Retrospectacle: A Neuroscience Blog

Instead of firing US officials who speak their mind regarding US foreign policy, why not listen?

A senior State Department analyst, Kendall Myers, made several informal statements in an academic forum that might cost him his job. What were the oh-so-offensive quotes?

The Times quoted Myers, a foreign research analyst in the department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, as saying the transatlantic relationship was “totally one-sided” and Britain’s self-appointed role as a bridge between America and Europe was “disappearing before our eyes.”

“We typically ignore them and take no notice. … It’s a sad business,” Myers was quoted as saying, adding that he felt a “little ashamed” of Bush’s treatment of Blair, according to the paper.

“What I think and fear is that Britain will draw back from the US without moving closer to Europe. In that sense, London’s bridge is falling down.”

State Department spokesperson Tom Casey was given the task of damage control:

“We repudiate and disassociate ourselves from these comments,” said Casey, stressing that Myers had no role in formulating American foreign policy.

“The comments, frankly, I think, could be described as ill-informed, and I think from our perspective, just plain wrong.”

“He was not authorized to speak as a department official or in the name of the department, and certainly wasn’t doing so, from our perspective,” said Casey, adding that department officials were discussing the incident with Myers.

“Once all the information has been gathered, then the department will look at what actions might be appropriate,” he said.

Great. Whether it looks good or bad for the current administration, shouldn’t Kendall Myers be applauded for speaking his mind and conscience? These statements were not given to the media, or in an official interview, but in an academic forum where (hopefully) the free-flow of uncensored, honest information is championed. Its not like he leaked any sensitive information, or really anything that isn’t completely obvious to the non-brain-dead citizen.

Does Bush want thinking officials, or automatons?


  1. #1 Eric Juve
    November 30, 2006

    Automatons, with right wing religious programming and denialist subprograms.

  2. #2 cieldumort
    November 30, 2006

    “Does Bush want thinking officials, or automatons?”

    That’s a question not even worth asking.

  3. #3 writerdd
    November 30, 2006

    “Does Bush want thinking officials, or automatons?”


  4. #4 John C. Welch
    November 30, 2006

    Bush doesn’t value the truth, honesty, brains, or ability.

    He values *one* thing:


    Unthinking, unswerving, blind loyalty. You’re either following him blindly, and asking “how high” when he says “jump” or you’re his mortal enemy.

    Go free world.

  5. #5 Blas
    November 30, 2006

    good point John C, but not privative of Bush

  6. #6 joltvolta
    December 1, 2006

    I’m curious to know if Kendall Myers opinions were based on any factual information, or was it speculation? Not much comes up on Myers if you “google” for the name, or any details on the context of these statements. I did find this though:

    Kendall Myers was apart of a panel discussion at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced Interational Studies (SAIS) on the 28th of Nov., about “How Special is the U.S.-U.K. Relationship After Iraq?”
    Johns Hopkins – European Studies Lecture Series

    This is the position held at Johns Hopkins:
    “W. Kendall Myers, Ph.D., Senior Adjunct Professor of European Studies, Director of the Office of the External Research Bureau of Intelligence and Research, US Department of State”
    Johns Hopkins Faculty

    Also bumped into a Time Article about US-Britian relationship with reference to Myers and what I’m feeling at this point is his hijacked thoughts:

    Dr Myers had hard words for his own Administration’s record in the Iraq war: “It’s a bad time, let’s face it. We have not only failed to do what we wanted to do in Iraq but we have greatly strained our relationship with [Britain].”

    Dr Myers, a specialist in British politics, predicted that the tight bond between Mr Bush and Mr Blair would not be replicated in the future. “What I think and fear is that Britain will draw back from the US without moving closer to Europe. In that sense London’s bridge is falling down.”

    Times Online UK

  7. #7 Captain C
    December 1, 2006

    “Does Bush want thinking officials, or automatons?”

    The latter. It’s hard to fail at imposing your fantasies on the world if your enablers keep reminding you about reality.

    By the by, are we ever going to hear about the Amsterdam segment of your adventures?

  8. #8 Shelley Batts
    December 1, 2006

    Heh Captain, its not really fit for mass consumption. 😀

  9. #9 Captain C
    December 3, 2006

    Well, that’s good to hear at least :^).

    You can email me about said adventures, then, if you want. As a half-Dutchman and Amsterdam-lover, I’m quite eager to hear about what you saw and did.

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