Leaking of cables
The leaking of cables sent by the United Kingdom’s Ambassador to the United States Sir Kim Darroch that reflected badly on the Trump administration represent a serious infraction. And not on the ambassador’s part, but those receiving the advice in London. With Brexit swirling around every controversy, someone either tried to win Trump over with a leak or the present Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, a candidate for prime minister, trying to discredit his own ambassador.
Whichever it is, the purloining of a confidential message is a serious infraction that shows how disorganized the British government is. Trump, of course, reacted by blaming the ambassador, instead of the camarilla around outgoing Prime Minster Theresa May. As well, he should wonder whom at his own White House has shared such details with Darroch. Trump disinvited the ambassador and has a “sterling” group of guests led by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. He shot a messenger without seeming to reflect that it might be his own advisors directing the campaign against him and his foreign policy.
Leaks against Trump have been overwhelmingly in the diplomatic aspect of his presidency. Whether it concerns America’s support of NATO or attempts to undercut the president’s initiatives to North Korea, Russia or China. In this case it appears that it may be due to the current race between Hunt and Boris Johnson. And it might be an attempt to persuade the Donald that either one has got his back even if they have to throw the ambassador under the bus.
Trump’s instincts on foreign policy are good, but his ignorance makes him putty in the hands of unscrupulous insiders. They know the issues better and are able to control the agenda. Moreover, it is possible that they are the voices in the ear of the British ambassador.
Certainly Trump has gone through a team of foreign policy advisors. First, it was Rex Tillerson, James “Mad Dog” Mattis and H.W. McMasters. He got rid of them and chose Mike Pompeo and John Bolton. What all these advisors seem to have in common is that they find ways to contain their own boss. Seeking only status quo, they reinterpret everything Trump says and the old policy stays in place. Why not help leak a memo that describes the chaos in the White House?
If London and Washington seem joined at the hip as they engage in a diplomatic St. Vitus dance, it’s perhaps because factionalism is running amok. The old traditionalists work overtime to prevent change. Brexit was opposed years ago and it still is not a fact. Theresa May did her damnedest to scuttle it and Jeremy Hunt follows in the same path. With Trump, it is no different, new initiatives are stifled in the cradle by so-called trusted advisors to prevent change. Trump, either willfully ignorant or duplicitous, allows all breakthroughs to be closed either by someone’s will or by his own design.
Chaos in the transmission of cables to any foreign office is a danger to world peace. It is subject to tampering, it breeds distrust among allies and encourages foes. Trump blamed the wrong man and his reaction exposed his poor position within the bureaucratic wars.