American Diplomat

By Ambassador (Retired) Pete Romero and Writer/Producer Laura Bennett

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Kristen Mason
 Jan 7, 2019


American Diplomat goes behind the scenes to hear real stories from diplomats who lived newsworthy events overseas. Experience the Cuban revolution, Central American insurgencies, the end of apartheid and more through the eyes of those who were there. A project of the Una Chapman Cox Foundation in partnership with the American Academy of Diplomacy.

Episode Date
Freedom for Ethiopian Jews

It's 1991 in Ethiopia. President Mengistu and the rebels are at war. Drought and famine are killing thousands. As Charge d'Affaires in Addis Ababa, Bob Houdek oversees the evacuation of 14,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel, and why? Because, as Bob explains, "Immigration is one of the fundamental human rights under the UN convention."  

Aug 12, 2019
Think About a Career in Public Service

Bill Burns says it best: "This is exactly the moment when you need to attract the best in our society to lives in public service, whether it's in the State Department, the US military or elsewhere. I am a passionate believer in that." We are, too! Uncle Sam needs you.

Aug 05, 2019
Bill Burns - The Back Channel

Burns shares stories from his engaging new book, The Back Channel.  

Aug 01, 2019
Glamping with the Masters of the Desert

Plus, a few good works. Vicki Huddleston gets around in the Sahara, and even gets the women a place inside the tent. So where did all these terrorists come from? 

Jul 23, 2019
Mali - Most Dangerous Peacekeeping Mission on Earth

Vicki Huddleston, our ambassador in Mali (not to be confused with Bali), helps us understand the Sahel, the Sahara, and their vast range of inhabitants.  Everyone got along so well, so how did this land become what the UN now calls the most dangerous mission on earth?

Jul 18, 2019
Sandinismo 2.0

Now that Ortega is back, how is the revolution going? Nicaraguans are being shot, hauled off and denied medical services, while the president's coffers swell. A how-to kit, on how to steal democracy.  

Jul 11, 2019
Liberation Day, Nicaragua!

We have Independence Day, and for Nicaraguans Liberation Day is just as important.  Celebrated July 19, this is the day the Sandinistas overthrew the Somoza dynasty in 1979.  But what really is a Sandinista, and what's up with their leader Daniel Ortega now?  Most importantly, how is life today for Nicaraguans?

Jul 03, 2019
Ajani Husbands, Dreadlock Diplomat

Grass to tree roots: Ajani helps us understand how the Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott in 1955 impacts lives today in Eritrea and the area that is now South Sudan.

Jun 27, 2019
AIDS - Health Diplomacy

Jimmy Kolker is back to tell us how, as Ambassador to Uganda, he helped stem the spread of this deadly disease and save scores of human lives.  

Jun 21, 2019
12 Days in the Hotseat

How did Tom Shannon end up Secretary of State for 12 days?  How do transitions work, when one president leaves and another takes office?  

Jun 13, 2019
Slip Out the Back, Jack

We revisit Pete's stories about Naples, with a couple of bonuses at the front. Happy summer!

Jun 06, 2019
Money, Money, Money

Social Democracy in Northern Europe, not to be confused with socialism of any stripe.  And what is socialism, anyway?  With Ambassador Jimmy Kolker.  Plus knowledge test:  What fabulous 70s band brought us the name of this episode?

May 30, 2019
Bromance? Trump and Brazil's Bolsonaro

Peas in a pod?  Or something much more complex?  As it happens, each country is different, even if each would-be strong man looks much the same.  Join Tom Shannon and Melvin Levitsky for an expert look at a fascinating polity. Part of our "Is It Happening Here?" series.

May 23, 2019
What, More Feeley and Brownfield?

Will Cops-in-a-Box keep Fulanita home?  What else do these guys have for us?

May 16, 2019
Foreign Service Day

You think of your loved ones first:  Honoring the lives of those who sacrificed theirs in the line of service.  With remarks from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the story of Ambassador Jonathan Addleton.  

May 09, 2019
Here I Am, Now What?

What happens when Fulanita arrives? And what is this wall, really? And what do drugs have to do with all of this?  Bill Brownfield and John Feeley, together with Pete, unpack the deets in our second of three episodes on the border.  Plus, a barnyard narco song you do not want to miss.

