“We saw the knives were out for Masha but it was still shocking that she was forced to depart her post just weeks before she was going to go anyway,” retired US Ambassador James Melville told CNN Wednesday. “That’s just such a sign of disrespect, and almost contempt for career officers and diplomacy.”
…”It suggests actions outside of and contrary to the procedures and standards of a professional service whose officers, like their military counterparts, take an oath to uphold the Constitution,” they said in a statement. “Whatever views the Administration has of Ambassador Yovanovitch’s performance, we call on the Administration to make clear that retaliation for political reasons will not be tolerated.
In a statement Thursday, the American Foreign Service Association called “on all Americans to honor and respect the non-partisan, non-political work of the dedicated public servants of the U.S. Foreign Service.”
“Our country needs a professional, non-partisan Foreign Service,” the statement said. “Our members pledge their lives to service to their country and its interests. Any attack on their integrity and commitment to non-partisan service does a great disservice to them, to their families and to our country.”
…Yovanovitch, a career member of the foreign service and who has served in ambassadorships under three presidents, was sworn in as ambassador to Ukraine in August 2016.
In May 2019, Yovanovitch was recalled to Washington, months earlier than expected. The State Department said at the time that Yovanovitch was “concluding her 3-year diplomatic assignment as planned” and that her departure aligned with the presidential transition in Ukraine.
…”It’s injurious to morale and you can imagine how career people feel when they see one of the best people that we have, Masha Yovanovitch, treated like this,” he said.
He called for “the higher levels of the State Department” to “come out and defend her.”
“They should say she was a good ambassador, she did what was asked. She did what her constitutional duty asked her to do, represent the United States ably and honorably,” Burns said. “She deserves an apology, a public apology.”