Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Smart Diplomacy

Obama threatens one of America's strongest allies.

After the Obama administration released the OLC memos on enhanced interrogation techniques, our British allies must have figured that the US would not object to publicizing the techniques used on Binyam Mohamed, now in the UK after being released from Guantanamo Bay. Barack Obama clarified his position on exposing intel techniques in a letter to the Brits that more or less told them to do what he says, and not what he does. Eli Lake reports that Obama threatened to cut off cooperation between American and British intelligence if a British court publishes a seven-paragraph memorandum outlining Mohamed’s treatment.

Not only that, but they threatened the UK's relationship with other nations-

“Public disclosure of this information, reasonably could be expected to cause serious damage to the United Kingdom’s national security. Specifically, disclosure of this information may result in a constriction of the U.S.-U.K. relationship, as well as U.K. relationships with other countries.”

Quite aside from the fact that this isn't the smartest way to conduct diplomacy- threatening an ally- doesn't the Obama administration realise that the information sharing between the UK and the USA is a two way street?

The plot to blow up airliners flying between the UK and the US, for example, was foiled by UK security services- with some collaboration with the US.

If Obama cuts off the UK like this then not only does he risk destroying the relationship with a long-standing ally, but he also threatens the safety of both British and American civilians.

Another example of the "mad man theory" of his Presidency?

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