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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Feel safer? 

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"State Department political appointees have sidelined career weapons experts who don't share their animosity to arms control agreements and have placed less experienced political operatives in key slots, according to 10 current and former officials and documents obtained by Knight Ridder. ... The reorganization [of the department's arms control and international security bureaus] was conducted largely in secret by a panel of four political appointees. A career expert was allowed to join the group only after most decisions had been made. Its work was overseen by Frederick Fleitz, a CIA officer who was detailed to the State Department as senior adviser to former Undersecretary of State John Bolton, a critic of arms agreements and international organizations. [...] Thomas Lehrman, a political appointee who heads the new office of Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism, advertised outside the State Department to fill jobs in his office. In an e-mail to universities and research centers, a copy of which was obtained by Knight Ridder, he listed loyalty to Bush and Rice's priorities as a qualification. Lehrman reportedly recalled the e-mail after it was pointed out that such loyalty tests are improper."
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