May 02, 2019
Fulanita's Progress, An Immigration Tale

Episode One, in which John Feeley, Bill Brownfield and Pete lay it all out: How and why does Fulanita, our Guatamalan every-gal, end up at the US border with young son Javier, delivered by the cartels' fancy coach service?  

Apr 25, 2019

Remember the movie The Graduate?  Fifty-two years on, here's where we are with plastics.  It ain't pretty, but Bob Blake is on the job.

Apr 18, 2019
Quick Bonus ep! Future of the Foreign Service

Miss us? Here's a midweek extra: Ashley Inman, a master's student at Georgetown who will become a US diplomat upon completion of her studies, shares her passion for service and her reasons for joining.  Go, Ashley!

Apr 16, 2019
The Diplomat Environmentalist

The life and (near) death of Indonesia's Palm Oil Pledge, a guy named Anderson and an air pollution monitor in Jakarta.  Bob Blake works with private industry and government to foster lasting change in Indonesia.

Apr 11, 2019
Ever Hear of Ebenezer Bassett?

Me, neither.  Chris Teal, filmmaker, author and diplomat, shares the little-known tale of integrity and courage of the first African American diplomat, appointed 1869, preceding longtime friend Frederick Douglass by 20 years.  

Apr 04, 2019
Immigration Made Simple

Michele Bond parses immigration and solves the whole conundrum. So what's the problem? (Hint: Pete thinks it's us.)

Mar 27, 2019
And How Long Will You Be Staying?

Courtesy, respect, denial (painful, but often true).  Tourist visas to visit the US, with Michele Bond, Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs.  Can you guess why Pete is admitted and Laura is not?

Mar 21, 2019
Remember Ron Brown?

In case you don't (say, you were born after 1960), Lauri Fitz-Pegado remembers him for us: his vision, his vim, his leadership, his significance to our participation in the worldwide economy.  With bonus continuing comment from Pete on Venzuela.

Mar 15, 2019
Wonderful, Weird, Incredibly Dangerous Naples

Pete explains "the Neapolitan solution" in this love letter to his first European posting.  Plus, he connects this to gangland diplomacy today.  

Mar 07, 2019
Baby's Got the Bends

You might survive your coca eradication crop duster plane going down, but then the mosquitoes will  get you, which is still better than ripping the crops out of the Colombian earth.  But, says Virginia Bennett, many small people in many small places doing small things can change the world.  Perhaps it does.

Feb 27, 2019
Only the Paranoid Survive

Virginia Bennett's security detail made sure no one hurled bricks at her, while the Greek populace contemplated boiling the family bunny for dinner.  Bennett helps us understand what the U.S. did to help average Greek people during their economic disaster of 2011-2014.

Feb 20, 2019
Jeff DeLaurentis Knows a Lot About Cuba

It's hard for an American to make friends in Cuba, circa 1990.   But Jeff DeLaurentis finds a way, and learns that Communists can be complicated.  And what are all of those old cars doing in Havana, anyway?  

Feb 14, 2019
Chavez Gives Pete Four Pinocchios

The Chavez/Maduro kleptocracy in Venezuela masquerades as a people's revolution.  Almost two decades later, millions flee en masse.  Pete was there when it all began and explains why Venezuela is suddenly all over the news.

Feb 07, 2019
Anwar Awlaki and Abrar

Anwar Awlaki destroys, Abrar starves.  Yemen today, with Gerald Feierstein.  

Feb 02, 2019
Hysteria or Reality? China in Panama

What do Teddy Roosevelt, China, and the band Afrodisiaco all have in common?  Panama!  Learn why concerns that Pete once thought were partisan paranoia might be a serious, unrecognized source of concern today.  

Jan 24, 2019
Counterterrorism - The Diplomat's Perspective

Gerald Feierstein, counterterrorism expert for the State Department, helps us understand how violent extremist groups attract young men, and what different nations do to bring them back to the fold, according to local values and customs.  

Jan 17, 2019
More Fun Facts about Trade

Did you know that over 11 million jobs in the U.S. come from exports?  And that they pay U.S. citizens 15-20% more than non-export related jobs?  Dan Crocker debunks our most intrenched myths about trade.  Plus, why does Pete ask if he's a meatball? Learn this and more, workin' at the Car Wash!  (If you weren't alive in the 70s, this song will fill your heart with longing for the decade you missed.)

