Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Bribery Addiction

When I was at USAID, part of my responsibilities was to read the Daily Logs. These Logs had all the mail and memos that came in to USAID's Administrator as well as his schedule and written briefing materials for meetings and interviews. It often included Top Secret biographic briefs about foreign officials that he was scheduled to see in the next few days.

I remember reviewing the backgrounds of a delegation coming from a Latin American country. The delegation was headed by the minister of economy or development, I don't remember. Our prospective guest was an interesting chap. In addition to his official work, he was an entrepreneur involved with drug trafficking, kidnap-for-ransom and murder-for-hire. I went in to see the Administrator and begged him to cancel the meeting. "No, this is how diplomacy works," he explained. "I represent the US, not myself," and his guest had been dispatched by the president of a country with whom we had diplomatic relations. He had no choice but to meet him out of respect to the sovereign state which he represented. I countered that sending this man to meet us showed us disrespect. Although I declined to attend the meeting, he was probably right; diplomacy is about relations between states, not individuals.

Read the
rest here.

No comments: