Monday, April 18, 2011
Doug Kmiec Out As Ambassasdor to Malta
In letters to Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Douglas Kmiec said he would step down Aug. 15.
Kmiec was a well-known conservative law professor, commentator and regular guest on "Kresta in the Afternoon before being taking the job in 2009. But a report this month by the State Department's inspector general rebuked Kmiec for concentrating too much on issues such as abortion and his faith, while neglecting his ambassadorial duties
"I doubt very much whether one could ever spend too much time on this subject," Kmiec wrote Obama in his resignation letter.
The audit was the second critical assessment of a politically appointed ambassador this year and illustrates the pitfalls that presidents can face when they appoint noncareer diplomats to ambassadorships, often as a reward for their political support.
The audit of the U.S. Embassy in Malta said Kmiec's "outside activities have detracted from his attention to core mission goals" in the Mediterranean island nation, such as promoting maritime security and American business. It acknowledged the wide respect for Kmiec in the conservative, Roman Catholic country of Malta, but said his articles distracted him and embassy officials by forcing them to carefully review his writing. They upset administration officials in Washington, too, it noted.
Kmiec responded by describing the criticism of his religious views was "especially odd" because his friendship with Obama began out of a common view that "too much of politics had been used to divide us, sometimes by excluding people of faith."
The State Department declined comment on Kmiec's announcement.
The embassy in Malta has recently played an enhanced role as the nearest European country to Libya. More than 180 Americans were ferried to Malta when Moammar Gadhafi's forces violently cracked down on protesters seeking an end to his four-decade rule.
at 5:43 PM