Jan 10, 2019
Questions, Questions...

Why do we care about diversity in the Foreign Service?  When did you know this job was "the one"?  How do you do your job with so much danger out there these days?  Students visiting the State Department as Cox Fellows have some pretty good questions.  Julie Chung, Stacy Williams and Luis Mendez, plus of course Pete, give their two cents.  Even Laura chimes in, when truly moved.

Jan 03, 2019
College Students Visit State

The American dream is alive and well at the U.S. Department of State.  Stacy Williams, Luis Mendez and Julie Chung share with visiting Cox Fellows inspiring stories of their journeys from where they began to leadership roles in the Foreign Service.  And to keep the inspiration going, music from Funkadelic:  One Nation Under a Groove!

Dec 27, 2018
A Public Servant in the Private Sector

Did you know that 95% of the world's consumers live outside the United States?  As President, Global Public Affairs at UPS, former Economics Officer Laura Lane helps reduce corruption at borders, in turn helping small and midsize businesses prosper, while advancing global rights for women and reducing poverty throughout the world. 


Dec 20, 2018
When You Shouldn't Follow the Rules

Economics Officer Laura Lane served in Rwanda during its period of genocide in the 1990s and learned when you should, and when you should not, follow the rules.  Here is the audio track of her TED talk on the subject, bookended with comments from Pete.

Dec 14, 2018
Secretary of State James Baker Reflects on Bush and Our Times

James Baker, Secretary of State under George H.W. Bush, remembers President Bush and puts today's foreign policy events in perspective as he receives the Walter and Lenore Annenberg Award for Excellence in Diplomacy.  "A golden age for humanity," he calls our times, and recalls a day when "we all sang from the same hymnal, which meant that our allies and our adversaries clearly understood U.S. policy and could not twist differences to their advantage." 

Dec 06, 2018
The Dictator Hit Parade

Ambassador Joe Sullivan has known a lot of dictators.  Who are they?  What are they like?  How do they do it?  "All I want to do is make this a prosperous, democratic country," is a good thing to say to Americans, these charming men have found.  

Nov 29, 2018
President vs. Strongman: No Peace in Angola

Diamonds, Petroleum, widespread human suffering and a decades-long civil war.  Ambassador Joe Sullivan talks about the U.S. role as monitor of the peace and demobilization process: "It was time to choose, and choosing was not between the angel and the devil; we had to chose the less bad option."

Nov 23, 2018
Bonus Chat - Is It Happening Here?

Turkey, Russia, Venezuela:  In what ways is the rise of strongmen in those countries similar and different from what we're seeing in the United States?  What role do press freedom and demonizing adversaries play in the rise of a dictator?  

Nov 21, 2018
The Cult of Jim Jones - Murder-Suicide in Guyana

November 18 is the anniversary of the Jonestown massacre (40th, can you believe it?).  Chuck English walks us through his experience as the first American diplomat to witness the aftermath.  With bonus discussion about Congressman Leo Ryan, an "experiential congressman", whose arrival on the scene immediately preceded the tragedy.  

Nov 15, 2018
How Did Erdogan Do It? - Is it Happening Here?

Populism and religiosity:  Erdogan begins as a reformer, then builds a corrupt government that leads Turkey into economic peril and total political control through a narrative that stokes fear of victimization at the hand of external enemies.  Bob Pearson shows us how Turkey got where it is today in the second part of our discussion with him as part of our series, "Is It Happening Here?"

Nov 08, 2018
Turkey's Erdogan - Is It Happening Here?

Corruption, hostage-taking, and a populace divided over Erdogan's Muslim Brotherhood-style government.  Ambassador Bob Pearson helps us understand Turkey's era of us-vs.-them politics in the newest episode of our series Is It Happening Here?

Nov 02, 2018
Stove-piped to Death?

Why was the Nairobi attack not prevented?  How was it planned, and why did al-Qaeda choose that embassy?  Ambassador Prudence Bushnell helps us answer these questions and tells how she led in the aftermath, in ways that only a woman can lead.  

