Ann Wright: Soldier, Diplomat, Activist | KCUR

Ann Wright: Soldier, Diplomat, Activist

Feb 20, 2012

Ann Wright by her own admission spent virtually her entire adult life working for the U.S. federal government.

First as a soldier, achieving the rank of colonel by the time she retired, then as a diplomat at embassies in Nicaragua, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Somalia and elsewhere.  So, it was astonishing when in March of 2003 Wright became one of three diplomats to resign over America's impending invasion of Iraq and take up a third career as an anti-war activist .

In the second part of Monday's Up to Date, Col. Wright talks with Steve Kraske about her decision and her work in the years since including her participation in the flotilla to break the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip, her opposition to the continued development of nuclear weapons by the U.S., and its use of drones for assassinations and bombing runs in central Asia.

COMING UP:  Former diplomat Col. Ann Wright (ret.)  delivers the Cockefair Lecture  "Striking Out Abroad: Drones and the Risks of U.S. Foreign Policy" on Monday, February 20 at 7:30 p.m. at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church, 4501 Walnut, Kansas City, Mo.  Free and open to the public, the talk is sponsored by UMKC's Carolyn Benton Cockefair Chair in Continuing Education and All Souls Unitarian Church.

Col. Ann Wright served 29 years in the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserves before retiring.  She then went on to work for 16 years in the State Department with appointments to embassies in Nicaragua, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Somalia and elsewhere. In 1997 she received a State Department Award for Heroism for her work evacuating civilians from the civil war in Sierra Leone.  Wright served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S.Embassy in Sierra Leone, a post she also held in Afghanistan.  She is a co-author of the book "Dissent: Voices of Conscience."  She frequently lectures on foreign policy issues and appeared in the documentary "Uncovered: The Truth about the Iraq War."