Under Secretary of State for Management/Resources [M], 67-year-old Pat Kennedy, Wields More Power than Secretary of States Hillary Clinton and John Kerry!
A recent article in Foreign Policy Magazine [FP] entitled “The Bureaucrat at the Center of Hillary’s Scandals”, written by John Hudson on July 28, 2016, highlights a Washington truism: beware of the silent bureaucrat, he may be quite lethal!
I first met Pat Kennedy when I was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Management by Lawrence Eagleburger [M] in the late 1970’s. As I remembered Pat, he was always polite, accessible, and very intelligent. He was the person to whom I had to go to in order to allow the Sec State, or anyone else to cut my orders for whatever I had to do overseas. More often than not, Pat would never inquire about my overseas activities as long as I had a receipt for my meals, travel, or other incidentals.
However, I remember one particular occasion in the Reagan/Bush Sr. administration when I went into a Central American country. In that small country, I had attempted a regime change which had failed. My efforts turned into an extended agitation propaganda, amounting to much sound and fury, signifying very little. My DIA agents, who silently hovered over me, grabbed me out of Harm’s Way and flew me back to the states, unharmed, but somewhat humiliated.
Pat demanded that I repay the USG approximately one thousand dollars which had been advanced to me.Unfortunately,I did not have the time or opportunity to collect receipts while I was being hunted down.
Quietly forceful, Pat insisted that my assignment was not his concern which was completely true. He knew that I knew that it was my obligation to obtain written receipts, irrespective of the danger inherent in my overseas sojourn.Of course, I complied with his insistent, but extremely polite demands.I had no other choice. Even then Sec. State, George Shultz, would never have intervened on my behalf.
It was then that I realized that Pat Kennedy was the supreme arbiter of what was, or was not allowed, with respect to anything relating to the U.S. State Department and its overseas commitments.
That’s why I knew right away that the only person who knew exactly what ex-Sec. State Hillary Clinton had done on two separate occasions [Benghazi/emails] was Pat Kennedy. The FP article delves into the Machiavellian machinations of Pat as the center of gravity for all State Dept. management/resources/activities.
For a very long time, I have attempted to correct the longstanding misperception that POTUS and a Sec. State have all the real power.In reality, neither position carries much power, other than initiating overseas conflicts or mandating executive orders.
Pat Kennedy, as the presumptive head of M had, has, and will have far more power to initiate, execute, and finally implement any program, any sanction or any covert activities. Perhaps more importantly, he determines personnel assignments all over the globe.
We,mere citizens,vote for the individual who has the most influence [i.e. bully pulpit] at election time.The true power lies within the bowels of a giant bureaucracy away from the glare of daylight or any form of intrusion [congressional or otherwise].
I chuckle to myself, when the FP article compares Pat to Stalin.
Pat has never initiated a purge of the State Department personnel despite the fact that someone like myself would have liked to fire many of the FSOs and Ambassadors [political appointments].If the Hillary asked Pat to cover for her on two separate occasions, then it was Pat who dealt the ace in the hole and demanded from her, something in return.
The fact that Republican congressmen grilled Pat for 13 hours as part of a two year Benghazi investigation [cost $12million] is a testimony to the incompetence of our elected representatives who should have known better than waste the taxpayers’ dollars for their exercise in collective narcissism.
The truth is that our POTUS is disposable celebratory entity of little consequence to our everyday life.Yet, the silent bureaucrat is the one who could well determine whether we have U.S. soldiers stationed in Jacksonville,Florida or Djibouti,Africa.
I always follow H.G. Well’s rule:
“To be honest, one must be inconsistent.”