WASHINGTON (Conspiracy Talk News) – The unexpected departure of yet another diplomat ambassador is shaking-up an already unstable Government and raising questions about who will be next to leave.
The news of Mr. John Feeley’s resignation Friday sent shock-waves through the State Department where the Panama ambassador was seen as a rising star and a possible undersecretary, more than a dozen state officials said it made them question their own commitment with an administration that they feel is undermining the work of that positions influence by the United States in the world.
“After what happened recently, people are wondering how they are going to be effective in an environment like this,” said a US official who regularly works with the State Department. “One thing for us is that we enter and hit the table and ask what we want … and another is to denigrate them and make it clear that this is what our leadership thinks of them in the most vulgar terms.”
US officials confirmed that dozens of emails flew by the State Department regarding Feeley’s decision to leave. They were a mixture of disillusionment, concern as well as admiration for the ambassador who served as a mentor to so many of the current diplomats who specialize in the Western Hemisphere.
The US State Department, which rated Feeley as one of the leading specialists in Latin America, confirmed that he will leave his post on March 9th and explained that he chose to “retire for personal reasons.”
The resignation occurs when the Department of State suffers a huge change of personnel. The institution has been loosing diplomats very quickly. Some say at a rate of Sixty percent of senior professional diplomats in the State Department have already left, and new applications to join the foreign service have fallen by at least half, according to recent data from the American Association of Foreign Services.
Colleagues said the sentiment that Mr. Feeley expressed in his resignation letter about not being able to work under President Donald Trump reflects the collapse of morale in a diplomatic arena that has lost confidence in the administration’s focus on diplomacy.
The news particularly affected the State Department Friday, as many officials also learned from press reports that President Trump, at a White House meeting with congressional leaders, called El Salvador and African nations “shit-hole countries” and he questioned why the United States admits immigrants from Haiti.
Mr. Feeley had sent his letter of resignation at the end of December, long before this last presidential controversy.
But those who know him, say that the administration’s words and focus on its foreign partners played a huge role in his decision to leave.
Some of Feeley’s colleagues within the State Department are saying they feel an even greater responsibility to defend the ideals of diplomacy.
“There is a sense of duty in doing something we have been trained for,” said a State Department official.
But others have struggled to stay, not knowing if they are protecting the influence of the United States or contributing to its erosion.
Many diplomats had never contemplated leaving the State Department, always with the intention of making American diplomacy the work of their lives and long-term career.
Feeley is not the first senior official of the State Department to leave his post instead of remaining with the Trump administration.
In November, Elizabeth Shackelford, who worked in Nairobi for the US mission in Somalia, resigned, and wrote a letter criticizing the administration for abandoning human rights policies and for its “lack of respect” to the diplomatic service.
Colleagues said “Feeley is not the kind of leader who leaves without weighing the decision, especially considering the way he was”. He devoted his career to public service first as a “pilot on military helicopters in active service for the Marine Corps”, before joining the State Department back in 1990.
“John was born to do diplomatic service,” said a US official. He served as deputy chief at the US embassy in Mexico City, and was the second highest-ranking official in the office for the entire Western Hemisphere Affairs before becoming ambassador to Panama.
He remained busy with the government of Prsident Donald Trump. He prepared meetings at the Oval Office between President Trump and the president of Panama. Later he even helped organize Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to the Panama Canal.
“He was the most respected expert in Latin America in the Foreign Service and without a doubt he was heading to high-ranking positions,” said Benjamin Gedan, who was director of the National Security Council for Latin America during the Obama administration and worked with Mr. Feeley in the State Department.
Mark Feierstein, principal director of the White House National Security Council under President Barack Obama, said “he is surprised that many more have not left, considering Trump’s behaviour and policies”.
“Trump has given the ambassadors a lot of reasons to quit last year,” Feierstein said.
“Yesterday was just one, there were many more, and there will be more.” he added.