U.S. Ambassador to Malta, Douglas Kmiec, has resigned with effect from the Feast of the Assumption, August 15.
Kmiecâ€™s decision to resign comes following a 49-page report by the Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. State Department that criticized him for his â€œunconventional approach to his role as ambassador,â€ which, said the report, â€œhas created friction with principal officials in Washington, especially over his reluctance to accept their guidance and instructions.â€
“Over the last days since the report came out, I have prayed that there might be some way short of having the president affirm my credentials personally to remove this doubt in my mind,” Kmiec told the Times of Malta. Kmiec told the newspaper he had not been pressured by anyone to resign, California Catholic says.
In his letter of resignation to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, noted the OIG report, which he said was based on “the unsupported speculation that someone doing as much writing as I have done could not have also been devoted to the embassy mission. The contrary proof, Madame Secretary, is in the strength of our embassy. Our work is careful, thorough, and timely, and I am fully apprised of all of it, and of course, fully supported by men and women of great dedication and ability.”
Kmiec also noted that the tiny embassy in Malta was one of a few deemed “essential” in the run-up to the narrowly averted government shutdown, largely because of Malta’s proximity to Libya, which is its nearest neighbor, and the influx of refugees from that war-torn country, NCR Online says.
“In the weeks since the OIGâ€™s flawed and narrow vision of our diplomatic mission, people of good will in the middle ranks of our Department have seen it as their calling to strictly enforce it,” Kmiec wrote. “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. 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 Embassyâ€™s work.”
Doug Kmiec Resigns (NCR Online)
Kmiec quits (California Catholic)