State Department’s histories at risk

The World

The crisis broke out into the open last week when the State Department held a public meeting about the department’s historical advisory meeting. At the meeting, the department’s historian was accused of mismanaging the office and causing an exodus of experienced staff. The man doing the accusing was this historian at the University of Texas and when I asked him why the staff members were leaving, he said he was then accused of lying when talking about this but it’s a matter of managing style. The gist of the allegations is that the Office of the Historian has become an intolerable place to work and the target of the criticism, the man who leads the office, balked at the allegations. Committee members said they tried to raise red flags through quieter channels. This historian says the famed foreign relation series faces a crisis down the road because it takes a lot of experience to know how to compile these series. The reason historians care is because these are considered a gold standard when it comes to historical accuracy. This historian says at this point the only thing that will satisfy him is a fundamental change in management. This assistant of the office says he is considering these allegations seriously. Perhaps more importantly Secretary of State Rice has invited the historians to air their complaints to her as well.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Sign up for The Top of the World, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning.