Richard Rich Quits as Ambassador to Malta

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Hattip to Creative Minority Report.  Richard Rich,  Douglas Kmiec, in the wake of a state department report declaring that he was pretty much a disaster as Ambassador to Malta, has resigned.  The LA Times has the details:

Kmiec wrote that the inspector general had a “flawed and narrow vision of our diplomatic mission” and said his writings had a “highly positive effect on our diplomatic relations.”

He complained that, as a result of the inspector general’s recommendation that he end that work, “my voice has been prevented from speaking; my pen has been enjoined from writing; and my actions have been confined to the ministerial.”

Kmiec, a devout Roman Catholic and a onetime frequent contributor to The Times opinion pages, held important legal posts under Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush. He has been a prominent figure in the antiabortion movement and in efforts to give greater latitude for religion in public life.

He was also impressed by President Obama’s religious faith and interest in improving relations between religions, and he supported him during the 2008 presidential election campaign.

After Obama was elected, Kmiec was appointed ambassador to Malta, a conservative Catholic island, and White House officials said that one of his roles would be to advance Obama’s views on interfaith dialogue.

But the inspector general’s report, issued in February, says he had an “unconventional approach to his role” and devoted much time to writing on the “interfaith initiative.” It said his official schedule was “uncharacteristically light,” and that he had had “friction with principal officials in Washington, especially over his reluctance to accept their guidance and instructions.”

At the same time, the report says, Kmiec had “achieved some policy successes” and was respected by Maltese officials and embassy staff members.

Department officials spent considerable time reviewing and editing Kmiec’s writings related to religion, and they barred him from organizing conferences aimed at improving relations between religions, officials said.

In his letter to Obama, Kmiec said that in his post he had devoted time to “what I know you believe in most strongly, namely, personal faith and greater mutual understanding of the faiths of others as the way toward greater mutual respect.” The letter also said that he held “the highest respect for your leadership.”

Now Mr. Kmiec will have all the time in the world to explain how he did not betray the pro-life cause through his endorsement of Obama in 2008.  I await with eager anticipation his writings on the subject.

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  1. I’m sympathetic to Kmiec to this extent: while I would love to visit Malta some day, how much is there for even the American ambassador to do? The Maltese were happy, and so were most of his staff. What else was he supposed to do?

  2. Just in time for him to devote himself full time to getting Obama reelected…

    Prof. Kmiec’s account of himself never made much sense. One tends to wonder if he is merely getting goofy with old age, rather like Albert Gore or Jeffrey Hart.

  3. I hear that a lot of American forces being used in Libya are staged out of Malta. Right now there might be a lot for him to do. Maybe the embassy work was beginning to take away from his Obama apologetics.

  4. The post was supposed to be his reward for being a high profile Catholic for Obama. Needless to say, the Obama administration is not the first to reward supporters who know nothing about diplomacy with an ambassadorial spot. This is a long and dishonorable tradition in American diplomacy. The inexperienced ambassadors often come a cropper and that is what has happened to Kmiec. What is unusual in the Kmiec situation is that he ran into trouble in what should have been the most placid of postings.

  5. Phillip raises a good point. The Libya situation probably does magnify the importance of the Malta ambassadorship. It will be interesting to see if the Obama administration goes with a professional diplomat now.

  6. I agree with you Phillip. My guess is that Kmiec is probably way out of his depth now in regard to what was supposed to be almost a ceremonial role in a diplomatic backwater, and this resignation could be a face-saving device.

  7. Malta like Italy or Greece or for that matter any country caught between Islam and the West, knows that her interests will not be protected under the current Western dispensation. The days when the West was led by men of the calibre of Churchill or Nixon, who for all their numerous flaws tried their best to do what is right and in some fashion identified with the interests of Christians are long gone.

  8. This news is shocking! I still cant believe it! Kmiec is a Catholic no matter how many times I read it I still have trouble believing it.

  9. Devout Roman Catholics – DO NOT – support Pro-Abortionist ! He is a prime example of the anti-dogma, supposedly educated types that have been allowed to infiltrate & take over our once good Catholic Colleges. He publicly disgraced himself in 2008 & automatically excommunicated himself by lying to other Catholics about the godless senator from Ill. The Koran thumper in the oval office duped him & numerous other supposedly highly educated clergy & Catholic theologians !

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