Oct 25, 2018
Take Care of Your People: Bombing in Nairobi, 1998

"I could not take away people's pain or anger or injuries or post-traumatic stress,  but I could accompany them."  Ambassador Prudence Bushnell leads the US Embassy in Nairobi through the aftermath of a massive bomb attack on August 7, 1998.  213 people died instantly, 500 were wounded, 750 businesses were blown up.  Says Bushnell, "Take care of your people, the rest will follow."

Oct 18, 2018
Expeditionary Diplomacy is What, Exactly?

Mongolia, Turkmenistan and the Marshall Islands:  What do they all have in common?  Mike Senko opened the first American embassies in each one!  And he lived to tell the tale.  

Oct 14, 2018
Can We Make a Diplomat of Laura? Laura in the Hot Seat

Reporting from fictional Sulandia, a skill that can be developed. Dorothy Mayhew and Michael Gray, diplomats who teach at The Foreign Service Institute, lead the way. Plus bonus info on the life of a State Department cable: What is it? Who writes it and who reads it? What is its impact?

Oct 04, 2018
Who Knew? Diplomatic Training, Revealed

Are Foreign Service Officers made or born that way?  And what, exactly, is a "demarche"? A tour through basic training, Foreign Service style, with Dorothy Mayhew and Michael Gray.  

Sep 27, 2018
Bouazizi, Arab Spring, SiriusXM and Is It Happening Here?

Pete and Laura's recent appearance on SiriusXM with host Eric Ham, bookended by discussion of the psychology of frustration, even humiliation, that can lead whole populations to support strongmen.

Sep 20, 2018
Tamil Genocide - History Repeats Itself?

Bob Blake offers an alternative to genocide, but his help is refused.  How similar is the tragedy in Sri Lanka to the current crisis in Myanmar?

Sep 18, 2018
Tamil Tigers - The Memory Still Haunts Sri Lanka

Want to go to jail in Sri Lanka today? Just mention the Tamil Tigers in a positive manner and you will be on trial.  That's how upset people still are about the war that ended almost ten years ago.  Bob Blake unpacks this time of terror in Sri Lanka.

Sep 13, 2018
Russia - Is It Happening Here? Putin Consolidates Power

Sandy Vershbow, US Ambassador to Russia 2002-2005, recounts Putin's gradual seizure of power over more and more of the Russian State, leaving ordinary Russians with little, if any, voice in the policies that affect their lives.

Sep 08, 2018
Russia - Is It Happening Here? "He Must Be Like Putin"

Conditions precedent and the rise of populist autocrat Putin, via Sandy Vershbow, US Ambassador to Russia, 2001-2005. Plus bonus Russian hit song "One Like Putin". Your internal soundscape may never be the same. The second country in American Diplomat's series, "Is It Happening Here?"

Aug 30, 2018
Pete Goes Native - Second Part of Pete's Visit with the Indians

Pete visits the Huarani Indians, botches up a boar hunt, drinks the mystery drink chicha, and receives upon his departure a marriage proposal, ambiguously addressed either to himself one of the other fine young gringos.  Follows first episode, titled "Cowboys and Indian at the Embassy."

Aug 23, 2018
Cowboys and Indian at the Embassy

"Embassy death squads?  Sure, I made that up!"  ~ Moi, Huarani Indian and tribal ambassador

Aug 16, 2018
Soybean Laura Goes to Washington

Trade, demystified. And accompanied by a stiff drink. Plus bonus song "Soybeans!"  Shaun Donnelly tells all.

Aug 09, 2018
Venezuela: Is it Happening Here? Chavez Takes Control

Once elected, how does Chavez systematically seize control of the politics and economy of his country, and how does this erode Fulano's choices and way of life?  

Aug 03, 2018
Venezuela: Is It Happening Here?

Brian Naranjo describes life for a middle-class voter during the lead-up to the election of Hugo Chavez, a former coup plotter who becomes the elected dictator of Venezuela.  This is the first episode in a series within American Diplomat titled, "Is it happening here?"

Jul 27, 2018
Is It Happening Here?

Pete and Laura introduce a new series within American Diplomat, in which they talk with diplomats who witnessed the beginning phases of democracy's doom and who can tell the story from the perspective of the individual voter who unwittingly elected a dictator. 

Jul 19, 2018
I've Been Kicked Out of Better Countries Than This

A social media battleground for hearts and minds in Venezuela, an American in prison on false charges of espionage and terrorism, and a prison riot.  Brian Naranjo puts his neck way out there to protect Joshua Holt.  



