Thursday, July 24, 2008

Bush Bans Foreign Service Officers From Attending Obama Rally

Obama had a great speech in Berlin today, too bad Americans in Germany couldn't be there.

Katherine Zaleski reports on the Huffington Post that:

Although it appears most of Berlin is heading to Obama's speech today, US Foreign Service personnel will be banned from the event.

This report comes through the Washington Post, which reports that the Bush administration has prohibited state department employees in Germany from attending Obama's speech. The State department claims that this is standard protocol, however the American Foreign Service Association is pretty steamed about this ruling Karen DeYoung reports:
the union of the diplomatic corps, objected to the ruling, calling it an "unnecessarily narrow interpretation" of the Foreign Affairs Manual. "The fact that you are working for the U.S. government overseas should not preclude political activity that you could engage in in the United States," one retired senior Foreign Service officer said.

This seems to be like a blatant partisan move by the Bush administration. There is a big difference between political activity that ought to be forbidden because it interferes with foreign officer's jobs(fundraisers, direct political activity) and attending (not endorsing, attending) a major speech by a candidate for President of the United States of America (your prospective employer).

Would Foreign Service Officers be banned from attending a McCain speech?

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