“In fairness to them and in fairness to me, my conception and their conception of mission and theirs must have been different, because I had always assumed and had no reason to think that this had become a categorical rule” that he couldn’t write about interfaith issues, Kmiec said. “Nor did I think I lost the benefit of the regulations that said in your personal time, you can write personal things so long as you identify them as such.”
He also wrote a piece for the L.A. Times for what would have been Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday that the State Department rejected because it wasn’t related to his mission.
Changes to IG Report
When the inspectors wrapped up their visit to the Malta embassy in the fall, they gave Kmiec a draft report of his progress that Kmiec said he was pretty happy with.
“The embassy report was glowing, it had 15 minor suggestions in them… and my personal evaluation — I mean if I were writing it myself, I think I walk on water, so I would have used bigger adjectives and more adverbs — but I was quite satisfied with my report,” Kmiec said.
“But when the folks got back to Washington, apparently someone said ‘well you didn’t hammer the ambassador enough,’ because all of the sudden there was a new and tough and ‘improved’ version that we got a copy of that had all of this business about outside activities in it,” Kmiec said. “And it seemed that things that were positively stated about me and my post suddenly became much more qualified and turned into a negative. And when I saw that, I was quite alarmed.”
In his letter to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, Kmiec said the OIG had a “flawed and narrow vision of our diplomatic mission.”
“As a consequence, my voice has been prevented from speaking; my pen has been enjoined from writing; and my actions have been confined to the ministerial,” Kmiec wrote. “You deserve better, but until these rigid, and rigidly narrow, perspectives are overcome, you and the President are being deprived of the intelligent insight of much of your Embassy’s work. Should you want to challenge this organizational difficulty, I am at your service.”
Still Supports Obama
Despite his issues with his treatment at the State Department, Kmiec — who authored a book arguing that that Catholics can support Obama — said he’s still a supporter of the President.
“I see the President, from very early on in his administration, trying to provide of pre-natal care for pregnant women and providing for the needs of those who don’t have health care just as he said he would, providing an executive order saying this money wouldn’t be used for abortion practices just as he said he would,” Kmiec said.