My colleague Joe Feuerhard has given the back story on why some officials in the State Department, while acknowledging the high regard in which U.S. Ambassador to Malta Douglas Kmiec is held, nonetheless saw fit to rap him on the knuckles for giving so many speeches and undertaking so many writings on subjects not strictly dealing with bilateral relations between the two countries. This is not the first time that the good people at Foggy Bottom have missed the forest for the trees. In an overwhelmingly Catholic country like Malta, failing to take cognizance of the people's faith traditions is tantamount to malpractice, no matter how squeamish some apparatchicks at the State Dept. get when God is mentioned.
But, this article in the Times of Malta, gives some flavor of how the people and the government of Malta are responding to the State Dept. report. Over the weekend, there were several comments posted that attest to the fact that so far from neglecting his duties, Ambassador Kmiec seems to enjoy wide support and admiration within Malta. The Prime Minister and the leader of the Opposition both signaled their support as well.
The good people at Foggy Bottom should go out and see the Cherry Blossoms and leave Ambassador Kmiec alone.
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