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?