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Friday, September 21, 2012

Highly Positive Inspector General Review of Douglas Kmiec as Chief of Mission, Malta

Kmiec’s signed evaluation as Chief of Mission, which he has shared with me, records:

Ambassador Kmiec established new and important strategic priorities shortly after his arrival including enhanced regional security Cooperation, the promotion of environmentally sensitive commercial investment, and the resettlement of the irregular migrant populations

Ambassador Kmiec's unconventional modus operandi has enabled him to achieve important successes

Ambassador Kmiec of great significance persuaded Malta to aid the Afghan effort with civilian training, helped to keep the Malta within the European Union consensus on Iranian sanctions, and reached out to Muslim populations in creative ways

Ambassador Kmiec is known and highly regarded by the Maltese President, Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, members of parliament and other officials and the Maltese public

Ambassador Kmiec kept a varied representative schedule

Ambassador Kmiec has successfully concluded the ratification of a new double taxation treaty; the security review and renewal of the Visa waiver program; a customs agreement to act as the Second Line of defense with new equipment and training to detect enriched substance at the customs screening house; an agreement for enhanced training for boarding inspection at the airport

Ambassador Kmiec is highly respected throughout the embassy staff’

Ambassador Kmiec is regarded as forthright, sincere, honest and with his heart in the right place

Ambassador Kmiec is understood as really wanting to improve he bilateral with Malta and to have the in-depth knowledge of the issues

Ambassador Kmiec’s profound sense of justice and environmental sensitivity has shaped his actions as Ambassador.

Oh yes, and don’t forget about his bringing a badly delayed embassy project to successful conclusion and rescuing his fellow diplomats on a rented catamaran from the Libyan conflict.

How can this superior record of diplomatic effort and achievement are distilled into neglect of duty and a forced resignation.  It can’t except to the far right, tea partiers still fuming that Kmiec helped Obama secure the 2008 Catholic vote in four pivotal states.  Kmiec’s 2008 book, Can a Catholic Support Him? laid out the arguments that Catholics clearly could, and they did, much to the chagrin of the Republicans. 

Kmiec thinks Obama an honest broker in the Arab-Israeli dispute and someone who has a nuanced understanding and appreciation for religious freedom. Kmiec took issue with the narrowness of the HHS religious exemption the President thought okay. Kmiec saw it as inadequate to handle the conscience needs of his former, long-time employer, the University of Notre Dame.  However, Kmiec has been admiring of the president's efforts to pursue a social justice agenda which has long been publicly neglected by the church's pursuit of its singular pro-life agenda, which Kmiec himself has never abandoned, though like the late Cardinal Bernardin sees catholic teaching as a seamless garment with capital punishment and a skewed economic system as offensive as abortion.

Kmiec's new 2012 book, lift up your hearts (available on Amazon – nationally and internationally)  is a manifesto in support of a theology of kindness, which Kmiec treasures since it was embodied in his spiritual counselor, a beloved 94 year old priest who tragically died in an auto wreck when Kmiec himself was critically injured. It is fair to say Kmiec  finds kindness lacking in today's political discourse. Indeed, the continued false claim that he was forced to resign because he was neglecting his duties or that he knew little of the foreign diplomats at his posting is nothing short of extraordinary insult.

The President admired the courage of Chris Stevens; he should send Doug kmiec to take up Stevens’ work for it is as important for America and Libya not to allow the thugs to defeat the rule of law as it is to not allow the disgruntled right wing to purloin a good man’s reputation.