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An Open Letter to Hillary Clinton | 2011-03-14

An Open Letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Regarding P.J. Crowley’s Resignation

March 14, 2011

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
US Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520

Dear Madam Secretary,

We the undersigned are writing to express our severe disappointment at the resignation of P.J. Crowley, Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Public Affairs at the State Department.

A number of us were present at the meeting where Mr. Crowley expressed his personal opinions, but all of us are concerned to learn that Mr. Crowley’s statements appear to have led to his resignation.  In the context of an open and honest discussion in an academic institution, we were eager to hear Mr. Crowley’s views and willing to give him our opinions and advice. It is this type of openness to dissenting opinions, frankness of assessments, and honesty of discourse that leads to both the advancement of human knowledge and the healthy function of an open, democratic society.  We are discouraged to find such dialogue prompting the resignation of a public official. If public officials are made to fear expressing their truthful opinions, we have laid the groundwork for ineffective, dishonest, and unresponsive governance.

We hope that you agree with such sentiments and we look forward to seeing renewed support for frank civic dialogue at the State Department.


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