Monday, February 7, 2011

Ex-Ambassador to Luxembourg Cynthia Stroum, Mum ... Until After DC Lawyers Talk

Last week, columnist Patti Payne of the Puget Sound Business Journal wrote that she called Ambassador Stroum, a Seattle philanthropist, at home, and "found her hesitant to speak out about her side of the story," in the aftermath of that scathing report from the Office of the Inspector General about the US Embassy in Luxembourg.  Excerpt below:
Stroum says she is not going to shrink from comment in the future. “There is much more to this story,” she insists. “And,” she adds, “I am more than willing to tell my side of it, but not now. Let me just say I’ve gotten huge and amazing support from the government of Luxembourg.” She says she is receiving a stream of calls from supportive friends as well.
More here

Additional details from the columnist appeared over the weekend in Stroum, envoy under fire, counters
Stroum says her formal, detailed rebuttal was filed with the Office of the Inspector General, the same office which issued the report.

Stroum, who resigned her post just days before the State Department report was made public, says, of what information has been released: "They chose to put in what they wanted to. ... They chose not to publish the rebuttal."

While she won't say much more at this time, until her D.C. lawyers confer with her this coming week, she does say that she is hearing from an increasing number of people who are sympathetic to her. 

Ms. Payne also republished in full the emailed statement from Ambassador Stroum; also cited by AP/Seattle Times:
"For me personally, serving as the U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg has been a true privilege. I have new found respect for the hard work done by the diplomatic corps around the world and applaud all of those who serve their country. During my 14 months at Post, I have developed a great admiration for the people of Luxembourg, their government officials and the Grand Ducal family. The initiatives that I chose to focus on were what I believed to be in the best interest of the relationship between Luxembourg and the United States and I'm proud of the links connected especially with businesses here in my home state of Washington. The circumstances of my departure from Luxembourg were unfortunate, but I am glad to be back home in Seattle with family and friends. As to the OIG (Office of the Inspector General) report specifically, I have responded and filed my rebuttal through the proper State Department channels."

We'd be interested in reading that rebuttal, too.

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