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Wilson a Clinton Appointee

Atrios wants everybody to get off the recent kick of dismissing Joseph Wilson with the pejoritive: "Clinton appointee." He (she?) points out that Wilson was also appointed to Ambassadorships by President George H.W. Bush and worked in high level jobs as appointed by President Reagan.

Atrios is correct, but it's also important to remember that Ambassador Wilson is a career Foreign Service officer (you can be one too). That means he was commissioned as an officer by the President as outlined in Article II, Section III of the Constitution. (In Wilson's case, he was commissioned in 1976 by President Ford. He wasn't seperated from the State Department until the late 1990s.)

And, to the point, just like officers in the armed forces (*just* like officers in the armed forces), Wilson did not work for a specific administration. He worked for whatever administration was in power at the time -- he worked for the government of the United States. What these people are saying is much like saying: so-and-so Major in the Army or so-and-so Commander in the Navy is a "Clinton appointee" because he got his promotion to Major or Commander when Clinton was President.* Wilson's was a non-partisan job, and attempts to characterize it as one, is just, well, partisanship at its worst.

* This isn't 100% percent accurate (but it's 99.44%) because Ambassadors do require a Presidential appointment and Senate confirmation, but about 2/3s of all Ambassadors are appointed, like Wilson, from the senior Foreign Service, and that is from where Wilson's appointment originated.


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