Foreign Service officers deserve more respect

Thursday, November 21, 2019

I am the widow of Dave Grimland, who served our country for 29 years as a United States Foreign Service officer.

His tours of duty included Cyprus in 1974, where the U.S. ambassador was assassinated.  During that time, Dave helped defend the embassy when it was attacked by mobs.

I write in defense of Dave and all those dedicated professionals who have served and continue to serve despite the current lack of support by our leaders.

Foreign Service officers serve their country just as our military men and women and should be accorded similar respect. Since WWII, more U.S. ambassadors have been assassinated than U.S. 3-star generals killed in action.

Shame on our elected officials who disparage the professionalism and integrity of career diplomats and Foreign Service officers.

I am appalled and dismayed at recent concerted attacks on dedicated, non-partisan civil servants by elected officials.  This is clearly a case of attacking the messengers of bad news.

The lack of defense of these Foreign Service officers by the State Department leadership is equally disturbing. All Americans should be concerned and alarmed at the attack on an entire institution dedicated to promoting American values and policies abroad.

This compromises our national interests and security. Our disrupter-in-chief has gone too far.

William Taylor, George Kent and Marie Yovanovitch are risking their careers to tell truth to power.

They are responding to a higher responsibility to warn the American public of attacks on our institutions and Constitution by elected officials.

The distinguished personal histories of these Foreign Service officers stand in stark contrast to those of their attackers.

Our national security is being threatened by those sworn to uphold it. No one is above the law, and everyone must be held accountable for their actions.


Kathleen Ralph