I’ve heard the advice: don’t put anything in writing but apparently that is especially true of emails.
Just ask the British Ambassador to the U.S. Kim Darroch, who found himself forced to resign for writing no more than the truth. He reportedly advised others in the British government that U.S. President Trump is “inept” and “insecure”.
There was an email leak. It came out in public.
That is no more than most people in the world already know, save some Trump supporters, and maybe Trump himself. But even among a large percentage of those who in some way favor Trump, I think, I am sure, most are well aware of his shortcomings (not making a snide reference — you know, the hands thing and all) but also know that he in some way enables things they prefer and if nothing else runs interference for them against their political enemies.
British Prime Minister Teresa May (not long for her post either, but for a different reason) and others in the British government defended the ambassador, and officially, he was not asked to resign (officially anyway). Boris Johnson, leading candidate for prime minister, reportedly a Trump fan, refused to comment on the whole affair. But it is speculated that his failing to support the ambassador may be a reason for the ambassador’s resignation in that Johnson, who reportedly admires Trump, may be his new boss soon.
This sure seems to indicate Trump has sway over at least one foreign government. Trump of course had castigated on Twitter the ambassador for the unkind portrait of him and has vowed his administration would no longer deal with him.
(What if everyone in the world who had dared to criticize Trump would just not speak to him? That’s a thought.)
I can understand that the British government would be embarrassed. And probably the ambassador would lose his effectiveness after such a statement or statements had been made public.
But the whole world operates on one says whatever he or she thinks in private, and often hopes others, the subjects of criticisms especially, do not hear, out or politeness and out of fear of embarrassment or worse.
It is sometimes said that if you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say it — but this is the workings of government. As May herself said, it is the ambassador’s job to be frank and give his opinion. Would a general or intelligence agent fail to report on a possible enemy or situation for fear of not saying something nice?
At some point honesty must take center stage.
Trump says all kinds of mean and awful things about people in and out of government, important people and non important people, and he has not been fired.
And of course our people — the president on down — meet with leaders or high officials of other nations, some who are adversaries. Our people must say all kinds of things out of their earshot as they do about us. But, yes, it is embarrassing to have it aired in public and then have to face those you have criticized (or did nothing more than tell the truth about).
And of course, whatever the ambassador said was his opinion for the higher ups to mull around and decide for themselves.
It all seems kind of suspicious. It even has the markings of a Trumpian trick. In the presidential campaign it was the leak of the Hillary Clinton and Democratic committee emails (said to be aided and abetted or at least supported in some way by the Trump campaign). Among other things, as I recall, the emails pointed to the strategy of pushing Hillary over Bernie Sanders. And since, strangely enough, a not small segment of the Trump world preferred either Sanders (the Democrat) or Trump (the nominal Republican) that seemed good for grabbing them to support Trump over mean old Hillary, who was running over Bernie thanks to the built-in advantage of super delegates and other things.
Meanwhile, for the rest of us, don’t put it in writing. You want to gossip but don’t want it to get back to the, what? the gossipee, don’t electronically message it in any way lest you have some explaining to do or get a punch in the nose or worse.