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    Obama Circumvents State Department, Supports Plan to Give BBG $10 Million

    The Broadcasting Board of Governors will receive $10 million under the compromise spending deal reached last week. President Obama effectively sided with the BBG over his own State Department in a funding dispute involving Internet circumvention work. Obama and lawmakers agreed to language in the fiscal 2011 spending bill cutting the … More

    State Department Faces Congressional Scrutiny Over Internet Freedom Funding

    The ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee wants to know why Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is sitting on millions of dollars in taxpayer money rather than shifting it to the Broadcasting Board of Governors for anti-censorship work in China and other repressive regimes. Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) wrote to … More

    Friendly Fire Paralyzes U.S. Internet Strategy

    Just weeks after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton complained to Congress that America is losing the information war against Al Qaeda, China and Russia, it appears that Clinton’s own State Department is one of the impediments to success. For more than 18 months, the State Department has hoarded nearly $30 million, … More

    U.S. Funding for the BBC?

    Just what is it with the Obama Administration and state broadcasters? Not content with sticking by NPR after the House of Representatives voted to cut off its funding, it now emerges that the administration has been giving money to the BBC and, according to one report, is considering increasing that … More

    Clinton to Congress: We are Losing the Information War

    News flash: “We are in an information war, and we’re losing that war.” This source for this conclusion was not one of the at least 15 reports on U.S. public diplomacy that have appeared over the last decade; it was Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaking before the Senate Foreign … More

    Foreign Aid Does Not Guarantee Security (Human or Otherwise)

    In the midst of Congress’s roaring debate over budget cuts, Assistant Secretary of State Eric Schwartz weighed in last week to decry any talk of cutting foreign aid in a letter he titled “Human Security Is National Security.” Civilian and humanitarian foreign aid, he argued, supports our national security interests … More

    Mugged in Buenos Aires: Obama’s Argentine Imbroglio

    On February 10, a U.S., military C-17 touched down in Buenos Aires. On board were eight special forces soldiers and a medic en route to provide a hostage rescue training course for the police of Buenos Aires. Little did they know they would be stepping into a diplomatic ambush. In … More

    Ambassadorial High Jinks: Will Obama Cave on Venezuela?

    During the month of December, Venezuela’s authoritarian populist president actively used a lame duck legislature to expand his already unchecked executive power, culminating in a December 17 grant of “broad powers to enact laws by decree for a year and a half.” He did this before a new legislative body … More

    The End of Diplomacy As We Know It

    There is no such thing as secret diplomacy anymore, maybe not even plain old diplomacy. This week’s mammoth WikiLeaks dump of State Department Internet traffic has ensured that henceforth all diplomacy may end up in the public domain at the push of a button. WikiLeaks is nothing less than an … More

    Wikileaks and Latin America: Don’t Make U.S. Diplomats Liars

    Diplomats have often been disparaged as honest men sent abroad to lie for the good of their countries. If the plethora of disloyal, dangerous attacks launched by WikiLeaks continues and if the Obama Administration cannot stanch the bleeding, foreign officials and U.S. diplomats will soon find it just as likely … More