Edward Peck

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For the British ambassador, climber and author, see Edward Peck (British Civil Servant).

Edward L. Peck (b. 1928/9)[1] is a retired career United States diplomat who served thirty-two-years in the U.S. Foreign Service (from 1956 until 1989).

Early life and career[edit]

Edward Peck served as Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (U. Alexis Johnson) in the Nixon Administration, January 1971.[2][3] He was Chief of Mission in Baghdad (Iraq, 1977 to 1980) in the Carter Administration and later held senior posts in Washington and abroad. He also served as a Foreign Service Officer in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt, and as Ambassador in Mauritania. At the State Department he served as Deputy Director of Covert Intelligence Programs, Director of the Office of Egyptian Affairs and as Special Assistant to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs. He served as deputy director of the White House Task Force on Terrorism in the Reagan Administration. He is president of Foreign Services International, a consulting firm that works with governments, businesses and educational institutions across the world.

Criticism of G. W. Bush plan to invade Iraq and of Middle East policy[edit]

Edward Peck argued against invading Iraq prior to the 2003 invasion, asking "when you take out Saddam Hussein, what happens after that? Nobody knows, but it's probably going to be bad. A lot of people are going to be very upset, because our role in this world does not include deciding who rules Iraq."[4] Peck has been critical of U.S. Middle East policy, believing it should be more balanced, more even-handed. He urges a dialogue with and between all parties as the most productive way to resolve the region's problems, which are large, numerous and contentious.

Jeremiah Wright controversy[edit]

In March 2008 the U.S. Presidential campaign, Barack Obama was affected when videos of sermons by the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, his former pastor came to media attention. In one broadcast on many media outlets, including ABC News, Wright, on September 16, 2001, referenced an appearance of Peck on Fox News, and attributed to him stating that "America's chickens are coming home to roost", a phrase Wright repeated several times. However, PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler has refuted that claim, stating that, "Peck never used the phrase about chickens coming home to roost. His answers were more nuanced."[5]

Gaza flotilla[edit]

Main article: Gaza flotilla raid

In May 2010, Peck was among the numerous, multi-national, pro-peace participants attempting to bring non-military supplies and medicines to Gaza. The small, Greek-flag on which he was sailing was taken over by Israeli soldiers, but he was not harmed. He reported he was brought to Israel "at gunpoint" and expelled the same day for "having illegally entered Israel";[6] he flew to Newark, New Jersey.[7][8]


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