Jul 12, 2018
Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places

Venezuela today: People are starving and the currency is almost worthless. The government is stealing as much as it can and destroying democratic institutions. The message to American diplomats: Welcome to Venezuela, let me show you the door.

Jul 05, 2018
Send Lawyers, Guns and Money

Two air traffic controllers, fired for going on strike, go into (very) private industry. A naked American, on a balcony and intent on self-destruction, finds safety. More tales of what can go wrong in Tijuana, via Kate Canavan, plus tips on how to make your own travels abroad much safer.

Jun 28, 2018
Who Says America Never Wins Anymore?

We're here to show you how America wins on a grassroots level every single day.  We share with you our interview with Eric Ham on the Midday Briefing, POTUS channel, SiriusXM.  

Jun 21, 2018
Tijuana: What Could Go Wrong?

Assault, conviction, life and death across borders. US Citizen Services, with courage and commitment, helps Americans abroad in every imaginable conundrum. Kate Canavan shares her tales.

Jun 14, 2018
Go With God, Children!

Cherie and John Feeley find a way to care for a child with learning differences in Columbia, a country riven by violence from insurgencies and narco trafficking.  

Jun 07, 2018
Little Elian Gonzalez

Poor Elian!  He's left Cuba with his mom, who has now drowned.  Possibly aided by dolphins, he arrives alone on the shores of Florida, to be made into perhaps the youngest pawn ever to be used in international and domestic policy wars.

Jun 01, 2018
Fidel's Eyes Are Everywhere, and Cuba's Special Period

Surveillance can be good - if you need a potato, just ask. But if you're a Marine, be careful! And what made Cuba's Special Period in Time of Peace so special? Deprivation, starvation and flight. Vicki Huddleston connects the dots and helps us understand our relationship with Cuba today.  

May 25, 2018
Fidel and Our Woman in Havana

Vicki Huddleston spars with Castro, as one of the few women in senior roles in the State Department, and one of the only people who actually stood up to the dictator.  

May 18, 2018
John Feeley & the FARC: Colombia's Guerilla Revolutionaries

Feeley visits FARC guerrillas and records the group's fantastical vision of world leadership, and upon his return is faced with politicized accusations of negotiating with terrorists.  

May 11, 2018
Iran Deal - Wendy Sherman Negotiates

The Iran nuclear deal explained.  What was it, and how did our chief negotiator Wendy Sherman help make it happen?  

May 09, 2018
John Feeley - Panama Papers

Feeley's ambassadorship begins with the leak of the Panama Papers, a trove of documents exposing massive international financial fraud.  When the US is accused of orchestrating the leak, what's an ambassador to do?  Video diplomacy is born.


May 04, 2018
Andrew Albertson - Three Explosions in Afghanistan

From an evangelical upbringing, Albertson studies in Kenya and then devotes his life to international development.  He survives three bombs in Afghanistan while working with USAID, and now leads the diplomacy advocacy organization Foreign Policy for America.

Apr 27, 2018
Gina Winstanley, Oman and Saudi Arabia

Do you know where to find a hooker in Oman?  Go to the hospital!  And what happens when your boss nixes your husband's job choice in Saudi Arabia, and you are intent on preserving your marriage?  Reposted from October 2017

Apr 20, 2018
Jonathan Addleton - The Dust of Kandahar

Addleton shares his haunting experience as the only one left standing after a suicide bomber attacks his party while visiting a school in Afghanistan.  Was it worth it?  

Apr 13, 2018
Ajani Husbands - Islamabad and Port Au Prince

In places like Pakistan where governments may not be friendly, cultural diplomacy, a form of "soft power", is power indeed.  And in Haiti, Husbands gains the nickname, "dread la ki te refize m '," or "the dread who refused me."

Apr 06, 2018
Desiree Cormier - Africa and Tijuana

How does diplomacy help stem a public health crisis like Ebola?  And what can a diplomat do (and not do) to help Americans in Mexican prison?

Mar 22, 2018
Desiree Cormier - Creole, Colored or Black?

