THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
budgetary reasons; gender and minor-
ity preferences that, even if not explicitly
decreed, are widely known; shifting
personnel definitions and criteria; subtle
and not-so-subtle political influence; and
These are real factors. Mr. Lambrakis,
and I, are justified in questioning “up or
D. Thomas Longo Jr.
We’ll Take Those Glasses,
I had long nourished the thought that
my experience with access to State facili-
ties as a retiree was isolated, unique and
dated. But obviously (based on recent
pieces in the
), little has changed since
my experience more than eight years ago.
On arrival at one embassy in Africa,
my eyeglasses (which I have worn nearly
my whole life) were taken fromme by a
Marine security guard. I had a most dif-
ficult time doing any constructive work
When I left the embassy, my eye-
glasses could not readily be located. For-
tunately, I had another pair at the hotel.
About two months after returning
home, the confiscated eyeglasses were
returned to me—sent in the diplomatic
pouch and irreparably broken.
Thus, my visit to the embassy turned
out to be a costly one. I have since made a
point of never again going to an embassy
to conduct business as a retiree, but
instead meet embassy personnel at hotels.
The monetary outlays, not to mention the
visual problems, were just too much to
Roy A. Harrell Jr.
Is the U.S. Department of State com-
mitted to addressing in a timely manner
its policy and operational shortcomings
on diplomatic security as documented by
the Government Accountability Office?
More than six months have passed
from the GAO report’s issuance, and all 13
recommendations remain open awaiting