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THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

|

MARCH 2017

23

SPEAKING OUT

With Deep Regret...

BY TJ LUNARD I

January 19, 2017

The Honorable John F. Kerry

Secretary of State

Department of State

Washington DC 20520

Dear Mr. Secretary:

With deep regret, I must resign frommy position as a Supervisory Special Agent of the Diplomatic

Security Service. I cannot in good conscience serve in the Department of State under the incoming

president, a man I believe to be a threat to our constitutional order.

For the last 17 years—the entirety of my professional life—I have been proud to work for the

American people as a member of the Foreign Service. Without hesitation, I have done so under

presidents of both parties. Whether in Baghdad or Berlin, Washington or now in Kyiv, it has been an

honor to carry the Diplomatic Security badge, a symbol of the special trust and confidence reposed

in me by our fellow citizens to enforce our laws and defend our country’s values and interests. I love

this department, which has been my home, and the extraordinary men and women in it, so many of

whom have become like family.

But I take nothing more seriously than my oath to support and defend the Constitution, to bear

it true faith and allegiance, to well and faithfully discharge the duties of my office. Throughout my

career, these obligations have guided my every action in service of our country. They are what com-

pel me now to resign.

As an American, it is an article of my political faith that our Constitution binds the government

and its leaders—and by extension all of us in public service—to guarantee certain unalien-

able rights: freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, due

process and equal protection of the laws, among others. In his words and his

deeds, Mr. Trump has demonstrated repeatedly that he little understands and

less respects these tenets of our civic creed. He has threatened the independent

media. He has called for the imposition of religious tests and the commission

of war crimes. He has incited hatred and violence. He has mocked and bullied

the most vulnerable among us. He has empowered racists and emboldened

bigots. He has made open league with a despot who seeks to harm our national

interests. He disregards and distorts the truth for no other apparent purpose than

to maintain his followers in a frenzy of confusion and anger. These are not the

acts of a liberal democratic leader. They point the way to authoritarianism, the

slippery path to tyranny.

TJ Lunardi joined the Foreign Service in

1999 and became a Diplomatic Security

special agent in 2002. He has served in

Amman, Baghdad, Berlin, London and

Kyiv, as well as in the Executive Office of

the Secretary of State and the Office of

the Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic

Security. At the time of his resignation,

his future employment plans were not

determined.