Foreign service officers vented anger today over the State Department's plan to require some to serve in Iraq, chewing out their director in a meeting. One senior officer called the “directed assignments”—which could force diplomats to take postings in Baghdad or outlying provinces—a “potential death sentence”; another cited a survey showing few officers thought Condoleezza Rice was “fighting for them."
Program director Harry Thomas accepted responsibility for the late notification of the new directive, which won’t force anyone into a war zone until next year. But the hostility at the town-hall-style event provoked a strong response from Thomas, who retorted, “Don’t you or anybody else stand there and tell me I don’t care about my colleagues. I am insulted.”