Friday, December 2, 2016

The Last Diplomat, But Almost Certainly Not The Last Time

The Wall Street Journal has an article up tonight - and in front of the pay wall - about the 2014 arrest of Robin Raphel on suspicion of espionage, the FBI's failed struggle to understand her function as a veteran diplomat and senior advisor on Pakistan, and the subsequent dismissal of all charges against her. Read it here, The Last Diplomat.

Her problems with the FBI began with this:
"Two FBI agents approached her, their faces stony. “Do you know any foreigners?” they asked."
Two years and over $100,000 in legal fees later, her legal problems were over, but her experience with law enforcement left an adverse impact on national security that will continue.
“What happened to Raphel could happen to any of us,” said Ryan Crocker, one of the State Department’s most highly decorated career ambassadors. Given the empowerment of law enforcement after 9/11 and the U.S.’s growing reliance on signals intelligence in place of diplomatic reporting, he said, “we will know less and we will be less secure.”

“Look what happened to the one person who was out talking to people,” said Dan Feldman, Raphel’s former boss at State. “Does that not become a cautionary tale?”


James said...

Bad business.

TSB said...

James: a good article, though. I was surprised by how sympathetic it was. I was struck by the detail about Raphel being married on the U.S. Embassy grounds in Tehran in 1975. She really has spent a lifetime in the Near East and South Asia, and the USG needs that kind of expertise.

James said...

Oh yeah, a very good article. The "bad business" is the treatment she received. A lot FSO's forget they work for us, but what happened to her was not only wrong, but very wrong and should be corrected as well as possible.

Anonymous said...

TSB: I would like to see Jeh Johnson facing some "Trumped up" charges, taking "Da Fif", and looking at 20 yrs in the clink! Or is that Racis?

Anonymous said...

TSB: Way to go surfer girl!! gwb