Rename The Secretary Of State The Secretary Of Hypocrisy

Caitlin Johnstone
5 min readAug 17, 2023

Listen to a reading of this article (reading by Tim Foley):

US Secretary of State Tony Blinken tweeted in celebration of Pakistan’s preparations for “free and fair elections” on Wednesday, a week after it was revealed that the US pressured Pakistan to oust its popular democratically elected prime minister Imran Khan last year.

“Congratulations to new Pakistan Interim Prime Minister @anwaar_kakar,” tweeted Blinken. “As Pakistan prepares for free and fair elections, in accordance with its constitution and the rights to freedom of speech and assembly, we will continue to advance our shared commitment to economic prosperity.”

An article published by The Intercept last week titled “Secret Pakistan Cable Documents U.S. Pressure to Remove Imran Khan” revealed evidence that the US State Department which Blinken heads had placed pressure on the Pakistani government to remove Khan from office in March of last year. A leaked document reports that State Department official Donald Lu issued blatant threats to Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States that “it will be tough going ahead” for Pakistan if Khan wasn’t ousted but “all will be forgiven” if he was, saying the US and its European allies didn’t like the prime minister’s “aggressively neutral position” on the Ukraine war.

The following month Khan was ousted in a no-confidence vote, and he now sits in prison, officially barred from politics for five years.

The authenticity of the document has been begrudgingly confirmed by Pakistani officials opposed to Khan, yet prior to its publication by The Intercept the US State Department had denied what was revealed by its contents on multiple occasions. Last month State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said unequivocally that “the United States does not have a position on one political candidate or party versus another in Pakistan or any other country,” which is plainly contradicted by the revelations in the document.

Obviously if you’ve got officials from the world’s most powerful, violent and destructive government telling your country “it will be tough going ahead” if its prime minister is not removed from power but “all will be forgiven” if he is, that’s brazen interference in the democratic processes of that nation. Yet here is the head of the State Department babbling about the wonderful “free and fair elections” in Pakistan.

Earlier this month the State Department put out another doozy on Twitter (or whatever we’re calling it now), quoting Blinken saying “Governments that violate human rights are almost always the same ones that flout other key parts of that order — such as invading, coercing, and threatening other countries, or breaking trade rules.”

All of which the US government of course does regularly.

Such glaring hypocrisy is standard for US secretaries of state, because their job entails continually using concepts like democracy and human rights not as values that they wish to promote, but as political cudgels to be used against their enemies.

This was explained in stark detail in a leaked 2017 State Department memo in which warmongering swamp monster Brian Hook was seen explaining how the US government views “human rights” to then-secretary of state Rex Tillerson — a newcomer to the DC underworld at the time. Hook told Tillerson that human rights violations should be forcefully criticized in America’s enemies, and overlooked in nations that bow to the dictates of Washington.

“One useful guideline for a realistic and successful foreign policy is that allies should be treated differently — and better — than adversaries,” Hook wrote, naming China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran as examples of adversary nations who should be aggressively criticized for human rights violations, and naming Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the Philippines as examples of US-aligned nations where human rights violations should be overlooked.

The memo was labeled “SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED”, which is a good designation for information about something that isn’t really a secret in Washington but they’d still definitely prefer people didn’t pay much attention to.

Since we know this is the established orthodoxy in the US State Department, it’s no wonder that secretaries of state are always speaking in ways that run directly counter to the actions of their own government. The US empire doesn’t care about democracy or human rights, it cares about power and control. Paying lip service to democracy and human rights is just one of the ways they manufacture the illusion of moral authority while diplomatically undermining the governments they don’t like.

For this reason it would perhaps be better to refer to the State Department as the Hypocrisy Department, and the secretary of state the secretary of hypocrisy. Or maybe the secretary of hypocritical finger-wagging, if you want to get fancy about things.

The State Department was originally meant to be the counterpart to the War Department. The War Department (later renamed the Department of Defense to keep things from being too obvious) was meant to focus on war, and the State Department was meant to focus on diplomacy and peace.

What ended up happening, as the US power structure morphed into a globe-spanning empire dependent on endless violence and aggression, is that the State Department wound up focusing more and more on manufacturing interventionist narratives on the world stage to gin up international support for starvation sanctions, proxy wars and war coalitions.

So in practice the US ended up with two war departments: the Department of Defense and the State Department. Which is why you’ve seen the nation’s secretaries of state becoming more and more jingoistic and psychopathic, to the point where some sort of antisocial personality disorder is almost a job requirement for the position.

But that’s just what the US empire is at this point in history: a giant, planet-sprawling bully with a severe personality disorder. The US empire has all the personality characteristics of a malignant narcissist — it sees people as resources to exploit instead of as humans to relate to, it communicates to manipulate and control rather than to connect and understand, and anyone who doesn’t center its desires as a priority above all else becomes its enemy.

Couldn’t ask for a better face to place on that operation than Antony John Blinken.

_________________

My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece here are some options where you can toss some money into my tip jar if you want to. All my work is free to bootleg and use in any way, shape or form; republish it, translate it, use it on merchandise; whatever you want. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. All works co-authored with my husband Tim Foley.

Bitcoin donations: 1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2

Featured image by the US State Department (public domain), formatted for size.

--

--