Tuesday, October 24, 2017

DS Assistant Secretary Nominee Gets a Hearing













I missed this when it happened, but the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on October 18 for four State Department nominees. One of them was Michael Evanoff, the nominee for Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security. Senator Isakson (R-Georgia) presided.

You can view the hearing on the Committee's website, here.

In Evanoff's prepared remarks, which come at the 12 minute mark in the hearing video, he ended with a pitch for completion of the much-needed but long-delayed-by-shameless-Congressional-infighting-over-whose-district-will-get-it Foreign Affairs Security Training Center.

After several years of delays, the FASTC is at last under construction at Fort Pickett, Virginia. See this for some background.
"I will also put special focus on the continued overhaul and refinement of security training for Department of State employees. This includes intensive specialized training for all DS agents and the on-going expansion of the Foreign Affairs Counter Threat (FACT) course for all employees working overseas under the authority of the Chief of Mission. It also includes the completion of the Department’s Foreign Affairs Security Training Center (FASTC) at Fort Pickett, Virginia. Once fully up and running, this state-of-the-art facility will allow DS to provide more efficient and effective hard skills training – such firearms, explosives, antiterrorism driving techniques, and defensive tactics – for roughly 10,000 students annually."

Upon hearing that, Isakson at once made a weak swipe at FASTC, asking Evanoff to consider the inadequate and inappropriate law enforcement training centers that already exist in Georgia instead of a new purpose-built one in Virginia. Much later on in the hearing, at the 44 minute mark, Senator Kaine (D-VA) made an equally weak motion in support of FASTC at Fort Pickett. The long battle over which state will get FASTC is apparently over now, but some hard feelings remain.

The first question Evanoff received came from Isakson. At the 35 minute mark, Isakson asked this very broad question: does Mister Evanoff know of any effort made since the Benghazi reviews and Accountability Review Board report “to build up and beef up security diplomatically?"

Yes, Senator, he knew of several. I can think of one, too: that dedicated state-of-the-art training center will eventually be completed at Fort Pickett despite years of obstruction by you and some of your fellow Congressmen. 

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

TSB: YEAH!! FINALLY! gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: Told you Trump is a weenie! gwb
Trump Blocks Full Release Of JFK Assassination Records After Last Minute CIA Push

TSB said...

The CIA held things up at the last minute, and Trump released a strongly worded statement calling on them to re-review and justify each redaction over the next 120 days, so expect some more releases. None of this stuff lives up to the conspiracist hype, of course.

Anonymous said...

TSB: This is hilarious! gwb Australian Government In Turmoil After Deputy PM Ruled Ineligible For Parliament, Costing Turnbull Majority: Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce, was ruled as ineligible to remain in parliament by the nation’s High Court due to his dual New Zealand citizenship, in the process sending the country into political chaos as the ruling wipes out PM Turnbull's one seat parliamentary majority. Section 44 of the Australian constitution, written in 1900, excludes dual citizens from being elected. The cowboy hat wearing Joyce briefly attracted the global spotlight in a 2015 feud with Johnny Depp. Depp failed to follow quarantine procedures when he and his wife brought their dogs into Australia. Joyce threatened to kill the dogs and Depp labelled him a “sweaty, big-gutted man from Australia.” http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-27/australian-government-turmoil-after-deputy-pm-ruled-ineligible-parliament-costing-tu (a pic is worth 1000 words)

Anonymous said...

TSB: Our first look at the witches brew of drugs Tiger Woods was on after his back surgery last May: A toxicology report said Woods had five drugs but no alcohol in his system when he was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence. The drugs included generic forms of painkillers Vicodin and Dilaudid; the mood drug Xanax; the sleeping pill Ambien; and a drug that contained THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.
When you add a night at the bar to all that stuff you get someone who will get in an accident and then take off like a bat out of hell and end up plowing into someone's house or a head on collision. Old geezers like me are particularly susceptible but I worry more about the teeny-boppers. gwb