A Diplomat Resigns

Froom the NY Times international section

OK,on preview it seems I still can’t get he link right.If a mod could display a link I’d be grateful,it’s in the internatinal section of 2-27/following in’tl should read 27WEB-NAT.html?pagew,but I can’t get it to reproduce here.

His reasons clipped from the text

*The policies we are now asked to advance are incompatible not only with American values but also with American interests. Our fervent pursuit of war with Iraq is driving us to squander the international legitimacy that has been America’s most potent weapon of both offense and defense since the days of Woodrow Wilson. We have begun to dismantle the largest and most effective web of international relationships the world has ever known. Our current course will bring instability and danger, not security. *

Seeing as he’s served under Republican and Demo presidents,starting,I’m assuming with Reagan and thru Gulf and Slavic actions,why has it taken him this long to feel the guilt pangs?
And assuming this to be a true story (how did the Times get hold of it?),why have I heard nothing in any other media outlet.Haven’t I read,or watched enough media outlets?


I assume the story is true. There are a lot of passionate anti-war folks. I suppose he wanted to make an anti-war statement. Maybe he was ready to retire anyhow.

Thanks for the link.I was trying to reproduce the text of the letter link from that page and couldn’t,for some reason.

Can’t say I blame the guy, this is not a good time to be an American diplomat.

Snopeshas a copy of the letter for those who have not signed up with the NYT.

My vote for best sentence :

  "Has "oderint dum metuant" really become our motto?"

(Snopes sez : “Let them hate us, so long as they fear us,” claimed to have been a favorite saying of the Roman emperor Caligula.)

Oh, yeah, if his position differs from yours, that’s sufficient reason to question his sincerity and motives. :rolleyes:

Well, I checked and found that he is only 45 years old, so I was wrong in guessing that he was near retirement. At least, he isnt’ near retirement age.

The man obviously feels like a lot of us do. The American Dictator is out of control. Along with his compliment of cronies that believe that “We” the citizens of the United States are out of touch with the realities that are truly important such as: The curtainlment of personal liberties, the needed integration of church and state, the trimming of our liberties, granted by the “cumbersome” Constitution of the United States.
He made his statement.
I for one, completely and thoroughly respect his actions. I wish more folks had the balls he does.

I read the letter on Snopes, sezyou, and, while I find myself ambivalent about going to war with Iraq, it was an eloquent argument against war. I hope we have some people in the White House and State Dept. who read it carefully.

I apologize if I went off the deep end. The link did not work for me. I took a lot of personal feelings and vented towards this particlar subject.
Sorry I don’t have a cite.

Maybe this is a slight hijack, but suppose we broaden the topic a bit. Here’s an example of a famous resignation on principle. Robert Myers was the highly respected chief actuary at Social Security from the program’s inception under FDR until the middle of the Nixon administration. (AFAIK he is still alive.) He made a very public resignation, which he explained as follows.

Nixon’s head of (what was then) the Dept. of Health, Education and Welfare was a man named Rober Finch. Finch was pursuing liberal policies (from the POV of Myers, who was quite conservatie.) That was OK as far as it went. He had served under several Democratic Presidents who pursued liberal policies. His philosophy as public servant was to serve the current administration to the best of his ability. He understood that the administration was elected to set policy, and the policy would not always be to his liking.

His said his real problem was, Nixon had run as a conservative, so the public was not getting what it voted for. So, there was an element of hypocrisy in Finch’s policies. Myers publicly rebuked Finch by publishing an article in the Readers Digest. He said he should have been fired, because he failed to clear the aritcle with his superiors, but they didn’t fire him. So, he finally decided that he had no choice but to resign.

By Myers’s standard, Kiesling’s resignation was not justified. Bush is pursuing a typically Repblican warlike foreign policy, just as Reagan did.

I can totally respect his reasons for resigning, and for doing it publicly in the way he did. It’s one thing to disagree with an administration’s policies, and quite another to think that they are simply wrong, immoral, and counterproductive. IIRC, another State Dept. person resigned in a similar way over the U.S.’ policy toward Yugoslavia a few years back, although I don’t think he was quite as senior. Why now and not before? I can only speculate, but at least with Bush Sr. and James Baker I was confident that they understood all sides of the issues, even if they didn’t make decisions I agreed with, and so they were at least approaching the situation from a position of knowledge.

It’s hard to enforce policies when they go so against what you believe in, and have the potential to affect the lives of so many people. This is life-and-death stuff, and if I were in his shoes, I’d hate to think I had any sort of responsibility, no matter how indirect, for actions that led to the deaths of innocent people. This is why I’ve never taken the diplomatic service exam, and part of why I left Federal Government service.

I may have totally overlooked this, but a big question for me is who provided this letter to the media?

I for one commend this diplomat for valuing his principles over his job. Resigning as a form of protest has a long and noble history in this country (e.g., Elliot Richardson and William Ruckelshaus during the Saturday Night Massacre, Edmond Muskie as SOS after the Desert One fiasco, etc.) Nowadays, it seems that too many people would rather sacrifice their honor before their career. Too bad. :frowning:

—I may have totally overlooked this, but a big question for me is who provided this letter to the media?—

We live in a leaky world. Especially in this day and age, it’s very easy to anonymously leak even extremely classified info without too much danger of being caught unless serious precautions are taken (like water-marking or even specially editing data or documents per view, and ID cateloging every view)

This, for instance:

seems like a leak that should never have happened if we had just implemented some serious security precautions. Oh well…


Ya, an internal NSA memo spelling ‘favorable’ as ‘favourable’, etc… A more obviously forged document is not possible.

From the linked article:

Also from the article:

So…nothing very new here. My only question is what is supposed to make this at all newsworthy? The State Department is very big. Sometimes people quit. End of story.

Bzzzt…wrong. No need to roll your eyes for nothing. The info contained in the e-mail was throughly vetted, and the message itself, edited into standardized English when originally published, has been reverted back into the original American spelling of the leaked document.

Links and clarifications:

The language and content of the memo were judged to be authentic by three former intelligence operatives shown it by The Observer. We were also able to establish that Frank Koza does work for the NSA and could confirm his senior post in the Regional Targets section of the organisation. The NSA main switchboard put The Observer through to extension 6727 at the agency which was answered by an assistant, who confirmed it was Koza’s office.

Clarification from The Observer Footnote: This email was originally transcribed with English spellings standardised for a British audience. Following enquiries about this, we have reverted to the original US-spelling as in the document leaked to The Observer.

Further, The Drudge Report which was the first to point out the ‘inconsistencies’ you mention in order to descredit the article, has had to withdraw their accusations. IOW, the report passes muster – best come up with another excuse.

Just another chapter in the ongoing “war to get to war” saga that the US is currently engaged in.

Nope. The origin of this alleged leaked memo is far from certain. Incorrect security designation, misspellings, a simple name spelled different ways at different times…This smells of an terribly inept attempt to stick one to the evil Americans.

Not just A name – the name of the AUTHOR was misspelled.