Some State Department diplomats are considering expressing a formal and public criticism of President Donald Trump's executive order temporarily banning immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries, ABC News reported on Monday.
Drafts of a "dissent" memo are circulating among diplomats voicing the concern that Trump's policy, which he says is intended to safeguard the U.S., will actually harm efforts to prevent terrorist attacks on American soil.
The draft explains that Trump's executive order will increase anti-American sentiment and "immediately sour relations" with key allies in the fight against terrorism. By alienating such friends, the U.S. will lose access to important intelligence and counterterrorism resources, the draft said.
State Department spokesman Mark Toner told The Hill that he is aware of such a memo being circulated, saying "The Dissent Channel [established during the Vietnam era] is a longstanding official vehicle for State Department employees to convey alternative views and perspectives on policy issues. This is an important process that the acting secretary, and the department as a whole, value and respect."
In fact, this dissent channel was used just this past June when 51 State Department diplomats signed an internal memo critical of the Obama administration's policy in Syria and called for military strikes against President Bashar al-Assad's government to stop its constant violations of a civil war ceasefire, Politico reported.
The current memo comes as demonstrations against the president's order continue and as The Wall Street Journal called Trump's policy "blunderbuss and broad" and said it was "poorly explained and prepared for."
The newspaper, in a broadside at Trump that "governing is more complicated than a campaign rally," emphasized that "Overly broad orders send the wrong signal to millions of Muslims who aren't jihadists but who might be vulnerable to recruitment if they conclude the U.S. is at war with Islam, rather than with Islamist radicals."
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