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A disgruntled Foreign Service officer blasted what he called President Trump’s “toxic agenda” in a scathing op-ed announcing his resignation on Thursday.
“Every day, we refuse visas based on administration priorities/ We recite administration talking points on border security, immigration and trade,” the departing officer, Chuck Park, wrote in The Washington Post.
“We plan travel itineraries, book meetings and literally hold doors open for the appointees who push Trump’s toxic agenda around the world.”
Park said he was ashamed it took him as long as it did to resign. He also said he was tired of people remaining “complacent” while Trump does things like impose a travel ban on majority-Muslim nations. Saturday’s mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, Park said, brought an end to his “complacency.”
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“My son, born in El Paso on the American side of that same Rio Grande where the bodies of Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his daughter were discovered, in the same city where 22 people were just killed by a gunman whose purported “manifesto” echoed the inflammatory language of our president, turned 7 this month,” he wrote. “I can no longer justify to him, or to myself, my complicity in the actions of this administration. That’s why I choose to resign.”
Park, according to a Linkedin profile bearing his name, worked for nearly a decade at the State Department before leaving his post on Thursday. In his most recent position as a diplomat, he “developed and executed U.S. engagement strategies on trade and investment issues in British Columbia.”
Public servants like him should be “named and shamed” for defending the president’s actions, Park said. He argued that officials — like the Justice Department lawyer who defended the administration amid scrutiny surrounding conditions at migrant camps — were improperly using the excuse that they were “career officials serving nonpartisan institutions.”
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“Ask to read the commission of any Foreign Service officer, and you’ll see that we are hired to serve ‘during the pleasure of the president of the United States.’ That means we must serve this very partisan president,” he said.
Park also took on the talk of a so-called “deep state,” arguing that federal bureaucracy under Trump was “The Complacent State.” He went on to express regret that he’d promoted America abroad while Trump engaged in actions he opposed.
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“In Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, I spoke of American openness and friendship at consulate events as my country carried out mass deportations and failed thousands of ‘dreamers.’ I attended celebrations of Black History Month at our embassy in Lisbon as black communities in the United States demanded justice for Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray and the victims of the mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston,” he said.
“And in Vancouver, I touted the strength of the United States’ democracy at the consulate’s 2016 election night party as a man who campaigned on racism, misogyny and wild conspiracy theories became president-elect.”
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