Cormier, raised in part by her civil rights activist grandfather, identifies as African American, or, black.  So why does everyone in Pretoria tell her she's not black at all, but instead, "colored"?  And how does she persuade our government to stop considering Nelson Mandela a terrorist?  Also hear how she comes to dance to Pata Pata during Barack Obama's state visit.

Mar 16, 2018
Robert Blake - Sri Lanka, Terror Escalates

Secrecy, executions, and human shields in Sri Lanka.  Our diplomats make a difference in thousands of people's lives.  

Mar 08, 2018
Robert Blake - Terror in Sri Lanka

Who are the Tamil Tigers?  Hint: This is no baseball team and they aren't playing ball.

Feb 28, 2018
Pete Romero - Plan Colombia, Part 2

Crisis averted:  Where there might have been massive flight, and/or a narco state, Colombia instead enjoys stability and prosperity amid a new peace agreement.

Feb 23, 2018
Pete Romero - Plan Colombia, Part 1

Cocaleros, paramilitaries, a dirty war and a failing state in Colombia.

Feb 15, 2018
Wendy Sherman - Iran Deal

She wasn't Wendy Sherman or a woman or a Jewish American. She was the United States of America.

Feb 07, 2018
Wendy Sherman - Baltimore to Pyongyang

An unwavering belief in public service propels Wendy Sherman from local activist to international negotiator.  

Feb 01, 2018
Charles Ray - Golf with a Dictator

Putting pedophiles in prison with the help of one of the world's most loathed autocrats.

Jan 25, 2018
Charles Ray - Zimbabwe's Authoritarian

Zimbabwe's elected authoritarian, Robert Mugabe, seen from a human perspective.

Jan 18, 2018
Charles English - Murder-Suicide in Guyana

Charles English, 26 and new to the Foreign Service, is among the first American officials on the scene of the Jonestown massacre in 1978.  

Jan 11, 2018
Mike Senko - Grenades and Guns

Mike Senko describes rocket-propelled grenades exploding outside his office, driving a car at gunpoint, and the reason Foreign Service Officers volunteer to take these risks.  

Jan 04, 2018
Tom Miller - Soldiers Without Weapons

Tom Miller discusses the decapitation of Greece's November 17 terrorist group, and reminds us that life in the Foreign Service can be very dangerous.

Dec 27, 2017
Tom Miller - Drugs and Thugs

Tom Miller assists refugees and reports on the opium and heroin trade in Asia's golden triangle.  A close friend is murdered in retaliation for DEA success.

Dec 21, 2017
Dennis Jett on Lori Berenson and Why He Joined the Foreign Service

Jett explains that many Americans are not aware that other countries' laws apply to them, and shares the personal rewards of a Foreign Service career.  

Dec 13, 2017
Dennis Jett and Liberia's Civil War

Dennis Jett describes three warring factions in Liberia, evacuations and a flotilla of Marines off the African coast.

Dec 06, 2017
Ron Neumann - Vietnam to Afghanistan

From Vietnam to Afghanistan, from infantry to embassy - how were these two wars the same, and how were they different?  How does a military background inform an ambassador's work?

Nov 28, 2017
Lino Gutierrez - Part 2

Service in the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Nicaragua, all leading up to plans for US immigration reform that are stopped short by 9/11.

Nov 22, 2017
Lino Gutierrez - Part 1

Lino Gutierrez experiences the Cuban revolution, Columbian "Violencia", and the American struggle for civil rights first hand, all before he is nine years old.

Nov 14, 2017
Tim Carney - Part 2

Says Tim: "Nobody foresaw ISIS.  Nobody foresaw the failure to deal with the chasm between the Sunnis and the Shia.  The personal foreboding was that this can't end well."

Nov 07, 2017
Gina Winstanley - Part 2

Religious police stop Gina and terrorists attack the consulate general in Jeddah.  

Oct 31, 2017
Gina Winstanley - Part 1

Do you know where to find a hooker in Oman?  Go to the hospital!  And what happens when your boss nixes your husband's job choice in Saudi Arabia, and you are intent on preserving your marriage?  Let's ask Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley.  

And don't forget to subscribe to the podcast!

Oct 26, 2017
Tim Carney - Part 1

Vietnam, Cambodia, Haiti, South Africa - Tim was part of each country's inflection point; some got better, and some got much worse. Why?  And what happens when Washington muzzles reports from the officers in the field?  

Oct 26, 2017