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On Voting

Matthew V. Tompkins’ Speaking Out

column in the October FSJ (“Safeguard- ing a Nonpartisan Foreign Service”) is

thoughtful, heartfelt and timely. Alas, it is

alsomisguided on several counts.

First, Mr. Tompkins’ military service,

while praiseworthy, leads him to suggest

that the Foreign Service ought tomodel

itself on the armed forces. I respectfully

disagree. As a corps of professionals,

individual FS members should not be

subjected to any pressure, either official or

peer-driven, against exercising their right

(and civic duty) to vote. We are free to be

every bit as politically active as the Hatch

Act and departmental regulations permit.

Mr. Tompkins also argues that those

voting in 2000 had no reason to believe it

made any difference whether they chose

Bush, Gore (or Nader), or voted at all. In

fact, the outcome of that electionmade the

lives, and jobs, of Foreign Service profes-

sionals considerably more challenging.

I would submit that this year’s electoral

result will have an evenmore profound

impact. That being the case, I hope every

FS member has voted!

Steven Alan Honley

FSO, retired

Washington, D.C.


In the September article “Over the

Finish Line: Winning Strategies for a

Successful Visit,” by Ambassador to

Vietnam Ted Osius, we inadvertently

misidentified locations in several pho-

tos. The photos marked as Hanoi were

in fact taken in Ho Chi Minh City, while

the one marked as Ho Chi Minh City

was actually taken in Hue. We regret

the errors and have implemented a

new photo-checking procedure to help

ensure similar errors do not happen in

the future.