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American Hit-and-Run Diplomacy Outrages British Public

Laurence Jarvik

Posted on October 8, 2019 17:34

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A simple traffic accident in Great Britain which could have been handled discreetly with a little sensitivity on the part of the American government has ballooned into an international diplomatic crisis due to incompetence or worse by American intelligence agencies and diplomats, leading to a serious rift in US-UK relations.

While America seems mesmerized by an imminent Presidential impeachment, a different kind of scandal has consumed Great Britain over the death of a 19-year old English motorcyclist hit by an American diplomatic spouse driving on the wrong side of the road on August 27th.

After running down Harry Dunn with her Volvo, Anne Sacoolas reportedly agreed to cooperate with local authorities conducting an investigation, only to subsequently flee, allegedly at the suggestion of an as-yet unidentified American official.

The US State Department initially refused to release her name, claiming national security, since her husband  Jonathan Sacoolas reportedly worked in intelligence at RAF Croughton airbase. Of course, the aggressive British press soon discovered and published the names, making a mockery of American justifications for anonymity, as well as the American ability to keep secrets.

Still, the US Embassy has refused to waive diplomatic immunity despite building public embarrassment. American Ambassador Woody Johnson added fuel to the fire by sending a letter seen by Dunn's family as a heartless attempt at damage control. The grieving and outraged Dunn family attracted sympathetic attention from the British press, and some stories have begun to appear in US media. Matters have quickly escalated. 

Recently, British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab asked Secretary of State Pompeo to waive diplomatic immunity, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he would ask President Trump to intervene if no action were taken.

Thus, a simple traffic accident which could have been handled discreetly with a little sensitivity on the part of the American government--surely no one believes it was intentional--has ballooned into an international diplomatic incident due to incompetence or worse by American intelligence agencies and diplomats, causing a crisis in US-UK relations. The American reaction appears stupid, heartless and cruel. It signals contempt for the life of an ordinary British teenager, combined with mafia-like protection for reckless Americans.

It is bad P.R., bad diplomacy, and bad morality.

At this point, the US State Department would do well to override the concerns of its permanent bureaucracy--perhaps motivated by the "Resistance" to cause embarrassment to President Trump--and grant an immediate waiver of diplomatic immunity in the greater interest of the Anglo-American "Special Relationship."

There is precedent for this in the 1997 case of Georgian diplomat Gueorgui Makharadze, who killed 16-year-old Joviane Waltrick and injured four other people while driving drunk in Washington, DC. Public outrage was so great that the Clinton administration asked for a waiver--and Georgia granted it. At the time, the State Department praised the Georgian government. Sentenced to seven years, Makharadze was released early.

A similar resolution to the case of Anne Sacoolas would be in the best interest of the United States, Great Britain, the Trump administration, and the US-UK "Special Relationship."

ASAP.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laurence Jarvik

Posted on October 8, 2019 17:34

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Source: HuffPost
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Boris Johnson said Anne Sacoolas’ claim of diplomatic immunity is unjustified and he will personally take action if she doesn't...

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