outside the Green Zone in some of the deadliest areas of Iraq. These are not happy campers:

“It’s one thing if someone believes in what’s going on over there and volunteers, but it’s another thing to send someone over there on a forced assignment,� Crotty said. “I’m sorry, but basically that’s a potential death sentence and you know it. Who will raise our children if we are dead or seriously wounded?�
“You know that at any other (country) in the world, the embassy would be closed at this point,� Crotty said to loud and sustained applause from the about 300 diplomats who attended the meeting in a large State Department auditorium.

And for those who think that the State Department is somehow a better place to work than say, the DOJ:

Thomas responded by saying the comments were “filled with inaccuracies” but did not elaborate until challenged by the head of the diplomats’ union, the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), who like Crotty and others, demanded to know why many learned of the decision from news reports.
Thomas took full responsibility for the late notification but objected when AFSA President John Naland said that a recent survey found that only 12 percent of the union’s membership believed Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was “fighting for them.”
“That’s their right but they’re wrong,” Thomas said, prompting a testy exchange.
“Sometimes if it’s 88 to 12, maybe the 88 percent are correct,” Naland said.
“88 percent of the country believed in slavery at one time, was that correct?” shot back Thomas, who is black, in a remark that drew boos from the crowd. “Don’t you or anybody else stand there and tell me I don’t care about my colleagues. I am insulted,” he added.

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